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How to Design a Good UX for your Blockchain App

Today, blockchain is a buzzword synonymous with security, unchangeability, and clarity. It has captured the attention of business leaders worldwide, with its decentralized, distributed, and tokenized nature. Both corporations and governments are increasingly investing in blockchain projects. 

With a growing number of decentralized applications hitting the market, we’re exploring the essentials of crafting UX designs for blockchain to ensure they’re done effectively.

Early adopters of blockchain, who have been involved since as early as 2008, are well-versed in the benefits and applications of distributed ledgers. They see beyond the hype, understanding how blockchain can benefit businesses in practical terms.

Yet, for many, blockchain remains a collection of complex terms – ‘distributed ledger,’ ‘tokens,’ ‘smart contracts’ – with only a superficial grasp of its practical applications. This lack of understanding breeds mistrust. As enthusiasts of blockchain are not the majority, it is crucial for Blockchain apps to carefully consider how they introduce blockchain technologies into their clients’ daily operations.

Why do you need good UX design in blockchain apps?

Prioritizing UX is essential for encouraging user adoption and engagement in blockchain platforms. Design should always center around human needs, capabilities, and limitations. Here are the reasons why:

Simplifying Complex Concepts: UX design plays a key role in demystifying complex blockchain terms like decentralized networks, cryptographic keys, and smart contracts, making them accessible to the average user.

Minimizing Errors: In blockchain, errors can be costly, such as the permanent loss of tokens. Effective UX design helps guide users, reducing the likelihood of such mistakes.

Building Trust and Confidence: Users need to trust a platform, especially in blockchain transactions where anonymity is common. A well-crafted UX fosters transparency and predictability, thereby enhancing trust.

Gaining Competitive Edge: As the blockchain sector grows, an excellent UX can set a platform apart from its competitors, attracting and retaining more users.

Facilitating Transition: Blockchain applications often reimagine existing services (like finance and supply chain management). A familiar UX helps users adapt to these new tools more easily, enhancing user acquisition.

Reducing Support Dependency: A well-designed UX minimizes the need for user support. If users can navigate and complete tasks independently, they’re more likely to continue using and engaging with the application.

Keeping Pace with Evolution: Blockchain technology is continually evolving. A UX that can seamlessly integrate new features is crucial for adopting the latest advancements in blockchain technology.

Challenges of UX design in blockchain

Designing a user experience (UX) for blockchain applications presents unique challenges due to several factors:

Balancing Security and Usability: Blockchain is highly secure, but the complexity of security measures can sometimes hinder user-friendliness. Designers must find a way to maintain robust security without compromising the ease of use.

Interoperability and Standardization: The lack of uniform standards across different blockchain platforms can lead to inconsistencies in user experience. Creating a cohesive UX that bridges these varied systems is a significant challenge for designers.

Legal and Regulatory Considerations: The regulatory landscape for blockchain and cryptocurrencies is diverse and ever-changing globally. UX designers need to be aware of how these legal factors might influence user interactions and expectations.

Technical Complexity: Blockchain technology is inherently complex. Designers must simplify these complexities without sacrificing key information, ensuring that even users with minimal technical background can navigate and understand the platform.

Onboarding New Users: Introducing new users to blockchain concepts is a hurdle. UX design should facilitate a smooth onboarding process, helping users understand and adapt to the blockchain environment.

Addressing Trust Issues: Given the decentralized nature of blockchain, building trust among users is crucial. UX designers need to develop ways to make transactions and interactions feel secure and reliable.

Data Visualization: Blockchain systems often involve complex data. Effective visualization of this data in a user-friendly manner is essential for users to comprehend and engage with the platform.

Responsiveness and Performance: Blockchain applications can sometimes experience lag or slow performance. Ensuring that the UX remains responsive and efficient, especially during high transaction volumes, is a key challenge.

As blockchain technology continues to evolve, UX designers in this field must stay updated and adaptable. Emphasizing UX design is vital for blockchain’s widespread adoption and success.

5 Common UX Issues that impact Blockchain apps

Blockchain technology, despite its potential, faces several UX challenges, mainly due to limited focus on user experience and interface design. Here are five prevalent issues:

Arcane Terminology

Problem: Terms like “Proof-of-Stake,” “hard fork,” “Geth,” and “seed phrase” can be perplexing for newcomers who might have only basic knowledge from a few online videos.

Solution: Simplify the user interface by substituting complex transaction hashes with more familiar terms like email or phone numbers. Use straightforward, relatable language and provide detailed explanations for any specialized terminology that cannot be replaced.

Difficult Onboarding

Problem: Onboarding in blockchain is often a lengthy and confusing process, burdened by regulatory checks and identity verifications, sometimes requiring additional app downloads.

Solution: Handle regulatory challenges within your application to prevent directing users to other platforms, complicating the process. Engage UX experts skilled in navigating these regulatory waters in a user-friendly manner, ensuring a smooth and informative registration process.

No Explanations of Processes

Problem: Users encounter issues like account problems, wallet complications, and delayed transaction confirmations without understanding why, as seen in a user review expressing frustration over a pending transaction.

Solution: Employ microcopy in the form of user-friendly nudges and prompts to inform users about ongoing processes and recommended actions. When a user action is pending confirmation, display it as intended on the interface promptly, providing more information on transaction status through accessible links.

Vague Security Warnings

Problem: Blockchain applications often fail to clearly communicate essential safety rules, using ambiguous language that leaves new users confused about secure practices, like the use of offline wallets for cryptocurrency storage.

Solution: Identify key points where user funds might be at risk and provide clear, easily understandable microcopy that explains these risks in layman’s terms. Use straightforward, directive language in alert messages to guide user actions effectively.

