F and Trends to Popularize the Technology
Blockchain technology is revolutionary as it decentralizes certain parts of our economy, eliminates intermediaries without added value, and traces precisely the origin of our food, with tons of other added benefits.
This partial transformation of our society, however, is only in its infancy and requires mass adoption of tomorrow’s products and services that will be based on the blockchain.
For several years now, user-centric design has been helping startups from all sectors to attract and retain their users, it has become the main key success factor for many entrepreneurs.
Also read: Introducing Blockchain | Creatibuzz
Design, and, more broadly, user experience, increasingly determine the success of a digital project. The underlying technology is at the service of the end-user, not the other way around.
However, the topics of user experience and UX design don’t seem to be the priority for Blockchain Design Principles startups.
At the dawn of the blockchain era, innovative startups and developers are building projects to exploit what this new technology can offer, focusing on the technical aspects, as in the early part of the internet. Among the excitement around the valuation of bitcoin, altcoins, and the excitement around decentralized systems or “smart” contracts, a major component is often overlooked: Understanding what users want.
UX is one of the key components of the democratization of blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies.
These technologies must bring value to the end-user. No one must have to understand how Blockchain Design Principles works to use applications built with this technology.
The world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain is led by technical innovators and early adopters, often from the tech world, realizing the vast potential of blockchain technology, but also the mass adoption it will require.
Blockchain Design Principles is beginning to apply to concrete cases such as food tracing, remuneration, and protection of artists’ rights, instant and disintermediated money transfers, or identity security.
However, it is currently opaque to audiences outside the tech ecosystem and can be complex to understand. Confusion is exacerbated by:
- Often technical jargon
- Uncertainty about the true added value of blockchain projects at the moment
- Rumors proven or not around cryptocurrencies (tax evasion, laundering, high volatility, many cases of hacking …)
All this does not help to build trust in the eyes of the general public, so we must redouble our efforts to create trust!
Mass adoption of Blockchain Design Principlesis a design issue, not a technological one
Instead of looking to build everything that can be built, startups need to communicate with potential users, analyze user needs, and seek to fill in the gaps in a market, with a product that users really need. Good positioning, relevant UX Design, and plain language are the key to accelerating mass adoption.
Build products that users need
Software and web development has shifted from a focus on technology to design principles centered on user needs. The reference companies today on the web are the companies that have built a product that meets exactly the needs of the consumer such as Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, or Uber.
By understanding customer needs, behaviors, and friction points, product teams create technical solutions that add value to users over the long term.
Blockchain startups with technical challenges that are already difficult to overcome, however, should not neglect UX. If blockchain applications really want to change today’s industries, entrepreneurs and developers need to incorporate the principles of user-centered design to build better products and services.
Here are 4 ways to apply the principles of UX Design to your blockchain project:
Blockchain Design Principles #1 – Design for Humans
Design for humans is an iterative process that allows you to make the best decisions to build a useful, relevant, and intuitive interface for the user.
It is essential to understand the problem we are solving, for whom we are solving it, and why.
Design thinking and design sprints will quickly generate many ideas and test them with users, before embarking on the writing of a white paper and the technological feasibility of a project.
Blockchain Design Principles #2 – Design to Build Trust
As websites and design trends evolve, user research shows that users’ priorities for assessing a site’s credibility remain the same. The Norman Nielsen Group, a reference in the UX industry, has identified 4 credibility factors for a digital product: quality of design, presentation of information, relevant content, and a connection to the rest of the web.
These factors increase the trust that users will bring to a blockchain project, added to more specific factors for ICOs (initial coin offering), many of whose projects have been scams, it is necessary to redouble efforts to create trust:
- How will the funds be used?
- What is the status of the product?
- What is community commitment?
- Keep users informed of progress.
- Absolute transparency on the needs, the team, the feasibility of the project
- UI and consistent iconography
- Jargon-free language
- Use current design conventions so that the user doesn’t have to relearn
Blockchain Design Principles #3 – Design to Improve Understanding
Ledgers, mining, proof of work, hash, protocols, smart contracts… All this is very technical jargon.
Industry pioneers bear the burden of having to educate their users about how the technology works and its benefits.
But, how much of the technology do users need to understand?
A similar question might be, how much of TCP/IP technology do users need to understand to send an email? The answer is: NOTHING.
Even if the technology is at the foundation of service, the end-user does not have to understand it in order to use it. Having empathy for potential users and understanding behaviors towards a product or site will simplify the message to make the information clear and high added value.
The principles of UX Design can help create an intuitive experience that requires no technological background.
Users want to understand the benefit of using a blockchain-based product and will use it if they feel the benefit is sufficient for them.
