BetDEX Exchange

BetDEX is a pioneering decentralised, fully licensed, P2P sports betting exchange, which leverages the Solana blockchain to reduce fees and counterparty risks.

Principal Designer


Present (2Y)


Responsive Web

Responsive Web


As the founding designer at BetDEX, I had the unique opportunity to spearhead the design of the world’s first fully licensed, decentralised betting exchange. My role was comprehensive, covering every facet of the design process from defining the product strategy, establishing research and testing methodologies, and delivering high-fidelity design outputs.

In addition to my hands-on design responsibilities, I was instrumental in scaling the design department. Starting as the sole designer, I successfully expanded the team to include three skilled members.

What is betdex?

Sports betting is a colossal industry, with global handle estimated to exceed $1 trillion each year. Despite this, the sector has long been plagued by inefficiencies and consumer frustrations. Bookmakers often saddle customers with high costs—with fees often surpassing 5% for a single bet—whilst providing products that all have a glaring lack of innovation.

In 2021, BetDEX embarked on a mission to revolutionise this stagnant landscape following a significant $21 million seed funding round. BetDEX’s goal was simple yet ambitious: to establish itself as the world's global clearinghouse for sports betting by leveraging the disruptive potential of web3 technology.

By open-sourcing infrastructure and decentralising the protocol, BetDEX places the control directly in the hands of those who build and use the platform. This approach is not just about creating a more efficient betting platform; it's about fostering a movement. BetDEX is dedicated to empowering users to engage in successful wagering with one another on a platform they have a real stake in and genuinely care about.

Starting from Scratch

As the founding designer at BetDEX, I was presented with a blank canvas. My initial steps were twofold: first to collaborate with the product manager to devise a simple strategic direction, and secondly defining the visual branding and UI.

The strategic plan was simple to prioritise the basic yet essential flows known as the betting 'fundamentals'. These are the essential elements required for customers to place bets:


Bet Discovery

Browsing and navigating a list of events.


Bet Placement

Select, customise and place a bet.


Bet Tracking

Monitor your active and settled bets.


Regulatory Compliance

Protect bettors from abuse and addiction.

At the time the 2022 World Cup was 10-11 months away and was the ideal opportunity to launch our beta to the public which set the team an incredibly ambitious goal.

Adopting an unconventional strategy, we bypassed initial discovery research in favour of heading straight into designing flows and screenings. The plan was to validate our work post-implementation. This approach was viable for two key reasons. First, the features we focused on were foundational, embodying well-established industry standards. Second, our team's extensive experience in the sports betting sector assured us that we could intuitively address and fulfil the core needs of our customers with these essential functionalities.

Proto-persona workshop with team

Proto-persona workshop with team

Validate Quick & Design Dirty

Before any design work began, a workshop was organised to identify our target customers, leading to the creation of proto-personas. This exercise highlighted two main groups we aimed to serve: crypto-native customers familiar with decentralised finance (DeFi) exchanges, and professional sports traders considering a switch from platforms like Betfair or Smarkets.

The workshop's second goal was to outline and prioritise the scope of fundamental features defined in the fundamentals roadmap. Following this groundwork, design efforts began, starting with defining the beta site's core user flows. This included everything from a user’s first interaction with the site and connecting a wallet to placing and managing their bets. User flow diagrams proved invaluable for conveying the site's structure to our development team prior to completion of design assets.

By rapidly moving from low to high-fidelity designs and utilising the DUX design system, I was able to quickly set a design direction for the Beta site. Our designs were initially validated through Figma prototypes using Maze, with participants recruited from our Discord community—a vibrant group of betting and Web3 enthusiasts eager to contribute to the BetDEX project. However, once the site reached a trustable level of stability, an open alpha site was deployed. Here, invited members could place bets using fantasy money, in exchange for prizes, shout outs and bragging rights. This stage was vital for identifying improvements, catching bugs, and gauging customer sentiment towards our product. was one of the ways we collected feedback of the alpha site. was one of the ways we collected feedback of the alpha site.

World Cup 2022 Beta Launch

Two weeks before the World Cup commenced, BetDEX launched its beta version to the public, accepting real money wagers for the first time. This launch marked a crucial milestone, as the app achieved fundamental objectives, enabling customers to discover, place, and monitor their bets. Whilst maintaining a responsible betting environment, the platform incorporated essential responsible gaming tools, such as stake limits, self-exclusion options, and timeout.

In its beta iteration, the UI was intentionally kept basic, with a specific aim to appeal to crypto and DeFi enthusiasts. This focus was reflected in the event page, which took inspiration from the trading screens of popular applications like FTX, Binance, and Coinbase Pro, offering a familiar experience to users from the DeFi space.

At this stage, BetDEX’s operational focus was exclusively on the World Cup, with no other sports or competitions available on the site. The platform’s launch garnered substantial interest, propelled largely by a promotional free bet credit offer known as ‘BETWC’.

Beta Home page across web & mobile

Beta Home page across web & mobile

DeFi inspired 'Trader UI' for events

DeFi inspired 'Trader UI' for events

Player leaderboards across weeks, comps, etc.

Player leaderboards across weeks, comps, etc.

Post Beta, Now what?

Following the successful beta launch, the post-World Cup period presented a new set of challenges for BetDEX. Despite the initial enthusiasm, growth started to plateau, and user engagement with the product began to wane. With the core features of the product now established, it became clear that a strategic reassessment was necessary to realign our goals and plans for the future.

