Why Crypto Needs Better UX to Reach Mass Adoption
The learning curve in crypto is steep.
We are confronted by users on a daily basis who have studied, researched, talked with friends, and are still completely lost on how to properly buy, store, trade, and transact with cryptocurrency.
If blockchain and crypto is the future, and it’s up to us (humans) to use it, then this industry MUST adopt a more human-centric UX, UI, and brand storytelling to achieve mass adoption.
Crypto exchanges are notorious for having poor usability and interfaces overwrought with complexity.
Though it’s true that crypto exchanges may be limited by government regulations and the fact that users are unable to purchase crypto with credit cards, they have ways to go to make their interfaces more simple, fast, secure, and less cluttered.
Just one frustrating experience can turn away a potential investor or traders for extended periods of time. Crypto is decentralized, but the information and customer journey should not be.
Blockchain is a means to an end. It needs to deliver something that customers want, whether that is cheaper remittances, easier investing, or any other incredible use case that blockchain has to offer.
Current products bring out too much “blockchain” intricacies to the end user which hurts adoption and simplicity. Open source communities such as crypto place too much power in the hands of developers, and not nearly enough in the hands of product managers and UX designers.
Programmers are often creating interfaces that make sense to them and the interface changes along the way to satisfy the needs of its users. Bittrex is a good example of an exchange with progressive interface updates. The most recent UI change has been met with equal hatred and praise on Bitcointalk, Reddit, and SteemIt. Some traders admitted to switching exchanges due to complications. These are not just problems for developers but project managers and product designers as well.
There is a lot of talk about blockchain replacing or disrupting existing services like banking or identity-verification. But the legacy models will continue to dominate for as long as using them is a more pleasant experience. Anyone interested in killing an old industry with a decentralized alternative needs to think about matching — or out-matching — the old industry’s user experience. The purpose of a product is for someone to have an experience at the end of it.
CryptoKitties caused an all-time high of transactions on the Ethereum network. In other words, it was the most popular Ethereum-based app ever. A lot of people scoffed at this, but the results cannot be argued with. CryptoKitties was fun, and silly, and it hooked users. That is the market telling you what it wants, and entrepreneurs should pay attention.
According to Sarah Mills, Design Director at ConsenSys and formerly IBM:
“Growing pains like the Cryptokitties congestion crisis back in December 2017 was rough on some of the infrastructure teams, but it brought a lot more casual users into the space and forced a lot of teams to reevaluate their user experience.”
This makes perfect sense if we broaden our focus from technology to the broader techno-human system. Computers aren’t much good without users, and if there is a lot of friction at the human interface, the technology will fail at adoption. People were excited about the liberating potential of PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption, but it turned out to be painful to use, and never stuck.
We believe that the exchanges that flourish will be the ones offering the best online experience and the easiest authentication process, all without compromising user safety and security. This inspired us to build a trading platform, now available in beta, that is not just fast and efficient, but also incredibly easy to use.
The crypto space is growing, and the days of “if you build it, they will come” have passed. Brands will have a harder time entering the market and existing players will have to work harder to optimize their products, which means developing more seamless user experiences. There is a clear opportunity in the market to raise the bar on UX. Those who capitalize will reap the rewards.
At Totle, we reject the idea that the trade-off to decentralized systems is a complicated interface. We support DEX trading through our easy-to-navigate interface while maintaining all the ideals of decentralization.