In addition to the video and demo, OST requires the following questions get answered in a post, so here it is. After the answers, I’ve got a ton of screenshots of what was built during this challenge.
What problem does your project solve for and what was the user need for creating your token economy?
The problem is that it’s a challenge for makers or hobbyists to make enough money to do what they love full time. Usually this comes down to volume of sales. It’s hard enough to find side time to make something, let alone market and sell it.
One common solution to this problem is selling products on consignment or at wholesale volume/rates. Both “solutions” add to the problem in their own way, though, by tying up the maker’s money or cutting it in half.
Using a token economy and the network effects of a general-purpose ecommerce platform, we can create incentives for makers to sell each others’ products without cutting into fiat profit.
Stores can earn tokens by listing and selling other stores’ products, and they can use those tokens to encourage other stores to sell their products. Each sale is payment in full without commission or discounted rates.
What was your key goal behind doing the challenge?
I really want to demonstrate an example of a token economy that works within an existing business but isn’t the core of the business. This scenario will be really common at some point, but I think today a lot of businesses haven’t been exposed to the idea yet. I’d like to show the concept in action, since that’s the most effective way to explain it.
How did you plan the design for your wallet features?
What APIs did you use?
I’m using the Balance and Token Details APIs to display a store’s token balance and the conversion values in OST and USD. For the token transaction history, I’m using the Ledger API to get the transactions and the Actions API to define the explanation that gets displayed to the store owner.
What information did you show to the end user and why?
In my case, I wanted to be purposefully minimal with the token integration and avoid crypto-specific jargon and that type of thing. I chose to translate each of RSS’s three major actions into human readable sentences that are specific to Really Simple Store’s token functionality.
For example, in the user-to-company transaction where a store stakes RSS to offer their product to the marketplace, the site says “You offered 10 RSS to put a product in the marketplace.”
However, there’s a link to the full OST View transaction details for any transaction, so if a store wants to know the crypto-specific details, they have access to them.
How did you use design (UX/UI) for how to display this information?
The biggest way UX/UI comes into play is the human-readable transactions list. I wanted it to be clear, scannable and un-intimidating.
Another UX-related consideration was including the US dollar value of a store’s wallet. It was an important decision because that level of transparency goes a long way in a new (and intimidating) space. Even if their total token value is $0.08, at least someone know what they’re working with.
What did you like about using these APIs?
The OST APIs are super easy to use. Adding features for this challenge was almost too easy, and I spent more time building features unrelated to the tokens than I did on the wallet itself. (That’s a good thing… in case that’s not clear.)
What did you learn about designing these wallet features?
One important thing I realized is how Actions can be used in smarter ways to add detail into the transaction history. The history of transactions itself… like what a block explorer would show… is almost completely useless to the average person. It’s like seeing a bank’s internal ledger records when you’re trying to figure out what you spent $100 on last Tuesday. Using actions, we can more specifically say what they spent or earned tokens doing, rather than giving them a transaction id, some addresses, and an amount.
I ended up adding new actions to my economy for this challenge so that the transaction histories can tell a better story.
In the future, it will be interesting to see what the key management and BT exchanges do for the wallet user experience. Right now, the wallet I built is just a transaction history list, but with more wallet-related functionality, I would probably break the transaction history section out of the Settings page and create a more detailed, dedicated Wallet section (wallet.reallysimplestore.com). I’d keep the transaction history on the Settings page, but the wallet would show that and a lot more.
Wow, you made it this far! Thanks for reading! More about OST and the challenge below, plus a link to my Alpha II final post and video.