What are the UI Design Principles of Blockchain Apps and the UX Challenges

By Sam

Blockchain is often portrayed as the next big thing. It presents new challenges in design. The blockchain adds complexity to traditional products. Blockchain is an area that requires your expertise if you are a designer. These are the basics that will get you started and what you need to think about when you become a designer.

Nearly every innovation has the primary goal of making life easier for end-users. Innovations can be transformed into profitable businesses if viewed in a technological context.

Blockchain is already disrupting industries with increased transparency, better data quality, and lower Blockchain Designers cost. It's not just the hype that makes it so popular. Still, thoughtful functionality and creative user interfaces (UI) ultimately lead to success.

It's critical to keep in mind that blockchain is currently not user-friendly. Many consumers still find it challenging to purchase cryptocurrency for the first time. However, as more companies adopt a mobile-first strategy, this is gradually improving.

Blockchain and Evolution

Blockchain technology has evolved into three types: the 'public' type, the 'private' type, and the 'federated/consorted' type. These blockchains have similar functions. They are very similar in terms of their differences.

There is yet more evolution to come! Innovators developed IBM's Blockchain Platform to hasten the development and adoption of a global blockchain network "made for business" across all sectors. Inventor: IBM Additionally, there is Microsoft's Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS), which runs on Azure, and Huawei's own BaaS, which was just recently released and planned to create a smartphone that is Blockchain-ready.

Case Use

Many use cases exist, and people are always developing new ways to leverage this technology. IBM has released a few whitepapers and notes about specific use cases, which can be found on their website. Here is a partial list of use cases where blockchain could (or will) be used.

A lot of Challenges and Implications

Blockchain brought new opportunities and challenges, as well as new pain points. This is the same situation as when the internet was first introduced. After adopting user-centered design principles (UCD), the internet opened up new possibilities, provided opportunities for everyone, and made a positive impact. The designers play a crucial role in delivering the right solutions. Being familiar with the technology and its benefits is crucial, as clients will depend upon us for expert guidance and advice.

Value and Benefits

As a result, the technology has been referred to as the "internet of value" (IoV).

Blockchain technology can be used in business to bring many benefits, including time savings, cost reduction, risk reduction, and increased trust. These values and benefits will enable us, designers, to see how blockchain technology can transform our clients' businesses. We also have the confidence and knowledge to help them find the right solutions that fit their needs. However, the business must have a network to ensure that a blockchain-based use case is successful.


It is often said, "With great power comes great accountability." This is a very relevant statement when it comes down to blockchain technology. Blockchain restores control and ownership to the rightful owner, eliminating dependence on third parties and central authorities. Although this level of control and empowerment (refer to the locus of control), users must take full responsibility for their data. This is especially true when it comes to crypto-coin wallets. If a private key (password) is lost, both wallet and coins are permanently lost and cannot be recovered (unless backups have been made). It is important to take measures that ensure password security and protect sensitive data. Finally, the records in the blockchain are immutable and intolerant of typo errors. Also, the blocks cannot be reversed.


Blockchain records are transparent as they are stored in a logical stream (provenance), which can't be reversed (immutable). The 'proof of work' protocol ensures that data integrity and quality are maintained while eliminating any possibility of manipulation or temperament. Two aspects are required to undermine transparency, despite this advantage.

  • Influential (psychology). Some people might still be adversely affected by the idea that a "distributed ledger tech (DLT") is possible, especially when classified data is involved. The media hype and Bitcoin volatility have fueled skepticism to a certain degree. It is important to understand that Bitcoin operates on the blockchain. However, there are other uses for the technology. Systems designers need to be able to educate and inform their clients. People are becoming more comfortable with this technology. Still, others need to be educated before they can trust and accept it.

  • Technology (tangible). The blockchain introduced new processes with jargon, such as Gas, Gwei, and Hash. The system can communicate statuses that contain advanced technical terms, hashes, and long alphanumeric codes. This technology has one limitation: 'latency' or 'processing times. This is only a problem in public blockchains. Block confirmations can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to confirm. This could cause panic if transactions are involved. It is important to give users access to help documentation/FAQs to assist them. This will increase trust and provide peace of mind.

Respecting fundamental human wants, as Abraham Maslow (1943) emphasized in his "hierarchy of Needs," is what it ultimately comes down to (a motivational theory in psychology). Before presenting and delivering the final design solutions, Dedicated Blockchain Designers must ensure that each client's needs are addressed. In our setting, these are the priorities that should take precedence.

Additionally, we must respect the viewpoints and, even better, the mental models of our consumers. This will help us during the iterative design stages to make wise selections. These are made stronger through receiving input, such as through user research, contextual queries, and other methods. Human-computer interaction key idea is mental models. They offer a comprehensive interpretation and understanding of how something works based on prior experiences with similar characteristics. This will enable us to create a design perceivable by people and sympathetic to their needs.

