Bringing It All Together: A User-Centered Approach to EOS Voting

by @sf2

As EOS takes it’s first steps over the last few weeks many issues with the constitution, vote distribution, the worker proposal system and referendum contract needed to fix many of the problems people are complaining about have become painfully apparent. We are not focusing enough on educating and activating the token holders AKA — the users of the EOS network, nearly enough.

If we expect to change the things we don’t like about the system, we have to help make them a lot more palatable than what we have been serving up to the general public.

That starts with a user-centered approach to EOS voting.

Unifying The Four Houses of Voting

After many hours of research into the Referendum Contract, Worker Proposal and Proxie Voting groups, and listening to hundreds of users complain, one thing became apparent…

We were only making it harder for our users to interact with the EOS blockchain in a way that would produce the outcomes the ecosystem at large wanted to see.

More Telegram groups. More complexity. More engineer dominated discussions that failed to address the needs of the majority of token holders complaints…

  • Is there a safe EOS wallet to use?
  • When will a hardware wallet be ready?
  • What do I do to recover my token if they have been phished, lost my key or didn’t register?
  • How should I vote?
  • Why should I vote?
  • Where should I vote?
  • Who should I vote for?

Only in the last few weeks have some of these questions been answered to the vast majority of token holders. With less than 30% of the total token supply staked, it is pretty obvious we need to focus on answering these questions and providing a neutral place for everyone to come together.

But There Are So Many of These Resources, Why The Confusion?

I believe it’s a variety of reasons and no one persons fault, but rather all of our fault.

  1. A hyper-competitive environment where BPs only want to send people to their branded tools
  2. Other BPs not wanting to cross promote others tools as much as they could for fear of losing votes
  3. A lack of qualified UX / UI talent willing to put in the work for the betterment of the network
  4. An engineer dominated culture that doesn’t always prioritize usability as much as they could (or are short on #3)
  5. Some key infrastructure that overlooked prior to the mainnet launch (WPS, Referendum Contract, etc…)

There are other factors as well, but those are some of the main areas I think contribute to the current environment.

The Elephant in the Room

Currently, there are 3 separate groups working on…

  • Identifying trusted, objective proxies and activating token holders to delegate their vote (to combat voter apathy) and help improve vote distribution in the top 49 nodes
  • Completing the referendum contract to change the things in the EOS system people are unhappy about
  • A forum to have discussions about governance issues on-chain (not in Telegram) and have the outcomes of those discussions turn into referendum or a worker proposal (if necessary)
  • A means to tally votes on potential referendums worker proposals

My issue is that creating a dozen different interfaces, conflicting information and the ephemeral nature of the communication channels we are using only compound the confusion for the average token holder, especially at this early phase.

We need to keep things as simple as possible and unify our efforts, at least until we have activated more token holders to stake their EOS on the network and have educated them on how the system works.

It has been my position for some time that the complexity of EOS is overwhelming to the typical crypto enthusiast.

We as a community forget that we might as well be speaking Klingon for the vast majority of token holders, and we should move forward in the coming months with a keen understanding of that in everything we put our time into.

Come Together, Right Now

As many may know (or may not know) I was part of the EOSPortal.iocommunity initiate that contributed to unlocking the chain. After doing some thinking on this unique design problem, I realized that a step in the right direction would be to…

  • Combine the Voter Proxy, Referendum Contract and Worker Proposalgroups under one unified effort
  • Spend as much time and resources as we can to educate and activate token holders about how and why it is important to use these systems if they want to see EOS improve and evolve
  • Remove any and all of the typical BP branding you see on these portals and projects to shut down voter bias and encourage every BPC/BP operation across the globe to share the resource to as many token holders as possible

What That Would Look Like

After some thought and a few iterations, I have created a few mockups to share my vision with the EOS community and solicit feedback from all the brilliant minds who have made this chain what it is so far.

A simple means for token holders to vote on referendums.

A flyout menu that connects all of the components needed to get people to interact with these features.

A forum to discuss things that matter to the community on-chain.

EOSVotes.io Is Coming!

Special thanks to all who have been contributing so far, stay tuned…