How blockchain, the cloud, and design are joining to transform user experiences
Designers are constantly dreaming of and reimagining ways to make amazing experiences for people.
Every so often - or about once in a generation - a technology comes along that, when married with design thinking, throws off constraints and completely changes the game. Blockchain is our generation's catalyst for a new wave of user experiences that may very well change the way companies think about themselves.Blockchain is a permanent and digitized chain of transactions, grouped together in blocks that cannot be altered, which creates an unchangeable record of every transaction.
Blockchain is most powerful when transactions happen between multiple parties, because it enables true transparency without the need for a central authority. As such, relationships can be forged that never existed before, and very quickly.
Think of any transaction in your life, perhaps one that might be challenging for you due to its complexity. If you've ever bought a used car, you likely wanted to know its history. The dealership or owner may have been able to provide you with this data, but could you trust it? Setting aside nefarious intent, is it possible the previous owner may have forgotten something?
Imagine if, throughout the lifetime of the car, every maintenance record was written onto a permissioned ledger. There would be no question about whether the car was properly maintained or had ever been in an accident or a flood. Complete transparency, anytime, anywhere - from banking to shopping to shipping. This is what blockchain offers.
To designers, such as those in IBM Bluemix Garages, blockchain is an inspiration. We can reimagine user interactions that previously had rules set by one party or another, and often without the consideration of transparency.
When entrepreneurs and enterprises meet with the designers in our Garages, or our global network of collaborate hubs where product and design teams can come together to build with the cloud, they are able to reinvent entire transaction networks and ecosystems from scratch.One of the best aspects of this new approach is that we can start designing new processes that benefit every party involved, from making complicated processes simplified for individual users to bringing new speed to entire industries.
Blockchain holds potential that ranges from enabling new home buyers to be securely vetted for mortgages in as little as three clicks, to a Brazilian orange grower being able to easily and simply sell oranges on the global market.
We've already seen many companies around the world start to tap into the potential of blockchain to redefine their user experiences. For example, Singapore startup FreshTurf is working with a team at a nearby IBM Bluemix Garage to explore how blockchain might transform how individuals receive and track packages.
Or consider KYCK!, another Singapore startup co-founded by three entrepreneurs who personally experienced frustrating inefficiencies when signing up for financial services. To help solve these, KYCK! turned to an IBM Bluemix Garage.
Blockchain, combined with design thinking, enabled KYCK! to transform its processes completely, exploring how customers can more rapidly, easily and securely get up and running with financial services.
As designers, we're continuously thinking of the user experience from all sides - from how companies operate to how they offer a product to customers. In many ways. Blockchain - and the ability to easily access it and work with it in the cloud - is what we've been waiting for. Blockchain has brought real change and transformation to industries around the world, and the way society experiences and interacts with them.
Watch the video below to find out more.
To learn more about the new era of business, visit ibm.com/cognitive.
This post is sponsor content from IBM and was created by IBM and BI Studios.