Problems Creating Blockstack Accounts on Mobile

@jeffd’s user videos and our user interactions reveal significant barriers creating Blockstack Accounts on mobile. These include:

  1. Users confused that creating a Blockstack Account takes them away from the app and into a browser.
  2. Users redirected to the Blockstack webpage instead of the originating app because of pressing ‘Deny’:
  3. Users don’t understand the permissions they’re granting and sometimes hesitate, clicking ‘Deny’. This takes them to the Blockstack webpage leading to further confusion.
  4. Users don’t understand why they’re providing an email. Users are hesitant to provide an email.
  5. Users can end up lost in the 12 word phrase portion of creating an account (confirming that they saved their key).
  6. Many steps in the flow are very slow to respond.

I’ve included a brief mash-up of user videos showcasing some of these problems at the end of this post. I think @yukan made a great suggestion in another forum post about giving the dApp developers more control over the onboarding process. If that were the case, Stealthy would try and do the following:

  1. Simplify / shorten the flow
  2. Explain more clearly what the email is used for, if it is stored, and provide another mechanism that doesn’t use personal information (i.e. render the password and urge the users to screenshot it).
  3. Allow users to enter their first and last name and provide a profile image, explaining how this is used and why.

We think this would go a long way towards helping users quickly start using Blockstack apps while understanding more precisely how and if their data is used. All the while preventing the common problem of losing users when they get redirected to the Blockstack webpage.

This is probably Stealthy’s biggest challenge currently and likely to be for any other Blockstack dApps going mobile.

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Thanks for posting Alex. I’ll go back and review your videos in full and find some specific fixes we can prioritize. We don’t really have a team on browser/onboarding right now, Ken and I have both been pulled off on other priorities, so we’ll do our best.

The full control for over onboarding option would still require a ton of work on our end before it unblocks you, I know that is frustrating and I apologize. Furthermore, you guys are the first production mobile apps so you’re going to encounter all the rough edges, which I also apologize for.

Specifically for the video you reference:

  • You might check to see if there is a reproducible error on Stealthy + certain device or state, for the Select ID step. I’ll also do some testing on Android.

  • You’re right, we haven’t spent much time on the UX of failing elegantly when the user clicks Deny or tries to refresh mid-onboarding.

  • Is it possible to load within the Android app to avoid any kind of switching between apps, especially when something goes wrong?

cc I think you’d find this interesting.

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