UX++ for Beam mobile wallets

Sasha Abramovich
Jul 7 · 6 min read

Hooray! We treat you like it’s birthday time! In a nutshell, coming releases , namely:

  • Multiple advanced scenarios are supported stylishly without sacrificing the simplicity of the common cases. We value every tap of yours.
  • Do you usually prefer swipe, 3D touch or a “regular” tap? We’ve wrapped all the usage patterns nicely so that you, our valued customers, will productively enjoy the wallet the way you want from the comfort of your chair.
  • We listen and act: numerous features justifiably requested in the April 2019 community survey were implemented (see below).
  • On the privacy side, we’ve introduced and (e.g. transaction data, address or contact along with all its categories) from the wallet, forever. As this info is not stored on the blockchain (but on your device only), you are in full control of every piece of wallet information.

Mimblewimble lays down a great foundation for privacy, yet some concepts like multiple addresses or direct communication between wallets for every transaction pose stimulating UX challenges. Simply said, Mimblewimble is excellent for privacy, but not comfortable for its customers. We embrace these challenges and our design, development and quality assurance teams are working harder with each sprint to shape the wallet for every platform to be faster, easier to use and (not less important) more eye-pleasing. Let’s review what’s in the box for Beam Wallet 2.3 (iOS) and Beam Wallet 2.2 (Android) — the latter (currently under QA) is just around the corner!

☀️ Features

  • Send/Receive screens were redesigned and reprogrammed so that simple actions will require even less clicks yet enabling much greater flexibility when it comes to (re)using the addresses
  • When sending Beam, allow to search for a local address to send from (or create a new one); you can search by address name, category, or value
  • Same about specifying your local address when receiving Beam
  • When receiving Beam, allow to search and use a previously generated address
  • An address can be assigned to a color-coded category for better readability and bookkeeping
  • 3D touch and swipe to quickly access contextual functionality
  • Also, 3D touch will greet you warmly from the launcher in iOS
  • Repeated transactions will save your time when sending Beam again to the same address: choose any transaction, re-edit amount and comment and tap send!
  • Graceful undo for some transaction- and address-related scenarios: when unintentionally deleting an address/transaction or sending money you’ll have a chance to undo it from a snack bar with a nice countdown timer.
  • Connect to specific (read: “own”/“trusted”) node from the mobile wallet.
  • Securely show Owner Key: when connecting to your own node (and your own node only), deploying the wallet owner key will allow the node to monitor all UTXO sent to any wallet generated from the same seed phrase. don’t share your owner key with others as it allows to see all your funds!
  • (drum roll…) Privacy mode to hide balances and UTXO during the face-to-face transaction (no more turning your shoulder to a friend or a customer between pasting his address and tapping “send” — he will only see the amounts of the current transaction)

Improvements

  • “Send all” is supported when sending Beam to avoid coindust
  • When deleting an address all the related transactions can be deleted as well; worth emphasizing yet again that we value your privacy all those addresses, comments and transaction info are only stored locally in your wallet!
  • Seed phrase words will be autocompleted at most after 4 characters
  • Addresses can be shared using the system dialog
  • Link to transactions in blockchain explorer by Kernel ID! This handy feature should be used with awareness as switching out from the wallet to the web server is a privacy risk. Therefore, every customer will need to explicitly approve the feature before actual use.
  • Want to buy Beam? We’ll direct you to the list of exchanges. This feature also takes you to our website and will require explicit permission to be granted.

🛠 Fixes

  • Long amounts are displayed correctly

📚 Lessons learned

We’ve strived for quality and tried to polish every little detail we could find. We needed to re-validate our effort assumptions and to change processes to deliver, discuss and implement the pixel perfect ideas across the teams. Only the bugs cycle had nearly 50 of them squashed in two cycles before release.

It was too fun sometimes when discussions became too spicy about what’s best for our customers. We also took a few days to offer the Testnet version to our early adopters to validate that the wallets work properly.

🍳 What’s cooking

It ain’t a small list above and yet more features are underway! The rest of the screens are going to be redesigned (read: Addresses, UTXO, Settings, and the main screen will look nicer and will come with search and easier navigation), Beam Wallet will “speak” few languages beyond worldwide-English and (drum roll) Restore is coming to mobile.

🗣 Call to actions!!!

If you woke up late to the early testing party, our iOS and Android projects on GitHub (and also the Telegram group) are the right place to report a bug or suggest a feature/improvement.

As the ad says: “What are you waiting for?” Update your wallets now and tell us what else would you need to transform your wallet into a full-fledged financial workstation!

Confidentially yours, Beam Product, Development and QA teams

BEAM-MW

Discover BEAM, a Mimblewimble Implementation focused on privacy, scalability and optin auditability.

Sasha Abramovich

Written by

Unorthodox Head of Product at BEAM

BEAM-MW

BEAM-MW

Discover BEAM, a Mimblewimble Implementation focused on privacy, scalability and optin auditability.