"A blockchain or decentralized application can exist on its own, but without proper UX design, user research, and trust, the product cannot succeed in the market."
Today, we sit down with Tayanee Sriyotha, also known as Noei, UI/UX designer at OmiseGO to learn more about how she uses design thinking principles and models to create a meaningful experience for OmiseGO users.
Noei first learned about OmiseGO and the world of blockchain from a friend who works for a fin-tech company. As a designer, she quickly saw potential challenges those who are not used to the technology could face.
It’s why she joined OmiseGO, knowing it was the perfect place to experiment with design solutions she hopes to see people adopt. As Noei learned the ropes she became captivated by OmiseGO’s openness, its willingness for trial and error, and an open mind.
Striking a Balance Between Logic and Aesthetic
During the design process, Noei splits her workflow into two main parts: logic, which takes up 70%, and aesthetics, which makes up the other 30%.
Her creative process typically starts with sketching the thumbnail. This is the ideation phase, so she doodles, tinkers, and adjusts until she believes she’s ‘got one’ that can be developed into a hi-res design.
After touching base with her team for feedback, she’ll revise, polish, and touch up the design — fine-tuning things like size, gaps, and color shades. During this process, Noei’s favorite part is analyzing research data and turning it into a design strategy.
Noei typically uses the Human-Centered Design principle (HDC) as her go-to framework. But also refers to other methods such as mental model mapping or user-journey mapping to design for different subjects and scenarios.
Since design and user experience can be quite subjective, Noei’s definition of “design success” is when users can accomplish their goal(s) with ease.
Noei relies on specific software to monitor and track success. So if she sees a spot where users cannot accomplish their intended goal, she and her team will investigate and make changes.
The Path to Good UI/UX
According to Noei, most people might think UI/UX is just about making the interface pretty and usable.
But designing for aesthetics while maintaining usability is just the final touch. “Successful design takes various factors into account; I let the end-goal guide everything from user flow to layout, and more,” she adds.
UI/UX is especially essential for the blockchain industry to encourage mainstream adoption. Good, intuitive design only includes what matters most to users. It helps them learn complex and unfamiliar concepts quickly.
Good design is the difference between a steep or gentle learning curve. When people to stop noticing ‘how difficult the concept is’ they gain confidence using a decentralized product or service.
A major obstacle from the designer’s point of view is understanding the technicalities behind the project. Before working on something for end-users, designers need to fully comprehend how the product or service works.
This becomes even harder when the product is intended for advanced users like developers. Not only do designers need to understand the technical needs but also specific pain points, something Noei says “is way deeper than understanding consumer needs.”
To overcome this, Noei relies on mental toughness and compassion. “You need to genuinely want to help people make things better even though it requires effort, this will stop you from quitting when things get tough.”
“Talking to developers or those with technical backgrounds also helps connect the dots,” she adds. She might not get what they’re saying the first time, but over time, the vision and the path becomes clearer and clearer.
A Message for Aspiring Designers
Recently, Noei was involved with UNICEF Innovation’s SURGE, a hackathon where people come together to work on blockchain-based solutions to address global challenges.
Representing OmiseGO, Noei helped educate participants about design for decentralized applications. Most attendees were local developers working on blockchain-based solutions and Noei’s framework was put to use to turn concepts into tangible products.
Last but not least, Noei has a message for aspiring designers: “If you’re interested in designing in the blockchain industry, the key is to keep learning whether it be about the technology itself or the behavior of people in the industry.”
“Things keep changing constantly. Be patient when you try to connect the dots. Another tip would be to try matching or mimicking existing experiences with new ones you foresee when you work on a design project. This will help users with an easier transition when doing unfamiliar tasks.”