IndustryAug 25, 2022
The Disconnect Between User Experience and Blockchain Technology
It doesn’t take long after discovering cryptocurrencies to realize how complex and involved they are to operate. Granted, many centralized exchanges have invested deeper in user experience research and design over the years, but decentralized exchanges (and applications) still have improvements to execute in their UX/UI systems if they wish to attract more novice users into the space. Finance is a key use for blockchain technology; the primary purpose of Bitcoin was to build a more sustainable, peer-to-peer, cashless economy following the Great Financial Crisis of 2008. Many gifted builders in Web3 have executed brilliant use cases for blockchain technology across a variety of industries; however, the most implemented use case rests in finance and commerce.
As retail and finance slowly trickles into the Web3 ecosystem, these industries need to begin establishing trust and credibility with their customers by creating a seamless user experience for their existing customers. Starbucks, a leader in the food and beverage industry, recently announced a special NFT rewards program for loyal customers. Without diving head first onto the NFT bandwagon, Starbucks is tacking on an extra feature to their Mobile Order & Pay system, one of the brands greatest successes. Starbucks was one of the first to introduce the concept of a digital wallet in retail, before the widespread popularity of Apple Pay.
Although many innovative Web3 initiatives are receiving significant financing and institutional backing, the concern remains as to how the existing community, as well as outsiders with little or no understanding of blockchain, will engage with Web3 goods sensibly. Many start-up applications prioritize technology over user experience, which is detrimental to the long-term viability of a product or service.
Lack of Intuition Within the Crypto Ecosystem
Prior to the development of principles in human interaction design, early computer engineers had to determine how to make graphical user interfaces (GUIs) intuitive for their users. After human behavior psychologists collaborated with early software developers, they decided to name common software parts after real-world objects. For example, they named the PC display a ‘desktop’. A folder on the desktop’s visual interface includes files and typed documents, similar to the conventional office layout.
This similar ideology is not exactly applicable to the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The first step for a new user joining the marketplace is to convert their native fiat currency into the cryptocurrency of their choosing. The new user would need to manage a digital or hardware wallet that acts as a safeguard for their private keys. They would then write down their produced seed phrase, which would serve as a master key to their wallet in the event they got locked out. (Side note: if the seed phrase is lost or compromised, your assets are also lost.) Then there’s a unique string of characters that represents an address for sending and receiving cryptocurrency. If your head is spinning in circles, you are not alone. From the beginning, this technology was controlled and executed by experienced developers, engineers and cryptographers. Regardless of how revolutionary blockchain technology is, it must be applied without requiring users to comprehend the underlying technology.
As a customer walking into the bank and wanting to withdraw funds, they are more interested in the seamless transaction rather than the operations and management that are linked with the financial institution. In order for this technology to be widespread like the internet, the user interface and overall experience needs to be intuitive. Any blockchain or Web3 product should not only improve UX with a pleasant and frictionless design, but also guide a beginner user through blockchain’s functionalities, so they remain comfortable and in control when interacting with your products. Let’s explore the most pressing UX challenges in the industry today.
Improved UX = Higher ROI
It’s no surprise that organizations who invest more in their UX/UI teams see higher returns and retain more consumers. The present design language of the crypto ecosystem is dismal, but as marketers and designers make their way into project teams, they will be able to develop a more sound user experience for their clients. To establish a reputation in the Web3 marketplace, begin with the three UX fundamentals outlined below.
I. Creating Trust and Transparency: Since Bitcoin’s beginnings, the fundamental concern has been that it was a hoax. Although the blockchain is irreversible, hackers may quickly compromise unsuspecting users’ security codes and authentication credentials through phishing attacks, phony mining programs or networks, ICOs, and other means.
Web3 apps must be straightforward and transparent in order to foster better confidence and transparency between the user and the application. Users should understand what the application can achieve for them and ensure that there are no hidden agendas or loopholes that they are unaware of. When dealing with monetary transactions, the user should be able to see transaction (or gas) costs, date, time, and status at all times along the user journey.
II. Eliminating Technical Jargon and Embracing a Learning Curve: Similar to the wallet example earlier, a lot of technical terms are used in the crypto community and are unfamiliar to those with little exposure to blockchain. “Altcoins”, “airdrops”, “minting”, “smart contracts”, are all relatively new terms to get accustomed to for new users of the space. This initial learning curve creates a barrier for users, and their experience with the system becomes lackluster.
For a positive experience that doesn’t discourage the user, carefully place definitions of new terms such as “liquidity” in an easily visible space on the user interface. Small details like this will establish empathy for the user and develop a connection between rookie users and crypto veterans. To develop extensive resources and FAQs would be beneficial for a new wave of users entering the space. Many centralized exchanges implement “learn-to-earn” games that allow users to gain incentives for testing their knowledge of blockchain and Web3. As Web3 terminologies become more uniform and standardized in the business, customers will have a pleasant experience across numerous blockchain platforms. After all, the goal is for people to understand crypto without memorizing the industry’s dictionary.
III. Credibility: To construct a long-lasting and sustainable project, credibility must be established. Users should be able to access firm roadmaps, white papers, documented collaborations and testimonials, as well as a strong community foundation. Another suggestion is to post a series of company profiles in prominent publications in both traditional and blockchain news media outlets. This strengthens credibility and brand recognition, while also improving revenues.
For businesses, builders, and creators looking to adopt these methods into existing projects, Chain offers a variety of blockchain software solutions that help expedite the development process for Web3 apps. The Chain Ecosystem provides expert consulting services to help get your project proposal off the ground, and attract your target audience. Chain has collaborated with a number of businesses, from traditional banking to luxury retail, over the past eight years to help gain traction in the Web3 economy. There has never been a better moment to start a blockchain project. Visit https://chain.com for more information.
Chain is a blockchain infrastructure solution company that has been on a mission to enable a smarter and more connected economy since 2014. Chain offers builders in the Web3 industry services that help streamline the process of developing, and maintaining their blockchain infrastructures. Chain implements a SaaS model for its products that addresses the complexities of overall blockchain management. Chain offers a variety of products such as Ledger, Cloud, and NFTs as a service. Companies who choose to utilize Chain’s services will be able to free up resources for developers and cut costs so that clients can focus on their own products and customer experience. Learn more: https://chain.com.
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