Usability challenges are always tricky for any novel technology looking to become mainstream. Usability primarily focuses on how well a new innovation can be adopted, easily used, and adapted for a range of audiences.
However, usability has always been a sticking point for dynamic and new cryptocurrency projects.
The range of cryptographic mechanisms deployed by virtual currencies and blockchain-based endeavours are hard to understand, and often use - even by the most experienced programmers. Many make a wide variety of arguments on why crypto projects fail to hit the mainstream.
Some point towards bad teams, unviable concepts, or poor promotion as the causes. In reality, usability hinders projects more than any other factor. Teams should emphasize ease of use over technological innovation as they build out blockchain-based platforms.
Usability Helps Crypto Projects Present Themselves As A Pioneer
It's no surprise the cutting-edge crypto and blockchain industry prizes innovation, creativity, and stretching the limits of what is thought as possible.
However, some argue the lack of comprehensive and standardized frameworks makes it difficult for a normal user to understand what type of product they are using or how they can adapt to it faster.
Designer Roberto Celta wrote how one blockchain company he used to work at created each project from scratch without any sort of framework for products and best practices. He explained how a building and explanation process that emphasizes usability will make the product owner happy, as users would be more inclined to actually use the platform.
Celta notes how an influx of users would then make the crypto project stand out as a 'pioneer' in the space. Popularity helps boost the notoriety of the project, fosters industry attention on the idea, and of course, drives more users to the crypto platform.
One of the best ways to foster usability in the world of blockchain is to emphasize its nature as a source of rewards.
LCM Science (LCMS), with the accompanying LCMS Coin, is doing so by pioneering distribution with customer data and cultivating a community where users can take advantage of blockchain tech to communicate over topics pertaining to health foods and cosmetics.
Ownership of personal information by content creators also opens up the possibility for rewards via shared profits. The LCMS team believes in converting all information placed into the blockchain into tangible examples of value, and then fully authorizing its value.
LCMS coin holders can donate coins towards projects focusing on developing countries and the underprivileged. Donated LCMS coins are also open to being incinerated and reissued at a specified rate.
Usability Is DeFi's Biggest 'Accelerator'
Distrust with centralized powers and authorities is one of the main reasons why decentralized finance (DeFi) has gained immense popularity. In a turbulent and often unpredictable world, many people are more interested in maintaining control over their financial assets, personal data, and their internet activity.
The technological innovation and cutting-edge ideas seen in DeFi, from yield farming to flash lending, have immense potential to revolutionize the world of finance and usher in permanent shifts from centralized financial authorities.
However, despite the stories of large profits in the decentralized finance world, usability issues remain the biggest hindrances to continued growth.
Technological elements like multi-sig contracts and distributed blockchains should serve as the building blocks, and not the focus, of mainstream banking and financial tools that are readily accessible for the average user.
Projects like Compound that offer more 'typical' financial services like collateralized loans and lending should be the model for platforms that are looking to provide real value to real people, promoting usability and adoption.
DeFi projects already have a unique angle in regard to usability through stable coins, an element of many projects, which are more appealing to the average user than cryptos like Bitcoin or Ethereum (due to price volatility).
Usability Wins Over Tech Superiority
Crypto projects would be wise to focus on usability over technological innovation to promote ideas and encourage as many users as possible.
Teams should focus on building bridges to mesh cutting-edge technology with every day, well-known concepts to encourage everyday users to participate in the world of cryptocurrency.