Also Read : The Important Role of Design in Blockchain Products in 2023

Principles to Better UX

System designers must follow heuristics and design principles to produce efficient systems that offer engaging user experiences. Many people are familiar with the work of specialists. They contributed to developing design guidelines and heuristic principles that are still respected today. Bloggers and authors frequently emphasize the significance of system feedback, design consistency, trust, and design consistency. The design process depends on these three concepts, yet they are insufficient. It's important to keep in mind other fundamentals. A review of some of the most crucial principles is given in these parts, along with some additional design and heuristic principles that must not be disregarded.

Guidance and feedback from the system

The system must notify users promptly so they can react to environmental changes. Although still in its infancy, blockchain serves several distinct purposes. Many users have no idea what is happening or is about to happen as they act. Users should always be aware of what is happening and what has just transpired, according to Fleming (2017). In addition to long alphanumeric codes, the system may convey new terminology like hashes, transaction IDs, cryptographic keys, etc. Combining sophisticated terminology with non-jargon explanations is a smart approach. Writing with clarity and conciseness is crucial. As a result, visualizing the situation is made simpler.

Control over irreversible errors and actions

Many people select functions without considering the possible outcomes. Systems should allow users to recover and return to a previous state (e.g., back, close, abort), giving them a sense of security, autonomy, and, most importantly, control over the circumstance (refer: locus of control). The blockchain may have a lot of irritating irreversible acts that users may discover. Mistypes already stored in the blockchain cannot be corrected or removed. It is a good idea to introduce some "friction" to certain processes to raise user awareness. It is a good idea to introduce some "friction" into various procedures before finalizing the next steps. Display an overlay window that summarizes the information to be submitted, along with functions to go back to before confirming the next steps. Display confirmation dialogues that include accurate messages, warnings, and call-to-action buttons. Users will have the option to choose the next steps, or they will face catastrophic consequences.

Productivity and learnability

The blockchain is new and complex, so users will likely need to learn much before gaining substantial experience. Usability and system learnability often go hand in hand. To facilitate learning, it is important to identify the "frequency of use" to determine how frequently users will use the blockchain. Also, make sure accelerators are available to increase interactivity and call for action in a timely fashion to minimize hindrances that could hinder performance or reduce productivity.

Design a matching system with the real world

The language of systems should be accompanied by solid metaphors so that users can grasp the system's limitations and capabilities. They also need to understand the purpose behind certain functionalities through real-life experience. Blockchain is full of unique functionalities and complex system-oriented terms that are difficult to understand. It is important to simplify the system by explaining words, phrases, and concepts in a logical way. This will make it easier for users to understand the system and reduce frustration.

Standards and consistency

This rule refers to maintaining consistent visual language throughout the application. But it doesn't end there! The presentation of small structures such as icons, symbols, scrollbars, etc. They must be easily understood and understandable to avoid users spending too much time figuring out their meanings and functions. Their locations must be consistent across all platforms. Functionalities must correspond to the visual communication of the icon, symbol, and call-to-action button. Changes that require users to learn new habits or alter long-standing functions will cause frustration. What would happen if the ENTER and ESC keys were changed suddenly? IBM stated that consistency across products and customer experiences is crucial for building customer trust. Consistency is not just about design language but also functions, their locations, and terminologies. Last, it's about transferrable behaviors from other applications.


A technology with many system-oriented terminologies, functionalities, and aesthetics will need minimalist visual aesthetics to communicate appeal and clarity. Visual elements can create a two-way understanding between the user and the system if used well. This, in turn, maximizes learnability, productivity, efficiency, and satisfaction. It also makes it easy for users to identify, categorize and interpret content and functions. The Gestalt Principles in Design are a great starting point for finding relevant information, combined with psychological and theoretical foundations that affect the design quality.

Documentation and assistance

As with all systems, FAQs and help documentation are very helpful for new users using a system like a blockchain. It is a good idea to provide a link to help and tooltips in the system to make it easy for users to understand complex terminologies and the functions and processes the blockchain has created. This will increase learnability and confidence, as mentioned before.

Blockchain UX: Challenges

First challenge - explaining the design's obvious aspects

It can be daunting for many users to use dApps. Although the principles are functional and beautiful, users still need to be able to interact with them.

People without the proper background may be confused by the complexity of blockchain terminologies such as swap, gas, and consensus mechanisms. Designing products that are easy to understand for users is one of the most difficult tasks. Contrary to conventional fintech products, users don't need to be taught how to trade or deposit money.

When we deal with Defi products, everything changes. Top Blockchain Designers must design a clear path for users to deposit money.

The gas fees (a commission for each translation) can fluctuate when trading on the DEX or Defi protocols. It is important to inform the user about any gas fee fluctuations and their reasons.

This is where the key is to create a highly informative design. However, it can be very slippery and lead to information overload for new users.

It is, therefore, difficult to design a Defi Fintech product that is both user-friendly and powerful while offering a wide range of unique features. This is where communication can be a great solution. If a user doesn't have the time or the desire to fully explore the entire set-up, it may be better to give him a lighter version.

