Customer experience in Blockchain land

User interfaces and customer journeys are sub-ordinated to the need for transparency and privacy.

The early settlers in blockchain land have fairly basic needs. They are more worried about lower order needs — safety of their identity, protection of their cryptocurrency, their right to decide. They are also comfortable reading byte code and talking in psduedo code. These settlers are the early adopters — they are likely to be both suppliers and consumers in the ecosystem of the blockchain land.

But as they attract immigrants to their new land, and seek more widespread adoption of their new currencies, products and way of life, they will have to think more about how to market their wares, and deliver the shiny packaging, one-click service and ease of use that citizens of other lands have come to expect.

User experience was hardly mentioned at Ethereum’s recent DevCon2 conference. Presentations themselves were dense with command lines and code. Applications aimed at end users assumed a level of comfort and familiarity with private keys, wallets and other blockchain land infrastructure.

If blockchain land is to be widely inhabited, then more abstraction from the inner workings of the land is required. But will this sophistication come at the cost of the ability to differentiate blockchain from any other technology?