Because transactions on blockchain take dramatically longer than in a centralized network — it currently takes about ten minutes to confirm a bitcoin transaction — users need information on their status and progress during this time. We’re accustomed to confirmation times of just milliseconds — when booking an Airbnb, for example, or splitting a check on Venmo — and peer-to-peer transactions simply take longer to process. As designers, we need to get creative in how we help users understand this difference.
IBM’s design team has proposed several UX best-practices that blockchain designers should keep in mind when “designing for trust,” including consistency and constant feedback. Consistency — from clear iconography to jargon-free terminology — allows users “to feel at ease” and “enables adoption and learning,” while “motion and animation, used sparingly, supports understanding of what is happening.” Any data served to the user should be either actionable, trust-building, or educational. As a rule, they write, more feedback is better than less: “The user should always know what is happening, what just happened, and what will happen next.”
Within a single discipline, there is usually a shared set of concerns, such that in mono-discipline conversations much can be left unsaid. One challenge in conversations with people from different disciplines is that they bring different assumptions to the table. Translating across disciplines means clarifying the impact to different people. For people from various disciplines, the consequences of a position or idea may not be self-evident.