Hackernoon logoUI/UX Fails and Wins in the Cryptocurrency Space by@adil

UI/UX Fails and Wins in the Cryptocurrency Space

Adil Haris Hacker Noon profile picture

@adilAdil Haris

The Crypto and Blockchain Product Manager | www.adilharis.com

Across the spectrum of applications being built on cryptocurrencies and Blockchains such as exchanges, wallets, and DeFi apps, we have seen the steady improvement and adoption of UX-enabled primitives and standards.

To capture the psyche or state of mind of a user as he onboards into one of these platforms, I’ve prepared an analysis below for quantifying the positive and negative emotions that a user experiences during a typical onboarding process. For this analysis, I picked the popular P2P cryptocurrency marketplace, Paxful.

In this example, I consider myself a typical user of Paxful, and I attempt to measure my own psyche as I go through the onboarding and KYC verification process in place on the platform. We start with the landing page at www.paxful.com.

1 “So here’s yet another platform to buy Crypto. I already use Coinbase, Kraken, and Gemini. How is this different exactly?”


> Analysis: No clear differentiation or value proposition in landing page

2 “Wow there are so many options. Even gift cards! Well that’s what’s special about Paxful”


> Analysis: Aha moment on discovering the core value proposition in less than 5 minutes into using the product

3 “There are actually so many options this is getting overwhelming. Some of these are not even relevant to the US!”


> Analysis: Hick’s law states that the more choices users face, the longer it will take them to make a decision

4 “I’m just going to go with Venmo for now. It’s nice that it automatically tells me how much BTC I’ll get!”


> Analysis: Providing valuable information to the user in a clear manner

5 “My search failed. That yellow dialog box is hardly visible!!”


> Analysis: Clearly display error with contrasting colors and suggest alternative solutions

6 “That is so much text to read. I wish that was condensed into a nice graphic or explainer video.”


> Analysis: Every extra unit of information in an interface competes with the relevant units of information and diminishes their relative visibility.

7 “Ah it looks like I have to sign up now. Very clever of them to make me come this far before signing up.”


> Analysis: Good execution of a lazy registration allowing a user to complete many steps before having to register

8 “Very strange! I hit sign up in the previous screen and the first CTA here is asking me to login again! Ok, I’m going to register now.”


> Analysis: Users read info from left to right, top to bottom. Arrange the primary CTA at the top of the page.

9 “Wait! Free Bitcoin wallet?? Do they think I’m naïve?? All Bitcoin wallets are free and everyone knows that.”


> Analysis: Avoid underestimating the common knowledge of users, especially those who already use cryptocurrency

10 “I’m a little confused here! There’s no Tour! There’s a “Verify Me” button but I thought I was already verified when I verified my phone number!”


> Analysis: Direct users through a clear step-by-step onboarding flow displaying their progress and next steps.

11 “Looks like it’s one of those KYC verification processes. If this is a P2P exchange why do I need to get verified? They should tell me why.”


> Analysis: Clearly explain to the user what is the need for their personal data to be collected

12 “That’s pretty neat! I can transfer this process to my phone and quickly take those photos instead of having to do 2X the amount of work on my laptop!”


> Analysis: Making the process easy and streamlined for the user

13 “Why are they asking for my email? Isn’t OTP a better way to connect to my phone? Well anyway, I’ll just scan the QR code and see what happens.”


> Analysis: Switch from requesting for an email to requesting a One Time Password

14 “Well this looks fairly straightforward and easy to follow. I’ll just upload my state ID.”


15 “My photo is clear but I’m not going to read those points below. It’s better to make me check some checkboxes so that I read them.”


16 “Well that was easy…”


17 “I would really really want to know why they need a picture of my face. It helps even though I’ve done this many times.”


18 “That was quite a seamless ID verification process. Probably one of the better ones I’ve had. But I’m not sure of the current status of the process.”


> Analysis: Clearly display current system state and the next sequence of steps

19 “Time to view some offers. These details about the vendors are actually pretty detailed. Very easy for me to know how trustworthy they are!”


> Analysis: Providing adequate information to users to help them make decisions

20 “Ok it’s been 90 minutes and I still cannot decide which vendor to buy from. There are too many choices and I can’t compare between offers very easily.”


> Analysis: Allow users to compare various vendors and their offers.

21 “Ok I’m calling it a day for now. I’ll buy from Paxful some other day.”


We come to the end of our analysis. If you enjoyed reading the above or would like a similar analysis for your product, do reach out to me on my website and I’ll be happy to provide guidance and consultation.

Summary and Recommendations

  1. There is no guide or tour for a user after landing on the classic dashboard for the first time.
  2. There is no clear nudge or direction to get ID-verified.
  3. Details regarding why a video selfie had to be taken were not clearly communicated by the platform.
  4. The value proposition of the platform or who it’s better than others is not sold hard enough.
  5. Too many choices in many interfaces and poor visual hierarchies on many screens.
  6. Avoid overselling plain and simple features such as a free Bitcoin wallet.

Also published here


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