Blockchain image via Unsplash

Why we need better blockchain content design

by Hunter Gebron

  1. There is an abundance of new terminology and a lack of standardization.
  2. The usability of most blockchains is slow and cumbersome.
  3. Protecting users’ funds from hacks or user error is vital but hard to do.

Challenge #1: An abundance of new terminology and a lack of standardization

Challenge #2: Most blockchains are slow and cumbersome

Microcopy example from MetaMask

Challenge #3: Protecting users’ funds from hacks or user error is vital but hard to do

Alert error message example from Polkadot Substrate Portal
  • The first sentence, “Do not transfer funds directly to a specific account,” conflates “funds” with Kusama (KSM) — the specific cryptocurrency that’s required. Since Kusama is the only crypto accepted here, calling it “funds” muddies the waters and could lead users to think they can send other types of crypto like BTC or ETH to crowdloan teams — which they cannot.
  • Additionally, the first sentence also tells users not to transfer funds “to a specific account that is associated with a loan or a team.” But many legitimate projects are hosting separate websites with user-friendly UIs designed to make it easier for users to contribute. This sentence sends mixed signals to users and interrupts marketing efforts conducted by crowdloan teams.
  • Very few people know what “crowdloan runtime module” or “runtime” means — it’s best to avoid obscure terms like these altogether.
  • It doesn’t explain the difference between a fund being “dissolved,” “expiring,” or “ending.” How will users know how to parse this information?
  • It vaguely alludes to the risk of sending funds to accounts outside of this portal but doesn’t explicitly state those risks, for example, “scammers,” “hacks,” “phishing attempts,” “buggy code.” We should give the user a precise understanding of the specific risks associated with making contributions outside this portal so they can make an informed judgment.

Conclusion

  1. Distilling complexity down to its essential parts.
  2. Constructing sentences that are understandable and clear to help users take the next indicated in-product action to accomplish their goals.

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