Natalie Monko Lead Project Manager

    Crypto App Design: How to Ensure a Great UX and Create the UI That Works for Everyone

    With the growing number of individuals and businesses that use blockchain and digital currencies, the cryptocurrency market is witnessing a surge. The demand for crypto exchange platforms, crypto wallets, and other respective solutions has climbed recently 

    Payments Cards & Mobile reports that the number of crypto app downloads from Google Play reached 82.8 million in 2021, rising from 13.5 million in 2020. According to (formerly App Annie), global installs of the top five cryptocurrency apps—counting App Store and Google Play—amounted to 46 million in Q3 2021, leading to a 75% increase year-over-year.

    Striving to attract new customers and gain a competitive advantage, world-famous fintech companies are joining the trend. In September 2021, PayPal released a mobile application that allows users to hold and sell cryptocurrencies, manage bill payments, make purchases, and more.

    paypal crypto app

    Another notable example is Robinhood that has recently launched a crypto wallet. The product enables investors to send, receive, and trade cryptocurrencies. At the moment, the app supports seven digital coins, involving Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. To promote the project, Robinhood introduced a waitlist that now has one million customers. In January 2022, the company rolled out the wallet to 1,000 customers from the top of the waitlist.

    Therefore, the demand for crypto solutions is rising, leading to higher investments in respectives startups and initiatives. In order to generate profit and outrun rivals, it is crucial to engage the audience. With this goal in view, you should focus on crypto app design that includes user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). 

    However, cryptocurrency products have their own specifics and challenges. For instance, when creating a UI/UX design, fintechs have to address issues such as low awareness, lack of trust, and the need to meet the expectations of different users (for example, non-professionals, scalpers, day traders, position traders).

    In this article, UI/UX experts at Surf will consider the best practices that will help you make a great cryptoсurrency app design and ensure a seamless user experience. Let’s get started.

    Top 5 UI/UX practices for crypto app design 

    1. Analyze end-user needs and competitors

    To create your own cryptocurrency app that will achieve success, you should start from analyzing competitors to identify their strong and weak sides. What’s more, it is essential to research the goals and preferences of the target customers. 

    A company has to take into account that software products are generally used by different types of customers. If you are going to build, for instance, a crypto trading platform, it is generally not enough to divide users by the level of experience in investment like professional traders and newcomers. 

    Prior to feature prioritization, you should segment the audience according to the type of trader, including but not limited to:

    • Scalpers. Characterized as short-term traders, scalpers earn money by reselling stocks and benefiting from small price changes. They usually hold their positions open from several seconds to a few minutes.
    • Day traders. Aiming to gain advantage of small market movements, they are focused on trading without leaving open positions overnight. The average open time of a day position is typically less than an hour.
    • Swing traders. The key objective of swing traders is to capture short- and medium-term profit over an extended period. As a rule, the average duration of an open position varies between a couple of days and several weeks.
    • Position traders. Putting the main emphasis on macro trends and asset growth potential, position traders buy assets, whose value is likely to increase over the long run. So, they are not too concerned about monitoring short-term price fluctuations.
    • Fundamental traders. They evaluate the individual performance and characteristics of each asset to make the most realistic value estimation. Fundamental traders generally open positions for the long term.

    If you are wondering how to make a cryptocurrency app, it is important to design user stories describing various end-user needs, for example:

    • As a day trader, I want to have access to more liquid assets, such as forex, stocks, and futures while viewing portfolio statistics on the dashboard.
    • As a swing trader, I want to have technical analysis tools to find and evaluate trading opportunities.
    • As a position trader, I want to have tools for technical and fundamental analysis to identify the preferred exit points for intended positions, as well as have the appropriate stop-loss orders. I also need to have a variety of indicators to build quote charts.

    Here at Surf, we conduct competitor analysis and audience research to deliver software products that address the pain points of users and align with their expectations. When building Twim, a mobile crypto trading app for both novices and professionals, our team studied the 10 leading cryptocurrency exchanges to learn how to make our solution stand out from others in terms of crypto app design and functionality. Furthermore, we interviewed potential customers to discover their pain points and preferences. 

    As a result, we revealed that unsophisticated traders needed functionality to buy and sell digital currencies, monitor portfolio statistics, and track open interest positions via a mobile app. Experienced traders, in turn, wanted to have a full-out terminal for analyzing the depth of market. In addition, they preferred using tablets to easier perceive a lot of information. 

    With this in mind, our experts created product versions for smartphones and tablets while working out a comprehensive UI architecture. At this stage, we found out that consumers favored a dark theme, since it is more suitable for late night work and does not have such a negative effect on the eyes. 

    crypto app design

    2. Provide data visualization

    Data visualization is among the main elements of a cryptocurrency trading platform. However, enabling data visualization is quite challenging in the context of either crypto app design or development. 

    First, the changing prices and indicators have to be instantly mapped on the dashboard. Second, multiple metrics visualized in a single chart must not overlap.

    To create quote charts for Twim, our team used the TradingView library, which is perfectly suited for finance software solutions and trading terminals. Employing TradingView, we managed to display numerous indicators demanded by different types of traders. With the objective to properly visualize hundreds of metrics, we worked out a comprehensive UI architecture.

    quote chart twim

    If you want to learn more about data visualization in crypto apps, read our article on the topic.

    3. Make a crypto app easy-to-use

    By making a cryptocurrency solution easy-to-use, companies attract more users and increase retention rates. For this purpose, it is crucial to develop a convenient information architecture (IA) and an intuitive user interface when creating a crypto app design.

