We h👂 You!
Beam wallet started as a naive product. What could be simpler than sending and receiving the money while maintaining an updated list of transactions? And yet, a few months since the Mainnet release the roadmap just becomes bigger… and bigger. Lots of ideas from small improvements (such as “I’d like to see the total available amount when sending Beam”) to huge infrastructure rework requests (such as “wallet should sync much faster after being offline for some time”) are discussed and prioritized carefully on Beam product meetings.
Unlike most apps that use all kinds of trackers to monitor user behavior, Beam wallet usage patterns are an invisible target: we value your privacy. Therefore, integrating with any tracking software that would “report” your taps, screens and mouse movements straight to our “war room” was not an option. The voluntary-filled anonymous survey was the only way to go (no emails were collected). We’ve decided to design a nice-looking questionnaire (thanks to Alexandra Shelenkova, our art director) and to send it “to the fields”. We’ve got 198 survey results, filled-in with love, and we are sincerely grateful. Let’s zoom into the relevant details, step-by-step.
The “methodology” of collecting features’-related opinions was fairly simple (and yet a bit different from the famous Likert Scale): each feature, described in brief, was accompanied by 4 mutually-exclusive answers:
- First defined the binary relevance of the feature for each particular customer
- Second to fourth would indicate the degree of anticipation for the feature
Question structure (explained by example):
The Features Measured
For each feature, we’ve calculated the “Relevance ratio” (by the binary indicator) and its average score (by normalizing the aggregated points). Here’s the sorted chart:
And here are the bare numbers:
From the survey results, it appears that the most desired and anticipated feature is Atomic Swap. Skipping forward, here are the coins you guys prefer to swap with:
- 69% with BTC
- 45% with ETH
- 19% with LTC
(Sidenote: the work on Atomic Swap is underway)
Back to examples of the less desired features such as the Apple Watch or TV app: some of us actually like the clean interface of their products. But nope, the “field test” doesn’t show up interest high enough.
We were a bit surprised about the little attention received by seed words autocompletion suggestion. Seed words are the key to your funds. As our support said, “the importance of the seed phrase can’t be emphasized strongly enough”. Therefore, in spite of the low enthusiasm, we have several features planned to improve the UX and reliability (such as paper wallet, the other is to verify all the 12 words after they were entered).
We won’t iterate through every question, but let’s see just one more case: localization. The smaller half (about 49% of the users) rendered the feature irrelevant, but the slightly bigger half showed a non-negligible interest :) We will definitely consider it in the future.
Bottom line: we heard you and we’ll try to boost the priority of the following features:
- Show total available balance when sending Beam
- Hide amounts when sending
- New version update
- Click Kernel ID to open Blockchain Explorer
- Attach an editable note to each address
The following features are a harder nut to crack, yet we’ll help them to find their way to production later on (sidenote: can’t commit on the timelines, yet we are proceeding with the best effort all the year through):
- Multi-device wallet
- Completion time vs transaction fee
Why do you like us?
The purpose of this question was to understand what do you guys like about the Beam Wallet.
- 48% mentioned its look and feel, using expressions like UX, design, colors, simplicity, eye-pleasant, attractive, intuitive, minimalistic.
- Another notable differentiator was the wallet UX slickness and speed.
Indeed, our motto is “Cryptowallet for every Granny (when her nephew is around)”. It’s important to add more features while keeping the app nice and easy to use for everyone.
What is missing?
We wanted to know where Beam wallet can do better, so we’ve got a lot of feature requests, here are the most notable:
- 2FA option for sending money out
- Multisig and escrow
- Smart contacts
- Display stats from the blockchain explorer
- Hardware wallets support
- No installation wallet
- Display amounts in BTC/USD/USDT
- Address alias (send to a name/alias)
- Day/night mode switcher
- Read-only wallet
- Embedded VPN
- Buy Beam with Paypal
- GPU mining
- Payments/Tips to an email address (to new, unregistered users) — as seen with byteball
- NFC on a smartphone
You probably know that hardware wallet (Trezor-T) support is underway and that “read-only wallet”, “display amounts in BTC/USD/USDT” or “multisig/escrow transactions” are already on our roadmap.
Having said that, we think that “GPU mining” simply doesn’t fit. The wallet is all about sending and receiving money, interface for miners is a different game and is successfully attended by our standalone miner as well a number of closed-source miners that are available on the market. You might want to look at Hive OS or MMPOS.
(Here should go a message like “we realize that the wallet is not perfect, so we wanted to understand where it hurts most”). Indeed, there’s a lot you’ve asked us to improve. Some are easy as they are already in the works:
- Sync time — I’m glad the article is published after the new fast sync functionality has just been released. We were aware of that problem and major infrastructure rework was done to make the sync lightning-fast.
- Offline payment (A.K.A. “one side payments”) — happy to tell it’s well in the works too.
Other ideas (big and small) will be considered thoroughly:
- Manual approval of each incoming transaction
- Version update notification
- More accurate display of sync remaining percentage and time
- Address aliases
- Keeping the seed phrase on external disk such as Google drive
- Making migration less clunky
- Support transactions queue to solve the problem of UTXO locked during any given transaction
- Fixing a long list of bugs, all of them were included into the grooming session with our dev team
One customer wrote: “Seed is an issue. Too complicated”. It’ll get better with the paper wallet and autocompletion, but the safety of your funds will always be our top priority. I’m sure you’ll appreciate the seed phrase more when you store more Beams in the wallet :)
There’s always a place for more and our final question was aimed to hear about anything else you’d like us to know. First, there was a lot of heartwarming sentences such as “keep up the good work” or “Beam Team = Dream Team”. Your heartwarming comments were well-received. It’s good to know that our keen efforts are positively considered out there.
We’ve also received constructive criticism and actionable suggestions such as:
- Change your logo, nobody likes it 😲
- Beam should push marketing/PR in Asian countries
- Grants for developer improvement proposals
- More liquid exchanges and DEX support would be great
One comment couldn’t be passed unnoticed:
Love the project. I’m actually a music producer and I have crypto influenced album coming out sometime in the near future. It will definitely contain BEAM related lyrics. ;) trying to push for mass adoption. Bless.
To confess, I’m a music producer as well. Dear, anonymous producer, please send us the track when it comes out, we definitely want to hear it. And in case you’d like to make a jingle for us — please don’t hesitate, you know where to find us :)
What we could do better in this Survey
For future surveys, we think that customer profiling could help to have even deeper insights. It would help to know who is Android or Apple “kind of guy,’’ which country the respondents come from or what is every submitter’s main activity in the crypto world (miner, trader, developer, etc). We’ll definitely include those questions in our next surveys.
Deep in the shadows, our dev and design teams stand firmly behind all the work done. They are not always talkative in public, yet we’re all here thanks to their effort and positive vibe :)
Truly, our door is open 24/7. We’re always eager to hear your suggestions. We read all the emails, all the telegram groups, and personal messages. We hear you, we respond and we are thankful for your time, trust and support.