This post is about the wallet UI / UX as well as marketing.
If we are going to market BitShares to people that want to use it as an interest bearing bank account my first question is, what level of knowledge about derivatives and investing are we expecting them to have?
When I think about a bank account I think about withdrawals and deposits, not bid / ask & feed prices. If I have 10,000 BTS I wish to "deposit into savings" to earn interest, the steps required are completely different from a bank deposit.
You can see this by reviewing the http://www.aboutbts.com/2014/12/video-how-to-buy-bitusd-in-bitshares-wallet.html
video. In a nutshell, here's what you have to do to make a "savings deposit", assuming you have already jumped through the USD --> BTC --> BTS hurdle and wish to move the resulting BTS into BitUSD:
1) select account with BTS funds you wish to deposit.
2) select market
on left hand side of wallet.
3) Select the specific market (BitUSD:BTS
4) Select the account to use (again) to make purchase (same account as step 1)
5) Scroll down to the Buy BitUSD
6) Enter the quantity you wish to buy and the price you are willing to pay for it.
It's not as simple as just specifying how many BTS you wish to "deposit" (convert from BTS to BitUSD), you must "invest" in the BitUSD derivative and understand what that means, including bid / ask and feed prices.
So when we make statements on BitShares websites and marketing materials and promote BitShares as a replacement for a checking or savings account it strikes me as somewhat
of a "bait & switch" pitch. There are many bitcoin early adopters that may not be familiar with futures trading (derivatives) and all the associated jargon. Our UI / UX does not currently help such users feel comfortable.
Another thing this exercise has brought to my attention is the built in spread that this type of UI encourages. The UI does indicate the minimum ask price, but in the video example that was not used. If you have ever bought securities you know you typically have to exceed that minimum to facilitate a quick trade, depending on the direction the market is heading of course. Presumably that's where a "market" price comes into the picture.
What are the tradeoffs to be considered if the wallet provided a type of "market" purchase in order to streamline this process?
If you just want to "convert" one asset into a BitAsset (BitUSD, BitCNY, BitGold etc.) and all you had to do was specify the source account and the target BitAsset type (and perhaps an optional conversion cost parameter and time allowed for the order to live, say 1%, 2% or possibly even a fixed cost like 0.5 BTS) and the wallet executes that request (or not if the market won't accept it). Wouldn't that be easier for users that aren't so securities / investment savvy to use? Even that is quite a bit different than a simple deposit.
I suspect the current UI / UX is designed that way to be very familiar to that of an exchange, but I'm wondering if that's best for broadest appeal, even within the early adopter demographic.