Design is also a research exercise. Through designing interactions, interfaces and services, we can discover and realise things we couldn't by interviewing people or reviewing materials and literature. Design expresses what comes out of research and elaborates and asserts user needs. These design findings often overlap but can be roughly grouped into three categories. The first is how the information comes through to the user. Then is how the visual components of the interface display that. Finally is how their interactions help make it all happen. These findings help further the development of mobile apps and services using IPFS.


  • Users can share photos, media and files in numerous ways that will happen how they think it will, for example photos will display as photos
  • Showing confirmations aren't the only way an app or service can inform the user about status and what is happening
  • Benefits shoud be focused on during onboarding as quickly as possible
  • It's difficult to inform and not overwhelm the user with notifications and to do it well would require thorough testing
  • How P2P works or why it's better can be explained quickly
  • Accounts need to provide a lot of communicated extra value quickly in order to be worth people signing up
  • The success and understanding of apps is largely down to how stable and dependable they are which needs to be communicated


  • Showing the file is safe can be expressed by showing it is held also locally
  • The user should be informed subtly that the file is safe
  • QR codes can be integrated well, but you have to tell the user what they are and what to do with them
  • The interface needs to show who has access to what at all times
  • Offline status needs to be indicated as lightly as possible
  • Time and cost can be addressed with progress bars and time estimates
  • IPFS links should be shown alongside ways to view files in the app
  • Settings should be minimised but not so much that the user needs to go through cascading menus for the most prevalent tasks
  • Designing around showing that things might not work due to things such as battery or signal strength needs to be light touch and non-intrusive for the user


  • There are some things like recovery seed phrases that are prevalent for a reason - there aren't many alternatives
  • Designing around the infrastructure of the mobile experience (signal and battery) requires knowledge of technical and usability issues
  • File management should follow usual conventions such as files and folders conventions
  • Discoverability with secure apps but can be handled with specific controls
  • The user should have options and information about publishing and how it is happening
  • Not leaving the user paranoid about recovery if they lose passwords or keys requires making sacrifices in privacy such as requiring emails or phone numbers
  • Offline local collaboration setup methods can be made simple and quick with QR codes