Blockchain Design: Where You Need to Start
Blockchain is a brand new disruptive technology that has been altering the global economic landscape in recent years. What are the touchpoints between distributed ledger technologies and app development and design? Let’s take a deep dive into the matter to see how design can add up to blockchain breakthrough.
What is Blockchain all about?
Technically speaking, blockchain is a decentralized distributed ledger, made up of a series of equally related data clusters (blocks), which are orchestrated to be a part of a single whole. There is no central hub or something within a blockchain, nor it has a one-man rule or supervision that can impact on its constituents.
For the uninitiated, blockchain can be explained as a specific database containing records that can be shared, synced and replicated between the participants of a public or private network.
The distributed ledger is responsible for keeping records of all the transactions within, including the exchange of various assets and data. There is a consensus among the network members on the updates to the ledger records.
The absence of third-parties or single authority makes blockchain the most open and decentralized system so far. Also, blockchain can boast of high security and auditability, due to applying cryptographic signatures and private keys to ensure safe transactions. All these factors spell confidence that blockchain is the very technology every business should take on board.
Introducing blockchain applications
Initially, blockchain was used as a means to promote and sustain cryptocurrency circulation flow. Now, this is a perfect groundwork for business applications development and design. A business owner who requires a trusted ecosystem for processing multiple transactions in any industry will definitely benefit from blockchain-backed apps. Such apps may cover data storage and sync, social network promotion, handling legal contracts, brand exposure in eCommerce, to name just a few. We are witnessing an era of many emerging ways where blockchain is applicable.
The recent survey among the enterprise CEOs shows a strong demand for outside specialists, who able to implement innovative blockchain-based applications. However, it is still unclear to enterprises how exactly blockchain technology will get along with current business models, like protocols and technology stacks. along.
Companies doubt whether to utilize public or private networks, keep using Bitcoins or explore the perspectives of evolving cryptocurrencies instead. Quite obvious, that new ways should be found to integrate with existing systems — CRM, ERP, supply chain, eCommerce platforms and others. Sure thing, seasoned developers and designers will have their hands full with all these challenging projects.
Design solutions for blockchain apps
One should bare in mind, though, that blockchain is only the means to underpin your business success, not a deliverable. Your target audience and buying personas as well as their needs and interests remain the same. They still require a smooth personalized touch when dealing with your apps and services and look for getting treated with optimized UX design.
Here is a list of some touchpoints where design can mostly affect and streamline blockchain applications.
- Human-oriented approach
Although Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) presupposes two-side activities, a good designer has to realize that a tech, computer facet is not his primary responsibility and should rather focus on satisfying human expectations by enhancing user experience via the best design solutions possible. Simply put, customer and user centricity definitely remains the top priority for design even in 2018, providing that designers can make full use of the blockchain-driven approach.
2. Getting feedback outside your bubble
Since blockchain is absolutely new to most of your customers and end-users, you must make it crystal clear to them, why they should opt for innovations of this kind. They are not tech geeks and won’t be happy with having no-frills applications just because the apps are blockchain-backed.
If you don’t want to suffer from customer churn increase and really like to adopt distributed ledger methodology — do your best to please the clients with robust design solutions.
No app release or even MVP must be out in the wild, before you perfectly know customer behavior. To meet their expectations, try to collect and analyze as much users’ feedback as possible. That being done, you will have a holistic and true-to-life picture of what has to be reworked and redesigned to make your blockchain apps more appealing to the target audience.
Since blockchain technology is still unclear to the public, many a customer may doubt if their financial and personal privacy is properly safeguarded.
This is where design comes into play and can improve UX with more credible contact details, info sections, shopping carts and ordering forms. Let them know you remain vigilant in keeping their safety and security.
4. Actionable appearance
Even if your app functionality might be king, an outward look of your products or services is undeniably queen. App design is the first thing customers pay strong attention to while using. It’s what you will be evaluated by and judged on.
That’s why an eye-catching competitive appearance is badly needed. Brainstorm with your in-house team or outside experts to find viable design solutions for web and mobile apps that can be on par with or even exceed conventional non-blockchain software deliverables.
5. Timely and consistent response
Blockchain disruption necessitates some changes in the way applications interact with users.
Firstly, in terms of the time needed for a system to process transaction data and come up with a definite answer. Immediate notifications are a must to provide your customers with valid detail on delivery time, shipping fee and any additional surcharges that may incur. Always let your clients know that confirming blockchain transactions usually requires a bit more time than they might expect. Try to inform what next steps they should take to get the things done. Here you can kill two marketing birds with one design stone — onboard your clients with a newfangled technology and drastically improve their UX and engagement.
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