Blockchain app design and the news spy and what you can learn from Apple

Steve Ehrlich is an associate and lead analyst at Spitzberg Partners, a consulting firm with strategic relationships with companies such as Ming Labs and the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance. Matthias Roebel is CEO of Ming Labs and Ron Quaranta is Chairman of the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance.

In this special CoinDesk 2016 Review Ehrlich, Quaranta and Roebel explain how Blockchain companies with a focus on user experience score better on the mainstream market. For 2017 and beyond. Many people hear the word blockchain and must immediately admit that they can never take advantage of this innovative technology because they can either “not use encryption” or cannot program.

For some of us in the blockchain sector something is changing for 2017. This year we are going beyond the purgatory of proof-of-concepts and pilot projects. Now it’s about full product integrations and so it’s important to eliminate mental barriers for potential users.

Fortunately, this is not a new problem for the news spy

You can simply ask a few random people on the news spy how the Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) works. In the vast majority of cases, you’ll get at most a questioning look. You know right away that you press a button and the email reaches the news spy within seconds.

What does that mean? This means that users should not focus on the functionality of the blockchain, but on future applications. To reach this point, blockchain applications must be intuitive enough for the everyday user. The crux of the matter is a simple and elegant user experience or User Experience (UX).

A bite from Apple
Many of us know people who are even overwhelmed with normal mobile phones, of smartphones first of all no talk. How many of us know someone who doesn’t know how to listen to a voice message? You have to keep in mind that the iPhone was not the first smartphone with its launch in 2007. And yet it took over the market because it was intuitive, easy to use and rich in functionality.

In short: it worked

Apple’s more than 10 years of leadership comes from its ability to meet customers’ expectations on a long-term basis. The means are formative products and technologies that are attractive, simple and appealing.

Blockchain developers would be smart if they kept the principle of the Cupertino company in mind.

Implications for Blockchain
Today’s blockchain developers and industrial stakeholders face similar challenges to Apple. They need to educate their customers and bring certain unique Blockchain features to the fore. And yet everything has to be arranged in such a way that it is intuitive and familiar to the user.

The focus should not be on what the blockchain offers from a technical point of view, because this way quickly leads to “a solution looking for a problem”.

Ali Nazem, Vice President of Corporate Development at Blockchain-Identity Fima ShoCard, sums up the challenge nicely:

“The key to blockchain adoption is to show use cases made possible by technology. Users don’t need to know the complexity of the underlying technology, just that the solution is intuitive and secure.

Olivier Veyrac, Vice President of Customer Development for payment service provider Align Commerce, confirmed:

“Most customers know nothing special about blockchain technology, all they really care about is that it’s fast, traceable, and easy to use,” he said.

Veyrac explained that when customers have questions, they explain Blockchain to them and everything makes sense.

But this is actually a demanding process.