Prineel Bandellu is OST’s lead UX designer with seven years of experience designing SaaS and consumer products from the ground up. With his user-centered approach to problem-solving he has designed high-impact web solutions with strong emotional appeal across various domains. Prineel is based in Pune, India.
Tell us about yourself!
I’m from a small town called Ahmednagar, which is near Pune, where our office is based. I attended high school in Ahmednagar. Then I moved to Pune for my design schooling. I graduated from Symbiosis International University with a degree in communication design, specializing in UX. Right after college I worked on a small startup called Hepsiba. It was basically a design and advertising house. I then worked at True Sparrow Systems, followed by Fab.com. I have been working with OST’s Jason, Nishith, and Sunil for the past seven years on products for Fab, Hem, Pepo, and now OST.
What piqued your interest in blockchain technology?
I started reading about blockchain at the end of 2016, when the hype started. I remember reading an article titled something like “Here’s Why Blockchain Will Change the World.” That’s when I actually got my first dose of blockchain. The article outlined what blockchain is and what distributed ledgers are and how peer-to-peer transactions could be trustless. My experience was confined to reading until Jason started exploring how we could use the technology to build Pepo’s branded token economy. What interests me is understanding the possibilities of the applications of cryptocurrencies for business. There’s a lot user experience designers can do to help achieve mainstream adoption of the technology.
What does your role as lead user experience designer at OST entail?
There are two major aspects to my role. First, I work hands-on in product design, mainly for OST KIT. I ensure that our partners have a seamless experience in designing their token economies and integrating their applications. Second, I work to ensure that all OST products have the same design language. We have a UX revision process in place to make sure everything aligns with our design standards. Apart from that, I work on design management activities to ensure that all members in the design team have the opportunity to grow and learn.
What is the most challenging part of blockchain to convey with a seamless UX?
The wallets are the most difficult to convey because they’re completely different from real-world wallets. You need the users to understand that they are their own banks. There is no central authority. Users need to understand that it is crucial for them to save and safeguard a seed phrase so they can access their wallet. This is a very difficult problem that everyone is trying to solve. In addition, users are very accustomed to getting instant feedback for transactions, but that’s not necessarily the case with blockchain. For example, when partners interact with the Ethereum mainnet via OST to stake and mint their branded tokens, feedback can be sluggish. However, once they interact with OST side chains, which are extremely fast, they will be provided with feedback immediately.
What has been your most challenging and rewarding project?
The OST alpha launch was the most rewarding and challenging project that I’ve worked on because it is something that no one had done before. There was no real reference point for us to grow from. We were working off of research that we had done. Since we were launching the product for the first time, we could not go out and validate it with the community before the launch — we had to validate the design with internal stakeholders. It was really rewarding. I learned a lot, the community embraced the product, and developers loved it.
Thank you, Prineel!
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OST blockchain infrastructure empowers new economies for mainstream businesses and emerging DApps. OST leads development of the OpenST Protocol, a framework for tokenizing businesses. In September 2018 OST introduced the OpenST Mosaic Protocol for running meta-blockchains to scale Ethereum applications to billions of users. OST KIT is a full-stack suite of developer tools, APIs, and SDKs for managing blockchain economies. OST partners reach more than 300 million end-users. OST has offices in Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, and Pune. OST is backed by leading institutional equity investors including Tencent, Greycroft, Vectr Ventures, and 500 Startups.