From-scratch Crypto-mapping UX

29 November 2017

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Project Context

I was contacted by FOAM’s CEO Ryan King to translate their seed funding pitch deck (specifically screenshots of a proto-interface in the deck) into an initial product that would ease non-blockchain-aware and non-crypto-bro individuals into new ways of thinking about urban space and land usage in general with respect to “value”.

My initial reflex was to set up a system of constraints from which I could work, which required me to audit the materials given to me and determine the core of what FOAM was all about.

Shown in the Figma embed below, I arranged the screenshots I was provided in a spatial manner (with expected actions flowing from left to right) and I strung them together using Figma's prototyping functionality. I was left with a rough sketch of an application I could click through and take notes on.

I used this prototype and the notes I compiled as an artifact FOAM and I could rally around to communicate with one another what felt weird, neccessary, or unusable about the way the platform was initially communicated.

We came to an agreement that a form-based interface wasn't compelling, and given the spatial nature of where crypto-value was being held with FOAM, it made sense to bring forth the richness of space through an interactive map — an interface primitive most people have normalized and know how to use.

From this point, I began to develop high-level wireframes to structure the initial pass of the crypto map:

My initial designs involved incorporating the bare minimum of general affordances most other mapping applications offered — a search mechanism, a means of panning and zooming and centering the map, a means of representing Points of Interest on the map, etc.

Where this work took an interesting turn was in the structuring of "crypto interfacing" that needed to co-inhabit the viewport; Where would this information live? Where did the blockchain need to be surfaced? Does a blockchain need to be surfaced at all? Ever?

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