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What's in a name?

Christoph Ono
Christoph Ono
Lots of detail work on the guide this week. For one, the Contacts page is taking much better shape. Here’s a 10-minute overview of the page.

Contacts page PR update
Contacts page PR update
Took quite some iteration to get there, and it leads to a bigger issue that we’ve encountered a few times already in bitcoin UX - the best ways to abstract technology for users (without the featured “dumbing it down” or compromising core principles). For the contacts page, this is about letting users easily make payments via a contact list, without having to know whether a BOLT 11 invoice or a LNURL-Pay request is used under the hood (more here). There’s another ongoing conversation around whether users should have to know and care about whether they are sending via the bitcoin network or the Lightning network. This will also be a topic on the next community call.
It is somewhat easy to decide these things for a single product implementation that has a clear focus, and much harder to get a whole ecosystem aligned. For the former, I think the best approach is to see the user experience as a (fairly) linear process, start with the beginning (first impression) and systematically work through each interaction with actual UI mock-ups (otherwise too abstract). It is not helpful to pick some step in the middle of a larger experience and state that it doesn’t make sense or that it’s too complicated. Like seeing a frame from the middle of a movie, you will not understand what is happening because you don’t know what lead up to that moment. It likely makes perfect sense for anyone who has seen the movie from the start.
Another useful approaches are to think about user benefits & implications instead of properties of the technology. And also to squint a bit when it comes to choosing labels for things. A bitcoin is not a coin and a miner does not mine. Language is fluent, and single words are by necessity pretty vague. Oftentimes, there is too much focus put on single words/labels to convey precise meaning, but a user interaction does not consist of single words, but a much richer realm of human experience.
Anyhow, it’s complicated. I think we can work through these things, but it will take time and lots of conversations, design work, and user feedback to sort it all out.
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The guide jam session was pretty good this week. Seems like everyone is happily working away at things without requiring lots of coordination. A nice break from the time before the V2 launch, which was very structured.
Bitcoin Design Guide Jam Session #21: Post V2
Bitcoin Design Guide Jam Session #21: Post V2
Also really enjoying the Learning Bitcoin and Design calls Stephen kicked off. Great intro calls for newcomers, and helps us understand how useful they guide is for this group.
Learning Bitcoin and Design - 2022-02-22
Learning Bitcoin and Design - 2022-02-22
The call with Galoy was also really good. These are design problems that help real people trying to make bitcoin work for their daily use. I created a few mock-ups after the call with some ideas, but my guess it that the best design solutions will come from being hands-on with people on the ground.
Galoy project call #1: QR Codes & payment requests
Galoy project call #1: QR Codes & payment requests
School holidays are next week and I’ll be off on vacation with my family. Will still check in for a few things and the community call, but otherwise I’ll do my best to take a break and come back refreshed.
🏂🗻⛄️
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Christoph Ono
Christoph Ono @gbks

Chronicling my design contributions to open-source Bitcoin.

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