Pillar Project — Case Study

Product Design
6 Days
Working files
Final Report → Final report for the Hypersprint
Collaborative Whiteboard → Online whiteboard with design concepts
Prototype Design → Prototype screens for the entire flow


Design Process

Design Goals

“Pillar will be the default choice for users looking for an open, decentralized alternative for personal data ownership, exchange and interaction with the decentralized economy. Pillar will be seen as one of the most friendly, first-time-user wallets and consequently, PLR token will be widely used as a meta-token and industry on-ramp.”

Currently Pillar seems almost too powerful for people to understand and use – it offers many solutions to problems people are not aware of they exist. By showing them the possibilities we were able to see which features resonate the most and can now see how to prioritize in order to achieve the long term goal. In short, the PLR token definitely has a lot of benefits and value, mostly due to reduced fees on the Pillar Network and its applications which need to be seen. Personal data ownership also seems to be an important topic but due to the amount of possibilities, most people are not yet beyond the point of trusting apps/companies with their data. Which is an inevitable step towards finding utility in self-governance of personal data. The concept can work very well in the future, but it needs to be re-prioritized and re-focused on the useful aspects people are interested in, in order to slowly, progressively guide them to the full spectrum of possibilities over time.

Design Challenges

1. Can we provide an example so people see the social and economic benefits of self-sovereignty?
Yes, but either to a small section of the population or by introducing it progressively over time.

Social benefits of self-sovereignty on the example of different personas seemed to be an interesting concept, but only applicable to a tiny portion of the population. It would fix a problem for certain people, rather than providing value directly. We can imagine multiple personalities make sense for some people at some point in the future, but it’s definitely less important than keeping their data private. The economic benefits are a similar issue and only apply to users with high-frequency wallet-to-wallet transactions.

Although it’s worth mentioning that people love the idea of monetizing their data, as long as it’s clear that they are 100% in control.

2. Can we demonstrate enough value of self-custody and/or self-sovereignty over a custodial service?
Yes, but only if we can educate people about how data is stored.

Currently, people are very aware of their data and keeping it safe. But instead of seeing different ways to keep it safe, most people are simply losing trust in the existing, centralized solutions. So far, Pillar only shows what most other apps show – it’s not clear, explained or mentioned that it’s decentralized and that there is no way anyone can know or use the information.

Explaining the technology or at least making sure users understand the difference between Pillar and e.g. Apple Pay would be immensely helpful. Ideally, there should be a use-case/feature which directly proves it.

3. Can we make sure PLR token has more utility and value than a stable coin for a new user?
Yes, but only if we show them more possibilities or target high-frequency “value-exchangers”.

A few testers in fact mentioned that the only utility for PLR they see is investment and speculation. At the same time, they were excited about the idea to utilize it in other ways (lending, trading data, sending lightning-fast and free transactions). One possible solution would be putting more focus on the actual use cases, i.e. showing different applications inside Pillar like in an app store, which utilize PLR.

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