Reef here with an update on our Explorer research and design project.
Our initial goal was to build an authentic point of view on how and why and for who the NEAR Explorer should evolve.
At first our hypothesis was simple: If we get to know our users and their problems, we can build a better explorer experience.
We approached our research efforts be focusing on three user segments: The Engineer, The Delegator, and The Validator. We ran competitive analysis on nearly 20 PoS explorers and highlighted the things we believed helped our 3 user types with their workflows. We recruited and interviewed dozens of participants to help build our point of view on the people, the problems, and principles that would drive our efforts. We began to define the moments the NEAR Explorer ends and other NEAR experiences such as staking begin.
As a result of our empathy building we started to notice bigger more ambitious themes beyond the utility of Explorer’s features. We started to see opportunities to use Explorer to “promote decentralization” and “communicate network activity and health” (see brief for design explorations on this). We decided we would focus on Delegators (existing/new/prospective) and Engineers (new/existing) as Validator use cases were less demanding. Design Next we dove into our conceptual design phase where we applied our newly found principles/insights into screens focused on use cases like “debugging” for Developers and “validator research” and “stake decision making” for Delegators… We met with a few of our biggest community contributors to validate and gather feedback (shoutout @trevor builder of Croncat,Alias,and Pingbox ).
@frol and I are currently working on the first phase of Explorer’s redesign. While our initial hypothesis is still valid, we’ve prioritized 2 objectives:
- Bringing clarity and better performance to the developer experience to make debugging and transaction analysis, dare I say, enjoyable!?
- Visualizing NEAR’s “heartbeat” with useful data in a more human format to give all user types a constant understanding of the health and activity of the network.
For those of you who would like to see some of the research and conceptual ideas we explored - Here is a brief on some of the highlights of our research: NEAR Explorer Research Brief July 2021.pdf - Google Drive
We will be sharing some pretty amazing progress soon.