Design is of critical importance to the usability of money, and we integrate it into our wallet product in many ways. This post will give you some insights into the thinking behind ilmatic wallet and highlight three fields of study: interaction design, calm technology, and user experience design.
We started our company on the philosophy that technology should serve the greater good of humanity. We are opposed to technologies that encourage screen time and false experiences, like virtual reality. We are more concerned with good design, positive experiences in physical reality, and technology that enables real freedom.
The introduction of blockchain and cryptocurrency into this system of design thinking raises the value proposition of our wallet product to a new level. It unlocks the inherent values, benefits, and freedoms that blockchain offers, it paints a picture of what money will become in the future, and it forges a path to that destination.
For us, blockchain draws a line in the sand between technology companies working against people, versus those working for people, and we want to be on the right side of history. So, we are building products to enhance your good human nature and improve the world around you. We believe that great projects aspire to this kind of innovation, and that they will secure our rights as citizens, define our culture, and create a better future.
Interaction Design & Calm Technology
In our case here, interaction design means Human-Computer Interaction design (HCI). “HCI researches the design and use of computer technology, focused on the interfaces between people and computers.” Calm technology takes this research a step further and defines a protocol for how these interactions should work between people and computers.
Today, you can see evidence of this wave of calm technology in the industry’s largest companies. In iOS 12, Apple created a native app called Screen Time to track usage and help users cut back on screen overload. Google launched a Digital Wellbeing dashboard with your smartphone usage habits, app limit timers, and a “wind down” mode to help you focus on going to sleep.
These features are not being created by tech giants out of moral obligation, but rather as a response to consumer demand. Humans, in general, have become more tech savvy in recent years, and our expectations are rising. We have read news articles informing us that screen time is unhealthy, social media is manipulative, and that technology companies can not be trusted – this is the antithesis of the promise of technology. An industry that once represented bucking the status quo has become the status quo.
We believe that it is due time to refocus on ideas that matter, and we know that there are contingents of people doing this work. The modern battlegrounds are places like blockchain, cryptocurrency, and interaction design. The way we build our products today will shape human behavior and our world tomorrow.
Calm interaction design is one of the methods we use to build our products. The ilmatic wallet is intentionally designed without a screen. It has one RGB LED and one vibration motor for feedback. It has one tactile button for interactions, so you know that every time you press it, you are carrying out one simple yet intentional action, like paying for a slice of pizza.
We bake important features and data into a mobile app that is connected to your wallet device, so you can access more information when you want it. The idea is that drilling down into the mobile app is a less frequent behavior, and using your wrist wallet to pay for goods is the main use case. This product experience is screenless, simple, and calm.
The form factor of our wallet is influenced by interaction and experience design. We determined that the best place for wallet usability is on your wrist. The wrist is the most easily accessible location on your body. You can see and feel your wallet, and it is essentially impossible to lose when attached to your wrist. The button is always within reach, and making a payment is easier now than it has ever been in the history of commerce.
User Experience Design
Money is essential to everyday life, and we use it daily to pay for goods and services. As contactless payments and cryptocurrency coins proliferate, the experiences around money will become better and better.
Buying, wearing, and using the ilmatic wallet is an experience. It represents something bigger than any one individual – it represents the entire blockchain movement. It shows that you are not just a holder, but also an active agent in the revolution of money. It signals that you are committed to advancing freedoms of people worldwide.
ilmatic wallet is simple and natural. It does not feel or look like a tech gadget or smartwatch because it does not have a screen. It does not light up with app notifications because notifications are vexing – they steal your time and attention. It is designed to replace the wallet in your back pocket or purse, and empower you to carry all kinds of digital money.
We are not maximalists. We believe that there is plenty of space for numerous protocols, and that one day in the near future, you will be able to choose your currencies like you choose your beverages, clothing, and vehicles – based on features, benefits, and self expression.
Design is essential to making that vision a reality, and the projects that execute in experiences and usability will be the ones to drive the future of the blockchain.