Blockchain is bulldozing its way through industries leaving a trail of destruction in its path – but this is all for the better.
The technology is ripping up the blueprints that came before and allowing businesses to redesign the way they do things. The most advanced organisations are suffering from some serious levels of FOMO and want to include blockchains in their operations to avoid being left behind.
This means designers need to understand how to design specifically for blockchain and start creating a design portfolio that includes blockchain-related samples.
First, What Is a Blockchain?
Blockchain is often blurred with the words, bitcoin and cryptocurrency. This is what the technology is most associated with today, but it won’t always be this way. The whole blockchain system is what allows bitcoin payments to be sent around the world with help from online bitcoin wallets using established providers like Luno. Each payment is verified and recorded as one block in a chain (hence blockchain) something like a mass bank statement that has no central authority.
Yet, blockchains are also technologies that can work on their own away from crypto. Their ability to record information for eternity without that information being tampered with is what makes them revolutionary in healthcare, voting, cybersecurity and much more.
Design Principles for Blockchain
Designing for blockchain usage requires a different approach. The technology is likely to be more complex than anything you have worked with before. Not to forget that blockchains are relatively new and people are still toying with how they should be used. This can cause head scratches and headaches for designers, but there are some principles you should stick to.
Blockchain has a lot of uses, but it is also inaccessible to the everyday person or business because they do not fully understand it. Most have been warned off with complicated terms and acronyms. As a designer, it is your job to keep these out of sight. Remember, people don’t care about the technology behind the product, they only care about the value it brings them and the problems it solves.
When the internet first came on the scene, there was nobody there to explain to us what it was and how it worked. Gradually, populations started using it and learned by themselves. The same needs to be done with blockchains and to invite people inside what is often conceived as an impenetrable bubble, designers need to simplify everything. By simplifying what the blockchain is there are fewer barriers to entry.
Designers Need to Keep Up
Just like business owners may fear missing out on this disruptive technology, so should designers. Blockchain looks set to take over and if you as a designer are not prepared to make it part of your skillset, you too could be left behind the industry.
Take your time to learn about blockchains from reliable sources and keep up to date on their applications around the world.
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Also published on Medium.