Web 3 UI Design: How to Use Archetypes and Personas for Your Product

Posted on Dec 22, 2020

Web 3 UI Design: How to Use Archetypes and Personas for Your Product
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Web3 Product designers and UI designers often use the words “archetype” and “persona” and use them interchangeably. However, an archetype is different from a persona; and, although both are used in relation to catering to the users’ needs, they refer to different categories of users.


Literature defines archetypes as characters or situations in stories that reflect something universal in human nature. Web3 UI designers at remote design firms like Matcha Design Labs (MDL) in Austin, TX,  borrowed that definition to define archetypes as a group of people sharing common behaviors and thought processes. There is an unlimited number of archetypes in product development, but when focusing on a particular product, the number can be narrowed down. Since many Web3 UI designers utilize a human-centered approach, Avani Miriyala, CEO of MDL, recommends using the archetypes specific to the product as often as possible to ensure the design fits the user’s needs. Using archetypes also allows designers to connect certain product features with certain archetype groups. For example, young, tech-savvy, Gen Z NFT enthusiasts are more likely to use the next new NFT marketplace and purchase an NFT. The company can then use those correlations to decide on the content of the product. 


Personas, on the other hand, are archetypes layered with specific characteristics such as names, photos, age, occupation, or lifestyle. If you think of Web3 UI design as a canvas and archetypes as basic colors/paints, personas could be viewed as the texture you would add to the paints to give them more character and definition. For Web3 UI designers, the details that turn an archetype into personas are necessary to effectively address a specific issue with the design or feature of the product. 

According to Avani, the best way to utilize personas is to develop a story around the user of your product to inspire the design team and facilitate the design process. For example, we can build a persona from the example above by adding details to our NFT Enthusiast and clarifying who they are: 

  • Tina, Age 25
  • Occupation: Computer Programmer, Cozy Gamer Content Creator
  • Platforms She Uses: TikTok, Instagram, BeReal
  • Works from home, spends time video gaming on evenings and weekends, loves collecting and displaying her NFT collection.

As you can see , personas serve as tangible references, especially during brainstorming sessions while archetypes are best used for product strategy, user flows, and general product interactions.

Now it is clear that archetypes and personas have very distinct roles in the development of products. You can read the full article for detailed examples of how to apply archetypes and personas.

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