Encouraging developers to build for Toshi

I originally wrote this as a design mini-project for Coinbase in January 2018.

Today I gave the Toshi bot creation process a whirl. Having never programmed with Docker, bots, or Ethereum before, I was amazed at how simple the process was. However, the community would benefit from wrapping the docs in a more appealing and usable website.

I took a quick first stab at designing it. Visit the site here, you can follow along the first tutorial and click on the CryptoKitties bot to get its QR code.

Goals

This design aims to provide a friendly first touchpoint with the tools used to build Toshi.

  • It clearly separates the steps the dev needs to do on his computer (to build the bot server) and on his phone (to interact from the client side).
  • It reassures devs they’ll be working with cool, innovative technologies like Docker and Ethereum.
  • It invites devs to check out other bots for inspiration and join the community Slack.

This site also integrates well with the existing homepage, requiring very little engineering effort from the Toshi team.

Future improvements

  • We could use illustrations to make the page look even friendlier.
  • We could add a Request for Bots section where we describe ideas we want devs to work on, perhaps in exchange for ether or community recognition.
  • Some sections of the docs need improvement, I’ve already suggested some edits via readme.io. My gold standard for documented APIs is Stripe.
  • By far the hardest part of the experience is getting some test Ether to test payments with a new bot. Status.im already makes this simpler — Toshi Dev should have a Ropsten faucet.
  • There should be more links to the full documentation. The end of the second tutorial (not included in this prototype) is a good place to link there.