- Juicero Raised $120M to build a sophisticated machine to make juice from pre-cut fruit cubes — something you could easily do with your hands! The company went out of business shortly after customers discovered this! Above- the sophisticated Juicero Machine Unassembled.
Cryptocurrency is often touted as the great equalizer when it comes to technology and finance. With blockchains underpinning them, cryptocurrencies enable an era in which anyone with an internet connection and a mobile phone can seamlessly connect to the global internet economy. Hang on a second though, letʼs rewind the tape a bit. Thatʼs what cryptocurrencies are supposed to help us do. However, as of yet, theyʼre still way too complicated to go anywhere near those promises. At its core, the complicatedness of crypto is really a question of mass adoption. What is holding crypto back from world-wide adoption when all of the pieces of tech seem to be there already?
Using Crypto Is a Hassle
Chief amongst the issues hampering crypto adoption is the sheer difficulty involved in using it in the first place. Think back to your early * noob* days as a crypto user. Did using a Bitcoin wallet come naturally to you? How about the concepts of public/private keys, confirmation times, and tx fees? Even if you were coming from a tech-related background, cryptographyʼs concepts are so unfamiliar that using crypto wasnʼt any easier. Hereʼs the thing — using any piece of technology, whether itʼs your laptop, iPhone, or microwave would be difficult if it wasnʼt for an easy to navigate experience. Creating such an experience comes down to UI/UX (User Interface/User Experience) design.
When designers sit down with a piece of raw technology, they need to figure out ways to make that technology understandable and usable by the most amount of people. Additionally, the technology needs to solve problems that actually exist, instead of creating new problems based on questionable function. A great example of poor UI/UX design is the Juicero juicer. After raising $120 million to build a seemingly advanced vegetable and fruit juicer, Juicero went out of business once users realized they could squeeze the machineʼs juice packets by hand to achieve the same result. Blockchain-based applications are at risk of falling into similar conundrums.
If you take apart a Juicero juicer, all of the technological pieces are there to create an amazing piece of machinery — but the question, from a usability standpoint, lies in how one arranges those pieces. Sending cryptocurrency could be as simple as sending an email or making a payment using PayPal. The unfortunate reality, however, is that despite Bitcoin celebrating its 10th anniversary earlier this year, weʼre seemingly no closer to a one-click payment reality than we were in 2009.
Making Crypto Easy to Use
If the goal is to enable people to make payments with cryptocurrency on platforms like Amazon and throughout the internet, then there are certain design goals that need to be met.
Fees — Cryptocurrency fees tend to be high. Even in instances where they seem low, they arenʼt much lower than credit card or PayPal transaction fees, making the incentive to use crypto even less than it already is. Fees need to be as close to free as possible give crypto a proper widespread appeal. Simple
DApps — DApps like Augur have had the longest time to develop, yet are still mind-bogglingly difficult to use. Placing a bet on Augur is still referred to as “making a market,” and doing requires so many steps that a beginner in the crypto space simply canʼt be expected to figure it out. Centralized applications, on the other hand, are dead simple. Crypto should take note.
Blending in — People like new things, but they donʼt want to use too much effort to learn them. The crypto learning curve, as it stands today, is quite extreme. New users simply canʼt be expected to pick it up en masse. Thatʼs why crypto apps need to disguise themselves as normal apps that people already know and love. By following these intuitive design goals, crypto will easily fulfill its promise of becoming the next revolutionary asset class and technological breakthrough.
This article is the first in a series of articles on cryptocurrency use by the BuildWithDash Campaign- Promoting worldwide crypto adoption through real use case building with Dash!