Blockchain has had a good run this past decade and things seem to be coming up to speed in the real world. However, there is still something missing, something that is stopping it to go full blown.
Caution! We’re about to get a little techy but nothing to fear about.
So, Jakob Nielsen came up with ten Heuristics for Usability out which we have hand-picked five that can be applied to the blockchain technology which originally he developed for user interfaces.
Visibility of system status
The heuristic believes that the two main components for quality user experience are communication and feedback. Which is very true when it comes to blockchain because the technology itself is so complex to understand at times that changes that affect users cannot be communicated to them correctly.
The official definition states:
the system should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within a reasonable time
The users should always know what’s going on because time is a significant element in blockchain applications. We all are aware of the issues that transaction speed had given us particularly this year.
User control and freedom
This simply means that the users should have the power to affect change on the way the system works. Why democracy works is because of the fact that it allows people to be part of the change – or at least eludes them into thinking that.
It’s important that users are able to find a fine line between anonymity and establishing one’s identity online. Users should be able to control their identity and use the system without compromising their privacy.
Match between system and the real world
One way designers can establish trust is by finding the right mix between the system and the real world. What this heuristic wants us to take away from it is that the system should speak the language of the user’s’; with words, phrases and concepts that are known to the user instead of the language of the system.
Neilsen states that:
even better than good error messages is a careful design which prevents a problem from occurring in the first place. Either eliminate error-prone conditions or check for them and present users with a confirmation option before they commit to the action.”
By building a layer or a barrier between the user and the ledger will keep the errors at a minimum.
Flexibility and efficiency of use
One thing that the blockchain applications lack is flexibility. Lack is a strong word but it’s more limited.
Blockchain enthusiasts agree that education and outreach are crucial to breaking the ice that exists between blockchain and the people. Human-computer interaction and usability professionals is the key to blockchain mass adoption. As it becomes more transparent and trustworthy, the potential will truly be unlocked.