This period of reflection led to the initiation of an extensive research project. The aim was not only to gain a comprehensive understanding of our current position but also to delve into the our audience and the broader market.

💬 Customer Interviews

By engaging directly with our DAUs we aimed to understand their likes and dislikes regarding the current offerings.

The findings from these interviews revealed intriguing contradictions, particularly among our target market of Web3 decentralised enthusiasts:

  1. Despite a strong vocal support for the decentralised ethos, many users frequently engaging with centralised platforms.

  2. While there were concerns about KYC, a significant portion of users readily completed basic KYC checks when required.

  3. A number of users claimed betting was their main interest in our community. It appeared however that their true motivation was to engage in a token launch.

Research notes from DAU interviews

Research notes from DAU interviews

🏃‍♂️‍➡️ Competitor analysis

As the landscape of competitors was evolving swiftly, we conducted a thorough analysis to understand how other companies in the web3 market positioned themselves and how their strategies differed from ours.

Key insights:

  1. SSO, KYC procedures, and account creation, which are not inherently decentralised, were commonly found in our competitors' platforms.

  2. Social and community-driven experiences were key factors in attracting and keeping customers.

  3. Our range of sports, competitions, and betting markets was considerably smaller than that of our competitors.

Slide from competitor analysis presentation

Slide from competitor analysis presentation

Workshop to align the future

Following the completion of our research, we embarked on a week-long workshop that united team members from design, marketing, operations, and product.

The aim of the  workshop was to disseminate the research findings among all attendees, refine our understanding of customer segments, brainstorm features for BetDEX beyond the beta phase, and prioritise these to form a roadmap.

Snaps from the workshop exercises

Snaps from the workshop exercises

Key Findings

Upon reflecting on our research and redefining our customer segementation, it became evident that BetDEX had primarily focused on a very niche market segment, referred to as the ‘Crypto Degen’. This group, known for their familiarity with web3 and DeFi, was initially believed to be the ideal target due to their potential high engagement. However, this group’s notorious lack of loyalty and pursuit of financial gain presented challenges with acquisition and retention.

By focusing on this segment BetDEX had inadvertently overlooked two crucial demographics. Professional gamblers found the platform’s UI, value proposition, and fees appealing but were put off by its heavy web3 integration. Similarly, casual sportsbook customers were either unfamiliar with or distrustful of exchange betting and/or web3. Recognising these oversights, we identified three critical areas for improvement to ensure BetDEX’s success:




Enhancing product liquidity, odds, and markets.



Reducing the entry barriers for users unfamiliar with web3 or betting exchanges.



Developing tools to effectively acquire and retain a diverse user base.

By utilising this 'Price, Friction, Growth' framework, three key milestones emerged which had the potential to broaden our audience and achieve product growth. These were:


Frictionless Future

Creating our own wallet would significantly simplify the user experience while maintaining BetDEX’s decentralised, non-custodial principles.


Simplified UI

Overhauling the DeFi-inspired trading UI with a traditional design akin to conventional sportsbooks might appeal to casual bettors.


Bet Credit

Introducing a flexible promotional tool to support product and marketing efforts in acquiring, rewarding, and retaining users on the platform.

These initiatives marked a strategic pivot, aiming not just to expand our audience but also to refine BetDEX into a mature, user-friendly platform.

Refreshed customer segmentation

Design & Iteration

With the roadmap and strategy firmly in place, it was the design team's turn to bring those ideas to life.

An initial analysis of the current product’s user flows and a review of our competitors' offerings were undertaken to identify existing and potential pain points. This analysis enabled us to establish a clear understanding of the current situation, paving the way for the development of new, more efficient user flows. These were visualised through flow diagrams, which proved invaluable for soliciting early feedback from stakeholders and developers before moving into the design phase.

Thanks to the DUX design system, various design directions could be explored quickly. The proactive sharing of designs and liberal use of the commenting system on our platforms facilitated a dynamic environment where ideas could rapidly materialise. Once a promising design direction was identified, it was quickly prototyped using Figma and moved to user testing. This iterative process of gathering feedback and re-testing allowed us to refine our designs based on direct input from real users, ensuring our solutions were both effective and user-friendly.

Example of flow diagrams for Account & Wallet management

Example of flow diagrams for Account & Wallet management

KYC flow diagrams

KYC flow diagrams

maturing our Validation

Post-beta our validation process required improvement to allow us to verify our designs against user needs and preferences. To this end, a user testing panel was established through Prolific. This allowed participants to be filtered based on demographics, betting experience, and web3 literacy. Furthermore the use of Maze, enabled the rapid collection of insights, significantly reducing the time to obtain feedback from weeks to mere hours.

Furthermore a key development here was fostering a company culture that embraced and advocated the sharing of customer feedback. This approach has ensured that customer needs and experiences are at the forefront of all decision-making processes.

Validating designs via Maze and Prolific

Validating designs via Maze and Prolific

The Outcome

Since launching in 2022, the platform has handled over $8m in transactions (Q1 2024), with no indications of deceleration. However, the forthcoming phase of BetDEX's evolution involves the transition out of beta. Whilst not all features have been released as of yet, there is much excitement over the introduction of the BetDEX wallet, markedly simplifying the technical and user experience challenges previously encountered with non-custodial and web3 wallet technologies. This innovation should drastically reduce signup times and improve completion rates, alongside introducing more conventional methods for deposits and withdrawals through fiat gateways.

With these ambitious enhancements on the horizon, 2024 promises to be a pivotal year for BetDEX. Stay tuned!

Will Loveland 2024

Will Loveland 2024