Bake education into the on-boarding flow step by step

Why: The user has a model of the Internet that doesn’t always match blockchain reality

User onboarding is — by definition — “the process of actively guiding and helping users find new value and success using your product or service”. If done well, that first impression of your product or service will be a positive and lasting one.

Now, let’s face it. Blockchain is still a relatively new space and “newbie” users getting their feet wet on wallets and dApps are still unsure of the value of the technology. If they are first presented with daunting lists of warnings, unfamiliar terminology or no reassurance that the process they followed was successfully completed — it’s unlikely they’ll return and -what’s worse — this poor first impression will be a deterrent for them to adopt the blockchain technology at all.

“You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

1: Communicate the value of your product/service

New users should be able to grasp the core advantages of your product in less than 5 seconds. What makes it unique? And what about it being on the blockchain or using blockhain technology in any way —makes it better?

Handshake provides a brief, personable and clear value proposition — not just of its service, but also of the technology at hand — in just a few sentences:

Handshake helps you keep promises safe by putting them on the blockchain
Handshake is an app that transcribes commitment into code and puts promises on the blockchain. This creates an eternal, unchangeable record of he said she said — without fear of forgery or fraud. Simply create an agreement and tap to shake.
You can choose from a selection of common templates or create your own agreement. All your Handshakes are transcribed into a sleek, cryptographically signed snapshot, viewable in-app, with share function available of course.

The key advantage of dApps is that they allow for fast, reliable and secure transactions. However this is not the impression that a first time visitor to MyCrypto may get as they are presented with a 10-step, panic-inducing welcome message that is not actionable and only leads to more reading material. The product’s value proposition is somewhat hidden in the first step and forgotten by the time the user reaches the end of the walkthrough.

MyCrypto’s 10 step welcome walk-through in their landing page.

2. Build trust.

Help your users develop confidence with your product/service and the technology at hand.

Propy — the global leader in property transactions secured through Blockchain — does that by giving users the key to explore its core features. First-time visitors to the site can see the available listings and perform a search without the need to sign-up. They learn how this dApp will solve their need — they can now buy or sell unique properties in a secure way (ok, maybe not everyone has this problem to solve!) — get to see how that is done through this dApp, and are left wanting for more and prompted to sign-up. This platform also feels as a familiar, centralized application if it wasn’t for the mention of cryptocurrency as the method for purchasing property.

First time users can get a preview of what they can accomplish through the dApp before they sign-up.

Ethlance follows the same approach.

3. Provide an intuitive user experience that does not require background knowledge or extensive explanation & warnings.

Instead, educational information could be weaved in with normal interactions, through in-context bite-size pieces that do not create anxiety or clutter the UI. That’s the approach followed by CryptoKitties during its sign-up process. Warnings or information that would be new to a user only familiar with centralized applications (wallet address, the fact that login information needs to be saved to prevent loss) is provided gradually, as interactions occur.

Right now, it’s possible that most users will arrive to the site with little exposure to blockchain terminology or interactions. With time, that will change. Avoid explaining everything upfront and focus on the essential, while making sure there’s a clear path to main tasks and to answers for the questions your users may have.

Cryptocup’s landing leads users to play and lists answers to common newbie questions under a FAQ section.


In summary, keep it simple. Avoid showing off everything about your dApp and explaining everything about blockchain and just focus on the essential. Lead users to that Aha! discovery moment with your product and ask for as little as possible from them before you’ve proven your dApp to be of worth. What problem does your dApp solve? And how can you reassure your users through the on-boarding process that this dApp will answer their need?