Unclear Financial Statements and Fees Information

Problem: Information regarding cryptocurrency distinctions (like tokens, mediums of exchange, or stores of value) is often missing. Additionally, inconsistencies in exchange rates and transaction fees across platforms can lead to confusion and unexpected expenses.

Solution: Clearly describe the different types of cryptocurrencies and their uses. Provide transparent and consistent information about exchange rates and fees, ensuring users understand the financial aspects of transactions on your platform.

By addressing these specific challenges with tailored solutions, blockchain businesses can significantly improve their user experience, making their platforms more accessible and user-friendly.

Best practices for a great blockchain UX design 

In the process of crafting an interface that caters to a varied audience, adhering to the best practices in blockchain design is crucial. This approach helped us achieve our objective of popularizing the technology among ELEKS’ employees and fostering a culture of social awareness within the organization. Here are some key best practices:

Ensure Consistency

When introducing new experiences, maintaining consistency is vital. It helps users feel at ease when interacting with the product. Consistent design elements, workflows, and terminologies can significantly enhance the user experience, making the technology more approachable and user-friendly.

Incorporate Gamification

While gamification might not be suitable for serious, enterprise-level blockchain applications involving cryptocurrencies or smart contracts, it can be highly effective in other contexts. For our internal purposes, gamification proved to be an excellent tool for engagement and learning.

Highlight the Irreversibility of Transactions

One of the fundamental aspects of blockchain is the irreversibility of transactions. It’s crucial to ensure that users are fully aware of this characteristic. Clear warnings and confirmations before finalizing any transaction can prevent mistakes and enhance user trust in the platform.

Guide Your Users

Striking the right balance between assisting users and not overwhelming them is delicate. Providing gentle guidance can help users achieve their objectives efficiently and avoid potential errors. It’s important to guide users in a way that empowers them rather than making them feel inexperienced.

Encourage Feedback

Feedback is particularly valuable when offering a new experience, as there may not be established patterns of user behavior. Creating avenues for users to share their suggestions or grievances is essential. This feedback loop can lead to continuous improvement and refinement of the user experience.

By following these best practices, a blockchain-based UX can be designed in a way that is user-friendly, educative, and engaging, ultimately leading to wider adoption and better user satisfaction.

Designing Blockchain UX for trust

When crafting the user experience (UX) for blockchain applications, it’s essential to focus on areas where this technology can add significant value. This includes utilizing blockchain in heavily regulated industries to streamline purchase processes, providing secure blockchain-based data storage, or enhancing the transparency and security of legal contracts. 

We emphasize to our clients that merely adopting new technology isn’t enough to attract more customers; it’s the delivery of a novel level of efficiency or a unique experience that sets a product apart.

Core Principles of Blockchain UX Design:

Designing for Trust: This principle is pivotal as blockchain technology is still relatively new in many sectors, and there’s a scarcity of practical business applications widely recognized. The concept of designing for trust is fundamental because it addresses the inherent skepticism and unfamiliarity that many users have towards blockchain technology.

Emphasis on Practical Application: While there’s ample theoretical knowledge and general design principles available for blockchain, we chose to concentrate on practical application. We believe sharing real-world experiences and use cases, like our internal blockchain-based employee loyalty rewards app, provides more tangible insights and learnable moments for our audience.

Conclusion

Designing a user experience for blockchain applications is a journey that requires balancing technical complexity with user-friendliness. By understanding the common UX challenges, embracing best practices, and focusing on building trust, developers and designers can create blockchain applications that not only meet technical standards but also resonate with users. This approach is essential for the wider adoption and success of blockchain technology, ensuring it delivers real value and an exceptional experience to its users.

FAQs

What makes blockchain UX design different from traditional UX design?

Blockchain UX design is unique due to the need to simplify complex technologies like decentralized networks and cryptographic keys, and to address issues like transaction irreversibility and varying standards across platforms.

Can gamification be used in blockchain UX design?

Yes, gamification can be effectively used in certain types of blockchain applications, particularly those that are not heavily enterprise-oriented, to enhance user engagement and learning.

How important is consistency in blockchain UX design?

Consistency is crucial in blockchain UX design as it helps users feel comfortable and confident while interacting with the product, especially when they are new to blockchain technology.

What are the key challenges in designing UX for blockchain?

Key challenges include simplifying complex terminology, facilitating user onboarding, explaining processes clearly, providing clear security warnings, and ensuring financial transparency.

Why is designing for trust important in blockchain UX?

Designing for trust is essential in blockchain UX because the technology is relatively new and unfamiliar to many, making user trust a critical factor for successful adoption.

Can blockchain UX design address regulatory and legal considerations?

Yes, blockchain UX design can and should address regulatory and legal considerations by incorporating features that align with varying regulations and by informing users about legal aspects affecting their interaction with the platform.

How can feedback be incorporated into blockchain UX design?

Feedback can be incorporated by creating channels for user suggestions and complaints, which is vital for continuous improvement and adapting the design to user needs.

What role does microcopy play in blockchain UX?

Microcopy in blockchain UX plays a significant role in guiding users, explaining processes, and preventing errors, especially due to the technical nature of blockchain.

Is it necessary to have technical knowledge of blockchain for UX design?

While technical knowledge of blockchain is beneficial, it's more crucial to understand user needs and how to simplify complex concepts for a diverse audience in UX design.

How can blockchain UX designers ensure security awareness among users?

Blockchain UX designers can enhance security awareness by providing clear, understandable instructions and warnings about potential risks, and by educating users on best practices for securing their assets.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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