UX design is not only intuitive but also highly detailed.

A well-designed system will provide an intuitive user experience. It is crucial to address the complexity of mundane features that users use daily.

It is important to use simple, clear communications and messaging during transactions where users may risk losing their money permanently.

For example, when moving assets to another wallet, a user should only use the "right" network (e.g., Ethereum) to make transfers. It will result in a permanent loss.

This can be tackled by using pop-ups and warning on-screen notifications to provide the most user-friendly prompts.

You can also invest in user-friendly documentation and guidelines. These are essential if a product is too powerful.

A summary of each section should be provided to make it easy for users to follow the instructions and link them to all technical sections. Access interactive glossaries to allow users to quickly check the definitions, jargon, and slang. Infographics and animated illustrations can illustrate concepts and make guidelines more complete and engaging.

The second challenge is to increase product trust.

Trust can diminish when there is a lack of explanation, an inability to resolve disputes, or rollbacks through customer service. This is what product owners don't want.

Blockchain protocols are immutable. This means that users make transactions permanent and in an open ledger. Blockchain Designers must take extra care when designing fintech products.

Design requires that users can see additional security warnings. This is necessary to prevent them from losing assets in an accident or, worse, by using a poor interface. To increase trust in product design, thinking three steps ahead is always a good idea. It's a win when a user's expectations match the transactional outcome.

Verifying the wallet's address before transferring assets to another wallet is crucial. This will prevent confusion with the private key. It is important that the private key not be visible anywhere else, or the wallet could be compromised.

All events occurring on a network must be displayed in a single place. This will allow users to see the most relevant information. Transaction delays, estimated processing time, and even simple things like wallet balance reflection must be transparently communicated and linked with all events on a network in real time.

How to demonstrate the immutability of blockchains in UX design

Transparency can help increase trust in design. It is crucial to demonstrate how blockchain immutability works by providing security warnings in simple UX cases.

Many of the actions users take in apps, other than financial transitions, are transactional-based. This action could be irreversible.

Creating a clear algorithm that users can use to navigate through products and learn what immutability blockchain means is important. You can enhance this with tactile features for mobile devices and responsive security warnings on desktops.

The third challenge: Impress with creativity but not distract from the features

Most products are expected to impress customers with their creative designs and captivating animations. We have the freedom and flexibility to express our creativity and create a brand identity around sushi emojis.

This makes sense as the design should be memorable and exciting for users and build a strong connection to a particular crypto target audience.

Nevertheless, many products attempt to compete with the brand's unique brand identity. Many product owners lose their brand image and lose valuable connections with potential customers by doing this.

Design research is crucial for UX/UI design.

It is important to spend more on creating a strong brand identity to avoid this. Although UX/UI research can be time-consuming, it will significantly impact customer loyalty and connections.

Fintech products are subject to even greater urgency.

Fourth challenge - difficult to access blockchain explorers

Blockchain explorers are the top design challenge. Blockchain explorers have the potential to directly impact users' experiences on a daily interaction schedule.

What does a Blockchain Explorer mean for design?

Blockchain explorers are an essential tool for any decentralized network. They hold all information about user transactions on-chain. They also allow users to access real-time public data about transactions on a blockchain network.

Blockchains are public ledgers; any user can retrieve such data online from blockchain explorers. This includes information about made or pending transactions, wallet addresses, blocks (transaction fees), gas fees (transaction fees), etc. You can also access data about smart contracts or nodes. Every blockchain has its blockchain explorer.

This design, however, means that the user transaction data is heavily dependent on blockchain explorers.

This is the biggest problem. It could prove difficult for even advanced crypto enthusiasts to understand blockchain explorers.

Visualization of transaction history with the explorer API

There are several ways to overcome this problem. The first is to not link transaction status to a blockchain explorer. It is preferable to link the transaction on Explorer as well. You can use the API of the Blockchain Explorer widget to visualize data.

There aren't many solutions available for the Ethereum blockchain. The chances of designing and building one are high.

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It is a challenging task to design user interfaces for blockchain-based applications. It opens up new possibilities every time you are closer to it. Blockchain technology can bring about a transformation in many ways. When combined with design thinking, it could lead to a new wave of user experiences that could change the way users interact with each other via apps.

Understanding the impact, this will have on users and their daily tasks is important. It is possible to alienate users when you introduce new ideas or concepts. Therefore, keeping them at the center of the design process is important. This helps to focus the thinking of the entire team by having a solid set of principles as the foundation of the design process. Our mission is to maintain customer-centric design and increase the adoption of new technology as fintech products continue to grow. Its tech-rooted language challenges designers and creates a high level of friction for users.

These challenges have pushed us to create a better UX for our customers, creators, and users. These challenges are already solved, and we're ready to design a consistent, comprehensive UX. Our goal is to make onboarding easy for all fintech product users. We also aim to increase trust by making the design better.

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