Blockchain Design Principles #4 – Design to differentiate yourself
Cryptocurrencies and exchanges will have to compete with PayPal, Venmo, Lydia… to be adopted by the general public.
These products meet a specific need, offer a fluid user experience, simple, and have been tested and optimized continuously.
Blockchain-based social networks will need to be better and bring more value to the user than Facebook or Instagram to grow. The road to mass adoption will be long!
Blockchain Design Principles: Blockchain Website UI trends
8-bit Design Characteristics:
Many crypto websites nod to 8-bit pixel designs. It’s computery, retro, and very visually distinct.
Pickle uses pixelated green lettering. These vintage styles have a retro, techy vibe to them.
What makes it so effective? The future can be frightening, and 8-bit design gives new technology a familiar, vintage, and nostalgic sense while maintaining a technological feel. It’s no surprise that 8-bit aesthetics are prevalent in crypto and Defi website design.
Because colors have such power, firms in the same industry tend to gravitate toward specific hues to send a visual message. Those colors are frequently bright in bitcoin and Defi website design. Bright purples, pinks, yellows, and gradients are among them. Cryptic, for example, makes extensive use of yellow.
Bright colors are particularly appealing because they provide a sense of freshness and inventiveness. These colors are especially effective because many crypto and defi websites have dark backgrounds.
Without dark backgrounds, what is crypto? On crypto and defi websites, dark designs are so ubiquitous that they’re nearly a requirement.
Designers must be cautious, though, because good dark themes are difficult to achieve. There can’t be too much darkness on the page, and there can’t be too much brightness in the accents. Furthermore, reading white writing on a dark background can be difficult.
This is particularly critical for cryptocurrency websites, as they frequently feature extensive technical explanations. The dark theme, on the other hand, is a standard in the industry. It’s a delicate skill, which Fyresite’s guide on dark themes in UI and web design explains in detail.
Regardless, the dark theme is a must-have for crypto and defi websites.
Splendid illustrations / Isometric illustrations
What is a cryptocurrency website without a vibrant image? These illustrations are typically filled with pinks, purples, yellows, and gradients, and they all have a heroic flair.
A detailed image of brave people wielding magic coins appears on Kraken’s landing page.
However, this isn’t the only image that matters. To achieve brand consistency, the entire website is filled with illustrations, all of which adhere to the same visual style.
Other styles, on the other hand, are used by the majority of crypto websites. Ethereum depicts a future environment with lines and colors.
Images are incredibly popular for communicating visually, regardless of style. It undoubtedly gained traction as a result of Ethereum’s popularity, but it’s still a very useful visual tool.
Futuristic, but Playful
It’s no surprise that crypto and defi websites strive for a future aesthetic, but that’s only half of the story. The majority of the futuristic artwork and design choices are also lighthearted.
District0x is a great illustration of this. They use vivid blues and animated pipes that run the length of the page. It’s not only futuristic; it’s also fun and upbeat.
Other cryptocurrency-related websites are similar. Isometric cities, sci-fi supercomputers, and other themes recur frequently.
Ethereum is most certainly influencing many of these design decisions. The Ethereum website is filled of future drawings that are both entertaining and informative.
Many Ethereum-based technologies take influence from it since it plays such an important role in the crypto ecosystem, setting a joyful, futuristic tone for crypto and defi design.
Minimal, modern-looking with good use of parallax movement
Blockchain websites with a minimal interface draw the attention of older generations. It creates this familiarity of normal websites but has elements of modernity.
Minimalism clarifies exactly what the contract must prove, as well as the least logic and data needed to build the proof. Minimalism is the first line of defense against faults with potentially serious effects. The ideal is something that is so simple that it has no flaws.
Finally, the subjects dealt with by the Blockchain Design Principles are often delicate subjects: money, identity, health… You really have to bring trust and have no dysfunction for users to turn to these technologies.
The tension between UX, which seeks to simplify the experience for users, and decentralization, which seeks to give control and transparency to users, should not exist. It is possible to reconcile the two approaches.
Successful startups continually focus on their users and needs. This will not change with blockchain-based systems. We will achieve global adoption by providing great experiences.
In the world of the web, it took more than 20 years for UX Designers to be in charge of creating tailor-made experiences for users.
Before that, the creation of the product was on the side of the technical teams. The designers only served to make the whole thing “pretty”, not necessarily functional, intuitive, and in line with the needs of the market, as is currently the case.
Let’s avoid repeating this mistake, to solve problems on the road to the global adoption of the blockchain, UX/UI designers must be involved in projects from the ideation phase of blockchain-based projects or smart contracts.
It’s the right time for designers to take part in the transformation of our society!