YEN: Kill the Scams

Scams start with users who try to do nefarious things with information. So, as a consequence, we’re thinking comprehensively, end-to-end, on how we can reduce the amount of disinformation and #fakenews that might get out in our #yeniverse.

So, we’re thinking about small (yet significant) things like making it more transparent around usernames and even their history of user name changes.

There are very few social platforms that share this type of data (one of them is Ebay… pretty rad actually) and we think that if we publicly share someone’s nickname or username history it’ll provide even more high-fidelity decision making when it comes to followership and even speculative purchases.

For instance, if you saw someone change their username to “Vitalik_Buterinnnnnnn” to shill a coin or project then you’d know that they are illegitimate and trying to scam you.

Small decisions like this for the sake of transparency can go a looooong way to fighting the good fight of keeping the #yeniverse a fun and friendly place to be.

If you have any more great ideas, we’d love to hear it on YEN! Create a post and @mention @YENSupport or @YENeng and we’ll put it on the backlog!

We’ll have more details on how we plan on displaying this information in a future post… we’re working on design ideas right now…

– john


YEN: It’s the SMALL Stuff That Matters

Building a great product requires both large-scale thinking as well as managing the small, seemingly-infinitesimal design decisions in the product experience.

For instance, compare what Slack does with punctuation after you add the username:

Did you catch it?

They auto-magically remove the space so that you can keep typing without stopping.

Currently, with our Alpha implementation, we don’t do that:

See the difference?

Clearly, this is something we can build into our post editor, but it’ll make a big FELT difference when you type a username and add any punctuation to the username.

Small stuff matters… especially when you think of the scale at which we’re aiming for. If it was just 20 folks, then, perhaps the impact wouldn’t be so bad… but, when you’re aiming for 20 million users (and beyond!) then you have some serious impact.

Onward and upward!



YEN: Personalization Matters

As you all know, we’re building this product FOR YOU, our amazing community! And, what’s great is that it’s also being built BY YOU as well as we gather amazing feedback on the product every single day.

So, thank you thank you thank you for that!

But, of course, there’s a loooooooong way to go between here and public release and so keep the feedback coming!

One thing that we are experimenting with is the ability for our users to more customize their experience and so we’re going to start with some light customizations and personalization settings, like changing what coins you get to track via our sidebar widget(s).

Simple stuff, yet, important for creating a comprehensive experience that you’ll love coming back to. Do the small things really matter that much…? Of course they do.

Talk soon!



YEN: Support, When You Need It

Just a quick look at the design that we’re building out for support. 

A simple 3 column view with some important links on the left, the middle column should hold some FAQs (that we hope you can help us build out!), and then some live chat that we hope to implement via a system like Intercom.

Getting close…!


YEN: Customizations… Eventually.

The hardest thing to do in the early stages of product building is stripping things out that you know aren’t absolutely essential (but that you actually like).

A good example is allowing for the customization of the user experience for your users via things like custom backgrounds and avatars.

Obviously, adding an avatar makes sense (or a digital image of oneself) for a social network but the many other customizations that we’re all used to? Not so much.

… at least in the beginning.

Our hope is that as we get closer to public launch that we’ll understand our core experience better and ensure that folks are enjoying the system as much as we want them to… and then, we can add bells and whistles for customization later.

Those are things we’ll just have to patiently wait for in excited expectation!

– john


YEN: Pinning a Post

Small things can make a big difference and sometimes we can easily overlook opportunities to create a lot of value.

For instance, one of the things that Peter and I identified last week was the ability to “pin” a particular post in Yen that you’d like to highlight for your followers.

This, of course, is an option in systems like Twitter, but, it wasn’t as clear of an opportunity (i.e. worth the development time) until we realized that Peter would be spending a bit more time livestreaming and his desire to “pin” a livestream to his account made a lot of sense.


So, we designed something this week, like so:

Pin to profile? Sure!

Confirm it!

And there it is!

Want to replace it?

Unpin it then!


That’s kind of it.

– john


YEN: Simple Roll Overs…

When you build a new product you want to make sure that you can “shortcut” your users to the information they need without having them make full commitments to the click… as they say.

Simple roll overs and pop-ups (ewww…) can work effectively when designed appropriately.

What’s nice, at least for now, is that we’re able to take a lot of best practices of design and user experience from apps like Twitter and borrow heavily from them as we roll out our Alpha.

Long-term, you can expect a massive overhaul of the design as we want to create an altogether unique interface that matches our users to the very industry that they love.

We’ll get there shortly… but, we first have to take baby steps.

– john


#YENiverse Needs Your Help!

#YENiverse Needs Your Help!I wanted to take this moment to give a couple of shoutouts … though there are many to give!

First, thank you so much bitnative!

– This is the type of “finding your seat on the spaceship” that I’m always talking about! We have many seats OPEN on the spaceship. It is YOUR duty to find your voice, your seat!

– I love this type of content as it is so welcoming, so helpful… remember what we talked about in cohort… finding YOUR rituals make sure that you’re part of the firmament… it’s sticky. I’d love bitnative to do these daily if possible!


– You are now the MOST transacted person on YEN! Imagine when we’re fully public, how much money we’ll be moving through our system?!

– This is exactly how we want you guys to use YEN! 

– Thanks so much Brandon for trusting us and our system to buy/sell your favorite crypto!!!!

We have just begun my friends… as we slow roll out on boarding… keep considering where YOUR seat is… find it, and win!



Yen: Designing Posts

There are many iterations on posts and the designs that we have to build out for all of our various interactions.

Here’s a peek from our Style Guide that we’ve built out for posts:

Kind of neat, right?

And, we’re building more and more of these as we go along.

When it comes to product design (and development) it’s a good thing to formalize and standardize parts of the product that will be inevitably re-used and remixed.

The sooner you can do this the easier it becomes to iterate fast and deploy updates quickly as new workflows become available.

Just makes sense.

– john


Yen: Style Guide

Want to take a look at our WIP (“Work in Progress”) styleguide for the app?

Design-geeks (and nerds… and everyone else in between…)… here you go:

Again, nothing final here, but, it’s something we’re updating constantly, but, thought you’d appreciate it.

– john