Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, NFT (Non-Fungible Token) are the buzzwords we encounter every day and are becoming food for our interest. These online currencies depend on a technology called blockchain, and when a new technology arrives, it comes with fresh opportunities.
Out of interest, I started reading about the technology and saw how fascinating the blockchain world is. While researching the topic, I came across job positions for Blockchain UX Designers to bridge the gap between this technology and worldwide users. But the problem is blockchain is a new technology; it is not as familiar as mobile app development or cloud. People are still doubtful about this technology. So with this in mind, I was thinking about how to explain to an average user what is blockchain or why it is necessary to use this type of tech for certain types of products? And then how we can use the power of design so this could be easy to digest and users can adapt to it faster.
In this blog, we’ll cover what is blockchain and how to design a better UX for blockchain products. So let’s understand this cutting-edge technology and its role in UX designing…
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a technique to store information in a decentralized manner. Decentralized means there will be no central authority to control data and information, just like the internet. This is the reason why Bitcoin is based on blockchain. In the blockchain, the information is structured in the form of blocks. Each block is made up of 3 things
- any data stored in the block
- each block has a fingerprint called a hash
- each block stores fingerprint of the block before it
This is how all blocks are chained with each other. If you try to tamper with the data in any block, then that block’s fingerprint (hash) will change. And if the hash of one block changes, then the next block’s hash will also change, and the next and eventually the whole blockchain will be damaged. This is why it’s impossible to tamper with the data in the blockchain.
Blockchains are stored in a network of computers. All computers in the world associated with blockchain do have one copy of the blockchain. Rather than a central authority, it is collectively managed by a network of computers.
Concept Of Node & Miner
People connected to the blockchain through their computers and those who allow running blockchain on their computers are called Nodes. Whenever new data is stored in the blockchain, that data is verified by Miners. They verify whether data is added correctly in the blockchain or is an attempt of tampering. In the case of Bitcoin, Miner gets rewarded whenever they verify data and, interestingly, gets punished for false verification in the form of a penalty.
Privacy Of Data In The Blockchain
We live in an age where personal data is the most valuable asset that a company can possess. Data in the blockchain is secured because of decentralization and private because each computer in the network has its public and private key. Consider the public key as an email address and the private key as the password for easy understanding.
Best Practices For Designing A Better UX
So now the question is how to develop a better UX design for blockchain technology? We have listed some best practices to give you a fair understanding of what practices you can implement to make your product accessible.
First, as designers, we need to understand and educate users about blockchain because it’s a new technology. UX designers will be at the forefront of helping to bridge the gap among users about blockchain. Educate users about your product in simple ways. Stay away from using technical jargon as users may get confused. Use simple language to encourage, inform and guide users towards your blockchain product. Use visuals to make the product more understandable and engaging.
As a designer strive to design products that will make the users’ life easier. This means enhancing efficiency and satisfaction by making it easy to correlate, categorize, and interpret the content quickly. Focus on building user-centric design that helps in building products and platforms that users need and value. To make a user-centric design, you need to understand what problem you are solving, who you are solving it for, and why you are solving it. Ensure consistency to make users feel comfortable when interacting with the product.
Trust & Transparency
The fundamental thing we want to communicate in our design is TRUST. It’s crucial that we gain the trust of our users as blockchain is a relatively new and unfamiliar technology. Design thinking will help you achieve that trust. When you give your users the ability to read and understand the information along with the quality, consistent appearance of the platform, you can gain the absolute trust of the user. Also, letting the user have visibility into what your product does is important. It becomes the designer’s responsibility to show them relevant information, when needed, with easy-to-use UI and informative visuals.
Security is always a priority with blockchain and digital currency in making users feel safe and trusting your product. Users provide sensitive and personal information, and an average user probably won’t be able to verify that information is stored in the blockchain and therefore is secured. Strive for a balance between seamless experience and security. You can make your users feel safer by displaying messages that confirm their security during important steps.
A decentralized technology like blockchain has a lot of functions and processes that are unique to it. The end-user might not be aware of what’s happening during their first few interactions with a blockchain-based application. So designers have to find a way to provide a clear, concise status and progress update within the UI. For example, a simple transaction takes minutes in the blockchain, which is slower than existing payment processes. In this case, we have to give constant updates to users that the transaction is in process and notify them when it’s done.
Make it clear to the users about the transaction fees, time, or that performing a task may have side effects. There is no way you can revert or cancel a transaction when using blockchain, so it is important to make users aware of blockchain irreversibility by displaying messages and asking them for their confirmation so the user won’t accidentally send money.
Invest in Quality Design For Your Blockchain Product
Blockchain is the next big thing. We believe UX design, product design, and branding are vital elements for the success of any blockchain product. Current blockchain UX is facing a few problems that make it hard to communicate with users. Remember designing for any product should focus on the users and their goals. Your blockchain product’s success and sustainability depend on how well-functioning, user-friendly, and easily accessible it is for end-users.