Three Crucial Principles Are Often Forgotten During the Design Process, Especially in the Crypto Industry
It often seems as though startups in the crypto and blockchain space operate in a little bubble.
We see the use of jargon, tech-speak, and what could be described as “industry chatter” at the forefront of many projects, which is fine… to a point.
However, there comes a time when we have to step outside of the industry bubble, move away from the comfort zone where our peers “get us,” and where we exist as a tech company first and foremost.
Where discussing the actual technology itself often takes precedence over the reason why we got to this point in the first place:
Providing a solution to a problem.
If we’re not solving problems, then why are we even bothering? At that point, it becomes nothing more than a vanity project, designed by tech enthusiasts for tech enthusiasts.
If we’re in the business of problem-solving, how we approach design and user experience matters.
The secret to terrific design isn’t determined by how slick we think our product looks, or by how many high-tech bells and whistles we can apply.
The secret to great design lies with great performance, and great performance is only ever determined by the ease with which the end user can access the service and get value from it.
There are three key principals to keep in mind when designing any product, factors that will help keep you and your team on the path that ensures functionality above all else.
Possibly the most critical aspect is clear design, which is usually the first to be lost in the quagmire of over-thinking and over-design.
The very thought of buying and selling cryptocurrency is enough to give many people nightmares, but if introduced to the Coinbase website or mobile app, they’d be forgiven for wondering what all of the fuss is about.
A few years back, the company redesigned the app and unveiled a new dashboard for their users, based entirely on feedback and statistics gleaned from those who use their platform regularly.
Coinbase made it easier to check the latest prices of popular cryptocurrencies and to keep track of your portfolio.
Many exchanges are geared towards the crypto enthusiast, with novice users feeling overwhelmed and intimidated by the experience. Coinbase recognized this fact, and by keeping their design simple, they created an intuitive system which is very clean and user-friendly.
There’s a reason why Coinbase is referred to as the easiest place to buy and sell digital currency.
Designers should always look to create a process where users know what they’re doing and where they are throughout the process, never implementing functionality over aesthetics.
Once a user becomes comfortable with their environment, the last thing you want to do is have them experience a sudden change. There are few surer ways of having potential customers leave your site, most likely forever.
Maintaining a consistent experience across all user paths is crucial, and in an era where we see users needing to navigate between four or five different applications to carry out what should be a simple transaction, this is still a huge problem.
Some newer startups are addressing these types of issues though, with ATRONOCOM offering a decentralized app that offers, under one roof, what usually requires a number of different apps, while the recent purchase of blockchain startup Neutrino by Coinbase is being touted as an acquisition that should help the exchange add more cryptocurrencies and features to its current service.
Consistency is a strength that sees some of the most successful companies on the planet maintain and grow their user base, including the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft.
You should know who your target audience is, and not just so that you know where to find them and sell them on your product or service.
You should always be listening, identifying their pain points, understanding their needs, and modifying your product to suit those key areas.
You may believe that the font you’ve used, or the homepage layout you’ve spent hours perfecting is a thing of beauty.
If your target audience disagrees, you can’t be too proud to make the required changes. If an aspect of your design frustrates or turns your audience off, then it’s no good, despite what you may think personally.
Great design isn’t complicated. It’s just that many companies make it seem that way.