Hiro UX Team - June 2021 Recap

Hiro’s User Experience Team provides a safe & reliable way to manage STX holdings with the Stacks Wallet, and makes every detail of blockchain activity easy to reference with the Stacks Explorer.

Technical debt is one of the main obstacles engineering teams have to face when trying to rapidly deliver products. That’s why in June, the UX Team focused most of their efforts on alleviating a lot of this technical debt to set ourselves up for success during the next quarters.

However, it wasn’t a month solely focused on refactoring. We also shipped numerous UX improvements, had our first team hackathon, and planned loads of exciting new features for Q3.

🐴 First team hackathon: a demo app for Stack’s documentation

One common pitfall teams experience is to become detached from their users and blindly build products based on assumptions and uninformed hypotheses. Even though the UX team makes efforts to work out in the open and close to the Stacks community, we felt that it’s not enough.

Most of the members of the team rarely have time to build applications that interact with the web wallet. That’s why we’ve decided to hold a monthly team hackathon to better understand first-hand what it’s like to build with our product. The goals were to:

  • Understand our UX and DX better
  • Shape the roadmap and keep the team focused on priorities
  • Discover bugs before our users report them
  • Dogfood our products
  • Increase our connection to the ecosystem
  • Increase our productivity by having the team engaged and focused on our mission
  • Team building, bonding, and fun!

Heystack

Our first hackathon session was during the first week of June. It resulted in Heystack, a messaging app that demonstrates how to interact with the wallet and smart contracts from a React application.

Demo of Heystack

Check out this live Heystack demo application

Learn more about Heystack and follow the tutorial

Check out the codebase yourself!

What we learned

We learned that interacting with Clarity has a relatively steep learning curve, and there wasn’t sufficient documentation for developers to seamlessly grasp its language design and syntax. As a result, a new guide to Developing with Clarinet has been written by Hiro’s documentation team.

We also noticed that network selection could be confusing for the user. This motivated us to schedule work to improve the network selection flow for Q3.

Overall, the UX team hackathon was a great experience. We had a blast, learned a lot, and we can’t wait to do it all again in July.

🚀 Paving the road

Now let’s explore what the we’ve done during June in the wallets:

Stacks Wallet for Web

We’ve dedicated much of June to improving our codebase. In particular, the state management library has been switched, and some changes have been made as to how the project is structured.

See some of the discussions taking place on Github to learn more →

This work is transparent to wallet users, but necessary in order to ship with confidence, get contributors aligned, and iterate quickly on features later.

New introductory modal for Stacks Web Wallet

On the way to fixing our technical debt, we’ve introduced some UX improvements and implemented a new intro modal in Connect, as well as better handling when the user is on an unsupported browser.

Stacks Wallet for Desktop

We’ve released a patch version of the desktop wallet, 4.3.1, that wrap up some common confusions and bugs:

🌱 Team is growing

The UX team keep growing! We’d like to welcome Beguene who has joined the team as a software engineer. He brings a ton of experience, both as a developer and general crypto enthusiast, and I personally can’t wait to see what we’ll achieve with him around.

I’d also like to celebrate advances on our team dynamics. We started having engineer discussions in the open in the #userx-tech Discord channel, and async conversations in GitHub discussions. Please join in!

👋 Hello July

During July we’ll work on Microblocks, one of the most anticipated features for Stacks 2.0, and improving the onboarding experience.

📺 June’s UX Team demo

Start building on Stacks
Create apps and smart contracts that inherit all of Bitcoin’s powers, or join thousands of other builders on the Stacks Discord