A Simplified Block Explorer

Coin Ninja Launches a completely overhauled block explorer for the masses

Driving Design Philosophy: Don’t Scare Away the Newbies

Let’s face it — the block explorers of today are a perfect representation of the crypto space today. Entirely necessary yet overly complex for the masses to understand.

Verifying the status of a transaction, any transaction, is core to the open transparency that Bitcoin and blockchain promises. Block explorers are a mainstay and they need to be a tap or click away from every transaction.

But what’s also true and inherent to all block explorers today is that while each piece of data associated with TX IDs — fees, hash rate, difficulty, block height etc are all important and informative, to the lay person first taking a look at that it’s altogether confusing. The sum of all parts won’t automatically tell the story of the power of the verified ledger…it’s more likely to simply leave the new user with an overwhelmed sense of confusion.

Blockchain Overview Stats

The overview stats on coinninja.com should serve a single purpose — help me make a more informed decision on sending a transaction now (vs. possibly waiting a bit).

  • What is the current price of Bitcoin ( calculated from Bitcoin average price from several sources)
  • What is the current cost to send Bitcoin
  • What is the average transaction time
  • A quick bitcoin to FIAT calculator because most of the time people aren’t dealing in Bitcoin integers when sending.

Two additional details that are summary level are (1) number of pending (unconfirmed) transactions on the blockchain which should give a sense of a directional trend of the future expected transaction time and (2) the block height or blocks mined. This is important since certain milestones are planned to execute at designated block heights — like a fork or difficulty adjustment (the difficulty adjusts every 2016 blocks in Bitcoin).

TX View: A Receipt Like View that a Bitcoin Novice can Relate to

We wanted to give users who came from our app or any other transaction/address input a very clean, organized and minimalist view of the essential details of a transaction when they first tap into it.

Summary view when a user first taps into a transaction or address

While we will certainly test this hypothesis with our users and adjust if necessary, we felt the fundamental summary details of a transaction include the status, the time stamp, the amount sent and the fee associated with the transaction. This is what we call the “check quick glance” view.

Of course the advanced view, with a single click away, will show the more detailed info like block height, confirmations, inputs/outputs and fee calculation rate in sats.

Live View of Transactions

At the time of this posting there are approximately 5 transactions per second on the Bitcoin network. And the value of these transactions is usually significantly larger than most people would assume.

We wanted to add a fun little way to visualize these transactions in real-time to give visitors a sense of just how real the money being sent via Bitcoin is.

Plans to Enhance the Block Explorer

We will continue adding advanced details, visualizations and graphs to the transaction details but in a way that won’t intimidate the users who will never want/need to see them. This will be a constant balance our design team will be testing with users.

And of course, as our goal is to be the block explorer for the masses, we will continue to serve up educational and informative content in other areas of the site for those who want to explore and learn more about Bitcoin in the process of checking the status of their transaction.

Feedback

As with all of our products, we take user input into account in our product roadmap. We’d love to hear your thoughts, especially what you think about what Bitcoin newbies need to see at a summary level and what should be shown for more advanced views.

Drop us a line hello@coinninja.com or in the comments below.

You can also find us on Twitter or Telegram as well.