Crypto needs design thinking

Bitcoin and all of crypto started as a niche concept. It’s aspirations are high and honorable. Create a currency that transcends borders and governments that will allow everyone, no matter economic background, to send currency across the globe. But I’ve always wondered why most people find it hard to use bitcoin or any crypto?

We have Venmo, Cash App and Google wallet. Why are these apps more acceptable for the average person to use then QTUMs or even Jaxx (Sorry Jaxx). I think I have the answer, bad design.

Can Design Save Crypto?

Yes, design can save cryptocurrencies. How? The difference between wallets and Dapps is the user experience behind the product, the design thinking.

A good product has an ease of use, a lack of extra technical jargon and information that frustrates the average user. Think of Windows vs. Apple, a car with a stick shift vs an automatic. Is your product for other developers or is it for a person that just wants to accomplish a task and doesn’t care about the extra details you do? A mother of two in a street market should be able to pay for some fruit with a crypto wallet on her phone. But she won’t because the interface for a mobile wallet is too complicated or in some cases ugly.

Interfaces are the one thing that can make or break a digital products adoption. Look to Capital One or the Robinhood App. users flock to them because there easier to use not necessarily because it saves money. Major financial institutions have bought design studios to help with their design failings.

Why Did a Bank Just Buy a Design Firm?

Capital One Acquires Oakland-Based Design And Development Firm Monsoon

With this idea in mind I started Rhino & Spade,LLC. A design studio with a focus but not limited to cryptocurrency. The first project was a conceptual redesign of the QTUM wallet.

The original QTUM design from Dec 2017

The Original design from Dec 2017

QTUM Redesign Concept 1

This was my first pass at re-thinking what a desktop based crypto wallet could be. I chose the font to reflect what I (foolishly) thought at the time would speak to developers. Its my favorite font to code in myself and it’s very easy to read at a small size. So reading data in tables would not be an issue, shoutout to Fira Console. The dark background was there to ease eye strain common to many users who spend their days in front of a computer.

But this is the problem I spoke about before. Designing for coders, not for day to day users.

QTUM Wallet Redesign Concept 1

QTUM Redesign Concept 2

This concept was tailored toward the average user. Notice the bright color accents. They draw the eye to any major issues. The fonts are still readable but don’t look like the background to the matrix movie anymore. And that takes away the sense of hackerism or fear of the terminal most people feel when even talking about cryptocurrency.

This design is approachable, is similar to what someone looking at a well designed financial app would like to see. Yes it’s a little technical, we are talking about money here, but easy to digest.

QTUM Redesign Concept 2

Let’s not make the same errors the banks have made, and are still making. They don’t care about how people interact with their funds, they’d be happy if people didn’t actually. Banks make more money for every mistake a user makes. But that’s not what bitcoin was made for. It was so people have power over their funds. Design so that interaction is easy and at the right moments enjoyable. With that thinking users will flock to your product, use it because they can accomplish a task easily then the banks system. And isn’t that the true goal of cryptocurrency?

This is why Rhino & Spade, LLC exists. To get those crazy ideas out of your head developers and make them accessible to the world. Drop us an email, we’d like to help.