Brands On The Blockchain Ep.3 - Where Are All The Dapp Users? w/ Sarah Baker Mills of ConsenSys


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Blockchain projects and dapps are in their nascent stages right now. Thus, getting to ground truth on anything is simply not possible, we have questions, but we certainly do not have definitive answers. Central to the mode of thinking, this way designing, is to ‘not take yourself so seriously’ which really means, not believing all of your assumptions. Sarah Baker Mills of ConsenSys is someone who embodies these ideals and I had the pleasure of speaking with her, here what I learned. (For the full conversation, you can listen below)

  • We should consider this era’s idea of “fluid identity” when designing for something as nuanced and intimate as identity.
  • Design systems put forward a viewpoint on how a interaction should work — The intention is to make it an open source and community tool, to have input from all perspectives for design systems.
  • The Design Thinking practice is non linear, this informs how the organization is structured, making sure everyone is involved in the design process.
  • We can use prototyping as a collaborative tool as early as possible, especially for high stake processes like voting, getting clarity as early as possible.
  • The Power of Words — The importance of understanding the users context and experience through research and only using words…. mitigation of design debt.
  • Sherlock holmes and the detective work of mapping out expereineces, mapping all product facets to the overarching user experience.
  • Design research and the importance of getting the truth of the situation.
  • The Low Hanging Fruit of Blockchain Design — Context has left out of a lot of dapps, it is a consistent problem for users. We should focus on the little big details.
  • Blockchain Design Principles — Too early for principles because we do not have enough data yet! We are still learning.
  • Show Not Tell — We have to focus on surfacing the why, on surfacing the value of dapps, mapping the core value proposition of blockchains to real experiences that people want.
  • What really motivates dapp use and experimenting in safe ways — Getting to users real motivations for using dapps. Mapped out motivations, and the insight that people aren’t always motivated by money.
  • Designing for Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs and the connivence factor- Creating a sense of community and belonging in blockchains, safety (controlling their own wealth), no matter, these hierarchies of needs will always have to be easier and better.
  • Thinking of your product as a person, what would a considerate person do if they were your product?

For the full conversation with Sarah, and a deeper dive into all of the topics discussed above, you can check out the full episode here.

32 episodes