UX, keystone for democratizing blockchain

To promote their adoption by the greatest number, blockchain services must provide a simple and fluid experience. This is where UX Designers have a card to play.

Designed by engineers, and designed in large part by financiers, blockchain services have however often been designed by setting aside an important factor: the end user.

This is where UX Designers have a card to play. In order to democratize, blockchain services must refocus around the end user, provide a simple and fluid experience and thus promote their adoption by as many people as possible.

Like any other product or service, those of the blockchain must be understood by taking into account and anticipating the needs and expectations of the end user. The objective of this approach is to provide an accessible product or service, easy to learn and above all effective.

These factors, grouped under the notion of user experience (UX), have often been overlooked when designing blockchain services. Complex and offering a not very intuitive experience, these decentralized applications, also called DApps, thus present a barrier to adoption by their target users.

The UX of these applications must therefore be redesigned to promote their uses.

It is not necessary to understand the technology behind the service to use it, but simply why and how the service will meet a need. It must therefore provide a simple and intuitive experience. The actions to be carried out must therefore be clearly explained. For example, it is necessary for the user to integrate the fact that an action performed from a blockchain service is irreversible. It is therefore crucial to support the user in his experience by indicating precisely the steps he will be required to perform and their impacts.

Improving the user experience will result in the implementation of several levers, both UI (in connection with the interface) and UX (in connection with the user experience). These must allow users to properly handle the application and give them confidence in the service and in its use.

Jargon
Mining, proof of work, nodes … the vocabulary of blockchain can seem obscure to the uninitiated and lead to mistrust of applications. A successful popularization of the technology will allow users to understand the basics of its operation, without going into too complex technical details.

Graphic consistency
The language elements of the blockchain are complex and highly codified. It is therefore important to make them as simple and understandable as possible for end users. This involves, for example, the installation of icons in order to clarify the concepts of technology. A color code and concise and simplified verbatim also reassure users.

Feedbacks
The exchanges made from blockchain services can sometimes be long and badly experienced by users. Putting clues in place as to what’s going on and what’s going to happen can alleviate this negative feeling. For example, animations can appear during loading times to make users wait and reassure them.

Warning Popups
The blockchain does not allow backtracking. Since each action taken is immutable, it is important that users are clearly informed of the steps they are taking. Warning popups appearing before an irreversible action avoids the risk of errors on the part of the users.

Mobile-first
The crypto industry has focused on desktop-first use, but uses tend mainly to mobile-first-oriented technologies and services. There is therefore a lot of work for UX Designers to transform these services, in order to adapt them to mobile use.

UX Design therefore has a real role to play in the democratization of blockchain services. Improving the user experience will help foster confidence and accessibility of these services, ultimately facilitating their adoption and making the blockchain accessible to users.

Note that a big step in this direction has also been taken by smartphone manufacturers such as HTC, quickly joined by Samsung, which presented at the Mobile Word Congress in Barcelona its Galaxy S10 with an integrated wallet. of crypto-currencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum but also Enjin Coin and Cosmo Coin) and several decentralized applications (Dapps) put forward.

Illustrative photo © Denphumi – Shutterstock.com

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