Designing for Blockchain
5
Mar

Designing for Blockchain: The 5 Principles You Need to Know


Blockchain is now regarded as serious stuff, as lots of its projects deal with people’s identities, sensitive information, large amounts of money, and replacing legacy systems that we may not understand fully. Furthermore, blockchain technology is gradually redefining the concept of trust and changing the way we think about issues ranging from our identity to our economy.

It also forces blockchain designers to think in an orderly fashion, considering things from a wider perspective and rethinking their role in building a decentralized crypto future. Despite the media hype about the rise and fall of cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology is still in its infancy, making it the perfect time for blockchain designers to build new systems.

This article will break down everything you need to know about blockchain designs, from how you can design for trust to the design principles.

Designing for Trust 1.0

Blockchain designers need to address a wide range of challenges when it comes to blockchain design. It can be used to help people like the undocumented, the on-the-edge cases, the trafficked, and those with stolen identities. Design Trust 1.0 offers designers the chance to give people back control of their data and even help them monetize their data.

When you remove all the barriers and give control to the people, it will be easy for small businesses to compete with the big fish. Some design ethics when designing for trust are:

  • Avoid jargon and non-actionable data.
  • Use existing UX patterns.
  • Be consistent and have a design system that you use.
  • Create active guidance and feedback.
  • Design for the global nature of blockchain.
  • Allow for and anticipate mistakes.

A big part of designing for blockchain is to make it look legitimate. This can be done via consistent visual design. Avoid the use of pointless animations and excess amounts of guiding users through a process.

Designing for Trust 2.0

When it comes to design Trust 2.0, designers must utilize a human-centered design process before incoporating mechanism design, system thinking, and game theory. Nowadays, designers are urged to get to the interfaces quickly and make them look slick. While this is understandably the result of a high-pressure environment, it is a mistake to jump through hoops so quickly.

Some of the things you can do to design for trust are:

  • Design thinking
  • Low-fidelity
  • User research
  • Collaboration

Design Principles for a “Trustless” Machine

Although blockchain technology is designed to eliminate the reliance on trust, this does not mean that users will trust the network or machine. This is why it is important for a blockchain designer to build interfaces that feel more trustworthy. However, many designers usually confuse user needs with network or system needs.

Here are some ways that a designer can use design for trust.

Trust the Machine

You can use the first design layer to mitigate the aspects of why users can trust the blockchain. You can do this by creating a blockchain design around an existing system that helps the user interact with the machine as easily as possible, while educating users about what is happening.

However, designers must understand the way blockchain works to better understand what can and cannot be changed before designing experiences around things such as wait times, gas, smart contracts, and private key management.

Trust Others

After creating trust in the blockchain, designers also need to help users have trust in the mechanisms that they use to collaborate with one another. Apart from smart contracts, some ways a designer can use to foster trust with others are:

  • Micro-tipping
  • Staking
  • Token curated registries (TCRs)
  • Governance
  • Crowdsourcing

Indicate Trust

Blockchain designers need to create an overt demonstration of trust, i.e., things that humans perceive as trustworthy. These blockchain design principles are usually from design Trust 1.0. Some of the ways you can signal trust are:

  • The user interface should behave in a way the user expects.
  • It should reduce anxiety and cognitive load.
  • It should respect the established conventions.
  • The guides should have consistency.

5 Design Principles for Blockchain

Here are 5 blockchain design principles that you can follow when designing a cryptocurrency.

Avoid Jargon

Cryptocurrency and blockchain are formidable industries to be involved in. It is important for the core group to be passionately involved in the process. However, an average person or designer outside of the hype bubble finds it hard to get excited. This makes it difficult for an average person to get involved in cryptocurrency, coupled with the fact that the industry has a bad reputation as a get-rich-quick scheme.

Dismantle Barriers to Entry

The cryptocurrency market is filled with people inside the bubble, i.e, those who understand the industry. However, it is an unwelcoming and impenetrable bubble to outsiders. People need to be very determined before they get involved in the industry.

Security or Friction?

Dealing with cryptocurrency requires a lot of risks. This is because funds are kept in a digital wallet and there is no way you can get them back if the funds are stolen or hacked. This is why a designer needs to implement security to make users feel safe and trust the product.

Transparent is Key

When deploying something into the blockchain, it can take a lot of time before it is finalized. The length of time it will take to make the changes a designer made public depends on how busy the network is. However, a designer cannot determine if processing the action will take minutes or hours.

Design Thinking is King

Blockchain has a lot of potential and the industry is actively looking for a problem to solve. A blockchain designer’s role is to define problems and make valuable products that can solve real problems. This is why blockchain designers need to educate their companies and call for research and user testing. This will help fight the hype while gaining real user insight.

What Should I Study for Blockchain?

The most important aspect of designing for trust are ethics and the protection of users. However, the trust machine fails if users end up getting harmed by what a blockchain designer has built. The blockchain industry is actively seeking designers who can make changes and bring new insights into how things can be done. With EC-Council’s Certified Blockchain Professional, you will learn about all this in-depth and attain the credibility you need to enter this growing industry.

Join the next batch of our blockchain certification course today!

References:

  1. https://media.consensys.net/designing-for-blockchain-whats-different-and-what-s-at-stake-b867eeade1c9
  2. https://www.ideo.com/blog/designing-for-blockchain-three-ways-to-get-started
  3. https://uxplanet.org/5-design-principles-for-blockchain-14f9745fa61d
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