Blockchain VS User eXperience


Posted on: January 14, 2019 by Fabio De Pasquale

To begin with

A blockchain is a distributed database that uses cryptographic techniques to store a growing list of records – or blocks – sequentially. Blockchains can be private, public or owned by a consortium.

This technology uses distributed ledger technologies to enable a new model where trust is established in a peer-to-peer network without the need for a trusted third party, such as a bank.

 

The challenge

Currently, blockchain is a new technology that most people don’t know yet.

How can we build public trust in such a platform?

This is the challenge that all UX designers have to face. Nowadays this technology should be completely transparent for users, who interact with a “normal” application, but this must also provide them with confidence that their transactions are secure.

A lot of people completely ignore that blockchain has a big impact on user experience, because it imposes many limitations, for example it will cancel transactions that could potentially be inaccurate or wrong.

As a result, this technology can be disconcerting for many users, especially when it comes to moving large assets, making big transactions and so forth. It is therefore vital that people see how the process works and have visibility of the data.

How to make Blockchain more user-friendly?

Inform users

The user must always to know what is happening, what just happened and what will happen next time, because trust is something that is earned with time.

Reduce dead times

One big complication is how to manage the waiting time when a transaction is being validated by the chain.

Blockchain transactions take much longer than a centralized network, as result users need some information during the wait. The best and most simple solution is to confirm as much as possible to the users that all transactions have been completed successfully or that they are still processing.

During the information process, it is possible to show internal advertising or important information, but better to make sure information is related to the same transaction.

Tell users that you cannot go wrong

In the blockchain everything is recorded and transactions cannot be deleted, for this reason users must not make mistakes.

This challenge, from my point of view, is the main one for users. There are three most effective ways to prevent users from getting wrong:

  1. Show little information and clearly
  2. Use simple language
  3. Ask for confirmation before continuing with an action that does not allow you to go back.

Conclusion

In the industry, the general orientation is to find ways to make blockchain applications as user friendly as possible, this is not a simple task, but we are very close to achieving it and people are starting to trust in blockchain.

 

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About Fabio De Pasquale

UX Consultant, Worldline
Graduated in architecture EU in the University of Rome "La Sapienza", since 2007 I have specialized in web graphic design and since 2011 in the design of mobile applications. I joined Atos in 2015 as User Experience Consultant at Worldline Mobile Competence Center in Barcelona and where I’m also the UX & Design deputy team leader. My specializations are user research, accessibility and user experience definition for mobile applications, IoT, wearables, vocal assistant and chatbot. I’m part of Worldline and Atos expert network at global level. I have been also member of the Worldline Juniors' Group, an international, cross-functional network of talents.

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