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Author Topic: Client UX : alternative way to invest in Bitcoin?  (Read 889 times)
nickwit
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July 11, 2011, 01:25:13 AM
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So recently I stumbled into this thing where it looked as though payments were incredibly slow to happen... because I didn't realise that your transaction doesn't show up until you've downloaded the entire blockchain.


If I open up the client, I'm presented with bits of information like "k/hash" and "blocks" and whatnot. There's a load of new concepts that I need to learn - and I'm a techie, and I find them hard-going. They are absolutely not going to find a lot of traction with any of the civilians I know.


So... not wanting to tread on the toes of the people who are designing the current interface - the bitcoin client is really not up to speed on the User-Experience front.

I'm aware that this software is supposedly in Beta - but it's doing what? $300M transactions a year? That's a little too much weight-of-responsibility to maintain the beta-moniker, in my opinion. What this software looks like to me is the user-interfaces that VOIP services used before Skype turned up with something that they'd spent UX TLC on, and wiped the field.

So I was thinking that if we want an uptick in people using BTC, then it might be good to get a company that specialises in UX to do something. Somebody like Clearleft.com, who will actually do focus-group testing etc.

Now this ain't going to come cheap - but if we treat it like a kickstarter.com project (or even AS a kickstarter.com project) then we could possibly raise a fairly healthy sum. I'd be happy to put $100 into it - as an investment because I think that if we do this, BTC will increase in value.

And I don't think it would hurt on the marketing front to have someone with experience and expertise in UX to look at the language we're using to describe this either.

So what do you reckon?



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mouse
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July 11, 2011, 02:54:50 AM
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Yes, bitcoin needs a metaphor makeover.

However, from personal experience I think your just as well off getting a really good UX guy/gal to sit down and design the interface as you are going through a usability lab, and it's a LOT cheaper. This is, of course, just my 2 cents, but I've never been much of a fan of a lot of formal usability testing (and I've worked in 2 usability labs for different departments with full kits - one way mirrors, everything recorded and transcribed, mouse movements, eye tracking, etc etc). Just get someone, or someones, who really know what they're doing.

Maybe you can start thinking about various workflows and corresponding metaphors and note them in this thread?

BTW if you do some searching I recall seeing other threads trying to tackle the interface. They even had mockups of the design.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
imperi
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July 11, 2011, 02:58:54 AM
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Gmail was in "beta" for a very long time while millions of people were using it.
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July 11, 2011, 03:00:33 AM
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Gmail was in "beta" for a very long time while millions of people were using it.

It's somewhat trendy to be in beta.

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nickwit
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July 11, 2011, 04:03:45 AM
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Yea - Google News was in beta for years... but I instinctively feel it's a different kettle of fish when you've got millions of dollars... in some cases, people's life-savings sitting in it. And I don't think Skype launched in Beta.


I've no doubt the UX thing has come up before. I was just floating the idea of people already invested in bitcoins seeing paying for professional/talented UX people as a a better investment than... just buying another $100 worth of bitcoins.

Ideally this should be set up so people can do their own skins/themes... so (as we're seeing in the rapid improvement of web based market interfaces) the improvements can be ecosystemic. I do think it needs to go deeper than that though - UX needs to be done on the language used to describe Bitcoin... because talented engineers and talented communicators aren't often the same thing.

And I think the client is in need of some talented communicators.
wujh
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July 11, 2011, 04:15:57 AM
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Gmail was in "beta" for a very long time while millions of people were using it.

Well, Beta Gmail don't need you to understand how to find a %APPDATA%/bitcoin file folder on your hard disk.

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