By John Gribbin and Kenan O’Neal
TL;DR: Ethereum has many open source tools and design patterns to ease onboarding of crypto newcomers. The usability, state of development, testing, and support for these tools vary and are use-case specific. Many of these tools are designed with the intention of delaying or displacing potential hurdles until the user has accrued value (sentimental or monetary).
As part of a two week product research sprint for ConsenSys Space we enlisted and compared current instruments for creating an easier onboarding experience into Ethereum DApps, particularly for those new to cryptocurrency. Onboarding is, of course, one of the biggest challenges for blockchain in 2019, and there are many, many people working on the topic. So, instead of searching for the holy grail of onboarding, we decided to get a birds-eye view of all the different methods for easing users into DApps.
Our research goal was to inform and build an onboarding prototype with the best combination of tools we investigated. We were only able to scratch the surface of many of these tools, but these snapshots were vital to inform our decisions. The scope of our research covered Ethereum features, design patterns (algorithms and data structures), and products. Our time was limited, so many great tools and solutions out there were overlooked. We encourage anyone to comment with additional suggestions that you may find helpful to share.
As we researched, we quickly came up with criteria to judge each tool with:
- Fundamental trade offs of the technology at present.
- Usability (well documented, simple to use, etc.).
- User facing experience.
- Security implications.