[Reference] Designing for Blockchain

For product designers, learning to design for blockchain, isn’t to different then the current processes you would go through with a standard project. In many ways there are simply other considerations that need to be taken. I focus on “Clarity” around ease of use as well as “Guidance” enabling a user to understand exactly what to look at and next steps to take.

Since blockchain is still in its infancy there aren’t many projects to use as references for how to design, what to design or even understand how it works. As time permits I plan on diagramming allot of aspects that need to be considered around how blockchains work, data layers and how they work as well as simple templates for designing with efficiency. 

If you are beginning a blockchain project you are most likely designing in one of these categories: App, DApp, Data Layer, Platform

For now I have included some takeaways from articles I’ve read in the past pertaining to blockchain design.

Blockchain Design Principles

Design for trust

Just because blockchain technology is built to eliminate the reliance on trust doesn’t mean users will trust the machine or network.” — Jonny Howle, UX/UI Designer

People want to “see the blockchain” even when they don’t need to.

  • Data Exposure
  • Consistency
  • Constant Feedback
  • Allow for and anticipate mistakes to be made
  • Active Guidance

The user should always know what is happening, what just happened, and what will happen next.


The five principles of trust

  1. Competence
  2. Transparency
  3. Control
  4. Expectation
  5. Appearance


What are the incentives to be part of a network? 
Understand the value of joining a network. Hyperledger is permission based. You need to request/grant access to a participant to allow them to interact within the network.

If you start a network, why would someone join?

What are the user stories? 
Based on the motivations, define the user stories for the participants of the network. For example: As a “network participant” I want to “transaction” because “motivation.” User stories help developers think about the user—beyond technical specs.

What does success look like? 
A successful blockchain application returns a validated chaincode. A successful UX in a blockchain application makes it seamless for someone to start using the application regardless of the technology behind it.


What are some of the challenges you face when designing for users of decentralized apps?
Making things easier to understand and go through, familiar, also trustworthy. 
Question everything (in a productive and practical way). The birth of blockchain itself is a proof of “question everything”.

I really do not see designing for blockchain any different from the rest. I like the idea, novelty and huge potential of the blockchain and this might give the impression that what we design is also new but overall the principles are the same.


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