Lisk Desktop has been the primary application for interacting with the Lisk blockchain since the early days in 2016. We have developed this application for over three years, and during this time, we introduced many new features and received feedback from our esteemed community. This feedback helped us draw a line between our innovative development and the expectation from a user’s perspective, coupled with how users interact with Lisk Desktop.
Three years after we began this journey, we have simultaneously constructed and shaped the majority of features to work optimally for the target users. Following the same path, we decided that it was time to improve our navigation menus and fix the usability issues.
This article will showcase the changes we made in version 1.27.0 of the Lisk Desktop and the reasoning behind them.
Unified Navigation Menu
Whilst introducing new features on a regular basis, we made sure to display them within the app in different areas. Although they seemed easily accessible at the time of implementing them, it became apparent that there was room for improving the overall user experience.
In order to achieve this and end up with a more convenient and user-friendly interface, we decided to introduce a sidebar menu to further assist with the navigation options.
The sidebar enables us to show icons adjacent to the titles and help the user understand each icon's function. Once the users become acquainted with the environment, it is easy to shrink the sidebar to the smallest form with a single click.
Moreover, this left-side vertical menu allows us to easily divide features into sections, offering a more clean and intuitive navigation tool to the users.
Navigation Bars for All Screen Sizes
Another important issue was the design of the previous header. Due to the navigation links located in the header, there was limited space available for adding new features. This problem was mostly relevant for smaller screens where the window width was not sufficient to display screen titles.
In order to solve the issue mentioned above, we made use of the sidebar menu for links and features. This change gave us the opportunity to use the screen width to place other features there, such as dark mode and discrete mode. With this change, it is now possible to open the bookmark on a single click.
Start in Guest Mode
The feature-rich application that we have today as Lisk Desktop was once a small application called Lisk Nano. This application only displayed the list of transactions of an account, and executed new transactions. The current Lisk Desktop application offers several monitoring features, displays release notes, and community news. Lisk Desktop can also be used to verify a signature and much more. All of these afore-mentioned features do not require authentication.
Another usability enhancement introduced by version 1.27.0 of the Lisk Desktop is making the Dashboard the primary page. The user authentication is only required if you wish to use a feature that needs the passphrase. This allows newcomers to easily explore the Lisk Desktop application without having to sign-in.
Better Use of Modal Screens
The Lisk Desktop application contains pages such as “Wallet” and “Delegates” that include a set of statistics and charts on the top section followed by additional relevant information. These pages contain a high amount of data that occupies the entire screen. Whereas certain other pages such as “Send” possess limited information, which means that the rest of the screen is empty. Although leaving the remainder of the screen blank helps users focus on the critical information (e.g. amount of LSK or BTC to send), this logic does not apply for other features such as bookmarks or settings.
Based on the designers’ advice and the community members’ feedback, we decided to display these pages with a large white space area in a modal view. The modal views are meant to help maintain the user’s state, and allow them to read the information beneath the modal view if necessary. To avoid issues with the consistency of page size and simplify the user interface, we made use of the modal windows for pages such as: “Send”, “Sign”, “Verify message”, “Transaction summary screen” etc.
Visible Network Switcher
Although initially disabled for security reasons, users can enable the network switcher to connect to the testnet (for development purposes), or their trusted nodes.
Once you enabled the network switcher in previous versions, the network switcher would appear in the header. However, since it was only visible on the Sign-in page which had many prominent elements visible in the center, most users tended to overlook the network selector.
"I can't find the network switcher" was a frequent message on Lisk Chat.
We conducted some research to find the right placement for this feature, and the conclusion was to locate it in the center of the Sign-in page above the passphrase input field. This will now help users find the network switcher feature and avoid any possible confusion.
All the above-mentioned usability improvements are the result of a series of creative brainstorming sessions and competitive analysis. Based on the feedback received, we researched and crafted new designs, followed by implementing these features in the new version of Lisk Desktop. In order to continue to ensure our application remains user-friendly, we are committed to improve it constantly with other features.
We are currently working to implement additional new features such as the dynamic fee system, the new and more democratic voting system, multisignature accounts, and many more.
Finally, we are continually striving to further enhance Lisk Desktop, and are working on improving both the usability and accessibility features.
Download the version 1.27.0 of the Lisk Desktop here.
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