“UX and Onboarding in ETH Denver”

A true sign of Ethereum’s pending mass adoption was the focus on good user experience in this year’s ETH Denver. While it was more than enough to just ship some clunky proof of concept in hackathons of yesteryear, 2019's mature ecosystem demands non-crypto people can also use your DApp.

“We can’t stop here, this is buffalo country!” (all image rights belongs to their respective owners)

Welcome to the land of the Bufficorn

“We had four bags of starbursts, two-hundred pairs of socks, two colorful roll-ups, a duffel bag half full of assorted swag, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored stickers, magnets, flyers… 
Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious swag collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.”

The second ETH Denver took place in Denver, Colorado this February, as more than 2,000 developers, makers, and crypto-enthusiasts congregated in order to hack, buidl and talk blockchain.

For the Portis team, this was the first time attending (and sponsoring) this magical hackathon, and if you’ve ever been to one of these Ethereum ecosystem events, you know the feeling. The thrill of spending almost a week with the Ethereum community, holding long discussions about decentralization over beers and seeing the astonishing projects they are all working on — can make your head spin.

But unlike previous Ethereum hackathons we’ve seen, there was something else in the air in this one. As if the whole ecosystem gained enough XP and leveled up. Projects were no longer just barebones proof of concepts, demonstrating some new and exciting DeFi concept. These were web3 apps that you could use with minimal onboarding, with an interface and user flow almost exactly like web2. Most importantly, they did not focus on the fact that they are decentralized.

Your users don’t care about blockchain

As the sun rose on the last day of the hackathon, we were delighted to see that there were plenty of hackers who selected Portis as their web3 provider of choice for their project. In the end, we had to make some really difficult choices, and only two out of all of these projects were selected as our hackathon bounty winners.

One such hackathon project was Pactful, which won both the ETH Denver Impact Track and first prize of the Portis bounty.

The Pactful team aimed to solve the problem of crowdfunding for social good. Although they’re using token bonding curves under the hood, using their decentralized app feels as easy and simple as using Indiegogo.

By designing a simple crowdfunding campaign interface we are able to distill the complexities of the token bonding curve into an adoptable user experience that people could start using today (reason we used Portis!).
- Pactful Team ETH Denver Bounty Submission

Check out this wonderful blog post by Abbey Titcomb explaining their hack build: https://medium.com/@abbey_titcomb/crowdfunding-the-commons-d590238d8c3c

The runner up of the Portis bounty was ProjectMap. Its team members were also successful in creating a user interface that feels familiar and friendly. Their project introduces the blockchain to crowdsource mapping, by employing a royalty mechanism alongside traditional bounties, and of course — frictionless web3 (https://github.com/justinschuldt/project-map-browser).

A community like no other

Throughout the hackathon, we talked with developers during their sleepless days and nights, helped them debug both our code and theirs, and listened carefully to their suggestions. Our belief is that Portis should be easy to use, but also easy to build on. That’s why we simply live for these conversations. It’s the only way to grow.

We can’t wait to see what else this amazing community will build. Strap in, it’s going to be quite the ride.

“Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run, but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant.” 
Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

The Portis Team

Have any questions? Join the conversation on our Telegram and Twitter. Ready to #BUIDL? Head on to our docs.