Six years ago a mysterious new method for online transactions emerged on the internet. Presumably created in response to the economic crisis that shook the global economy in 2008, Bitcoin provided a system for people to buy goods and services directly from each other without relying on the banks to facilitate the process. As the Wall Street Journal points out, the system eliminates the middleman and levels the playing field. Despite some of the pitfalls of an untraceable monetary exchange, both the U.S. government and corporations like Microsoft and Google believe the benefits outweigh the risk. We’re on the verge of the next big technological wave that will change the way we do business and once again, companies will need to adapt to survive.
The internet gave us access to information from all over the world. Social media created a sense of urgency to connect and share that information. Digital currency is about to raise the bar on consumer demand for immediacy. The driving force behind any new technological advancement that breaks into mainstream society is the level of convenience it offers the average consumer. This new form of payment is going to simplify day to day purchases and the companies that are poised to take advantage of this shift will have websites designed to support it. Several businesses including WordPress.com, Overstock.com, and Expedia already accept bitcoins. As more companies compete to accommodate consumers by offering a virtual currency payment option, the expectation for convenience increases pushing intuitive design to the forefront of web development.
The goal of all websites should be to make it easy for users to find the information they want quickly, but this faster means of purchasing products online provides greater incentive to accomplish that objective. A truly intuitive design is one that conjures feelings of familiarity. It takes the guesswork out of navigating the website. One of the biggest obstacles of ecommerce sites is the number of steps it takes to complete a transaction. According to a report published by Business Insider, 74 percent of online shopping carts were abandoned in 2013 and an estimated four trillion dollars in merchandise is projected to be abandoned this year.
E-tailers have the most to gain by streamlining the checkout process, but all companies need to consider how digital currency will impact the consumer’s perception and expectation of how a website should function. To develop an intuitive design that appeals to a wide range of users requires a closer look at how they currently use specific features on apps and websites as well as the frequency with which they use them and what they expect the outcome to be. An intuitively designed website will use concepts based in cognitive function and psychological conditioning. The idea behind intuitive design is to create a website that a first-time visitor can navigate without thinking.
Bitcoin is the foundation on which other versions of virtual currency like litecoin, Peercoin, and Freicoin are being built and though it may not be the primary method of paying for products and services now, it is on the horizon. Staying ahead of the oncoming digital revolution involves developing an intuitive design that matches the expectations consumers are likely to associate with this new technology.
Categorized in: Miscellaneous
Published On: Sep 19, 2015