    • Information architecture 

    Information architecture is about organizing content inside a software product in a way that people can interact with it without thinking. This way, UX experts have to work out a flow that will allow customers to find what they need as fast as possible, navigating between screens or pages without effort. 

    design meaning

    In order to elaborate an IA properly, UX professionals can utilize a number of techniques. At Surf, for example, our software experts conduct competitor analysis, research the target audience’s goals and preferences, design user personas, as well as identify common scenarios of how users will communicate with the product. 

    • User interface

    The majority of cryptocurrency applications offer their users a lot of complex information. Crypto trading platforms, for instance, contain domain terminology and comprehensive quote charts. As a result, it may be challenging for users, especially non-professional traders and investors, to interact with the product and perceive content. With the goal to prevent confusion of customers, it is important to develop an intuitive UI when making a crypto app design. 

    Focusing on clarity and simplicity, UI experts need to make each screen serve a certain purpose. What’s more, the user interface should not be overcrowded with graphic elements (buttons, icons, pop-up windows, and others). In addition, we recommend that you keep a color palette concise and not too bright in order not to draw user attention away from solution functionality and information. So, designers generally use contrasting colors to only highlight the most important information or call-to-actions.

    To build Twim, we analyzed the audience and revealed that users first of all want to see elements like orders, trade blotter, and quote charts as they open a crypto trading app. So, our team brought these elements to the main screen when creating a UI design.

    twim app crypto trading

    4. Educate users and explain crypto benefits

    By comparison with investing in traditional assets, such as shares, bonds, and ETFs, cryptocurrencies are still new to the market, leading to low awareness of the domain and opportunities. As a consequence, many people hesitate whether to buy and sell digital currencies, or make crypto payments

    Along with that, the fear of the unknown forces customers to stop using crypto applications as soon as something, in their opinion, goes wrong, for example, if the price of Bitcoin significantly falls. Furthermore, cryptocurrency solutions generally contain a lot of domain terminology. 

    To trade funds and generate profit, users have to understand industry specifics and know how to employ different tools, involving charts, orders, trade blotter, and level of leverage. However, this is quite challenging for non-professional traders and investors. 

    Therefore, it is essential to provide educational content throughout the user journey. When developing the UX for a cryptocurrency application, a company can design onboarding tutorials explaining the main concepts, and prepare instructions available on demand. In order to help newcomers gain knowledge and enhance the UX, an organization should include an insightful blog into the app or official website. 


    Additionally, it is reasonable to incorporate explanatory texts and videos. You should also communicate the advantages of cryptocurrencies to the audience across various sources, from a landing page to in-app guides. For instance, you can show users that crypto transactions do not require the inclusion of third parties, which makes them less costly. Then, since digital currencies circulate on the blockchain decentralized ledger, crypto payments are more secure. 

    Thanks to educational content, you will manage to improve user engagement, increase retention, and prevent churn.

    5. Design for trust and security

    While the digital currency market is growing at a rapid pace, a lot more users start buying digital coins and carry out crypto transactions. However, as cryptocurrency apps are subject to hacker attacks and data breaches, the security must be of the highest priority. If a crypto solution does not provide sufficient protection of customer information and accounts, a company may lose not only enormous amounts of money but clients and reputation. 

    As for real-life stories, let’s consider an example with Coincheck, a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange. In January 2018, intruders hacked into the platform and stole about $500 million in digital tokens. The organization admitted that it had stored user assets in hot wallets connected to external networks, whilst it is advisable to keep client deposits in cold wallets, which are less prone to vulnerabilities. Apart from this, the company did not have multi-signature security. 

    Such cases bring discredit to cryptocurrency applications. To eliminate potential risks and build fintech trust, businesses have to safeguard sensitive data and user funds. On top of that, it is essential to ensure a feeling of security when creating a crypto app design.

    With this aim in view, companies need to implement functionality like two-factor authentication, email verification, data encryption, and biometrics (facial, fingerprints, or behavior recognition). The worldwide leading crypto exchange platform Coinbase, for example, asks customers to verify their accounts using an identity card, driver license, or passport.

    account verification

    Finally, it is important to showcase security measures to the audience through the product content and official website. A fintech firm can describe features it delivers in the educational guides, videos, visuals, tutorials, texts contained inside the app.

    Concerning other valuable features, organizations can set up IP address monitoring to instantly message users if there is a sign in from an unknown device, browser, or geographic location not identified by the system before. Notified about suspicious authorization, customers will be able to instantly block their accounts and prevent fraud.

    What’s more, fintechs have to automatically inform consumers about fund withdrawal and deposits. In addition, as people are increasingly concerned about sharing their personal data, businesses should explain what kind of information they collect and why.

    coinbase system

    Final words

    Crypto app design is an important project stage, vital to ensuring a seamless customer experience and a feeling of security. Here are some key points we would like to highlight for you to sum the things up:

    • Prior to design, it is crucial to research end-user goals to tailor the application accordingly.
    • By working out a convenient information architecture, a company can provide smooth navigation between screens, enabling users to find what they search for as quickly as possible.
    • With proper visualization of crypto data, an organization will increase customer satisfaction and prevent churn.
    • The use of trust signals will raise credibility in your services.
    • Educational content will help you attract non-professional traders and generate higher profit.
    • By explaining the cryptocurrency advantages to users, you will eliminate the fear of the unknown.

    At Surf, we have considerable experience in building fintech products, including crypto applications. To deliver software that meets user goals and expectations, we identify and segment the target audience, discover the pain points and preferences of each group, as well as conduct competitor analysis. 

    We also perform user testing to find out whether real people enjoy the product and what can be improved. This thoughtful approach allowed us to implement a number of successful projects, involving Twim. Launched a few years ago, Twim outrun many popular rival solutions of the time due to its modern crypto app design and a great UX. 

    cryptocurrency trading app

    If you are looking to create a cryptocurrency application, feel free to contact our team. We will get back to you promptly and help address all issues. To find more valuable information, read our guide to making a crypto solution.