A former Apple Designer on the Importance of Implementing a Strong Design Culture into Cryptocurrency


This is Sid Parihar, and I lead all design activities at Metal Pay. Soon after joining Metal Pay from Apple, I remember having an in-depth conversation with the company’s co-founder, Marshall Hayner, that has stuck with both of us since. We were still in the very formative stages of our existence as an organization, and having come into this unfamiliar world of digital currencies, I was trying to understand how to bring a strong design culture to this nascent company. I was immensely appreciative of the fact that for an industry that has practically no design culture, Marshall innately understood the need to put in place an organization that creates experiences that are simple, elegant, fun, and genuinely enjoyable to use.

The sheer difficulty and lack of approachability that digital currencies have at the moment is undoubtedly one of the single greatest barriers in the path of mass adoption, but because of that, we also have a huge opportunity to remove these barriers by applying the practice of design and creative thinking, and thereby bringing the power of this new technology to everyone.

In order to do so, however, we first needed to internalize what we were trying to accomplish here at Metal Pay - the company’s beliefs, its motivations, its challenges and its aspirations. We refer to this as our Ethos, Logos, and Pathos. We believe that in order to succeed, we have to create something that appeals to our customers from an ethical, logical, and emotional point of view. Ethically, we always want to do right by our customers and what is in their best interests. Logically, we always want to make it a no-brainer that you should use our products over our competitors (think PoPP!), and emotionally, we want you to have an incredibly fun and deeply satisfying experience.

With that in mind, over the last several months we have been hard at work to create a carefully crafted vision of where we want our products and brand to go. This process started with first establishing an interaction, visual and motion graphics system for our Pay app, which is in turn the foundation for our new brand identity. Our brand is an outward expression of who we are, what we stand for, and where we’re going. It is a visual representation of our dreams and aspirations, and by building it atop the foundation of our product design language, it is our way of saying we want to be a product and user-centered company that makes things you will fall in love with.

You can see a quick preview of this new brand identity in the recent AMA posted here, which does an amazing job of answering some of the community’s burning questions, while also showcasing the level of sophistication with which we’ll be moving forward from here. This is just the start of a gradual brand roll out that will eventually appear everywhere you come in contact with Metal - social media, video, website, products. We believe presenting a consistent, sophisticated brand is absolutely crucial in breaking down the barriers between the digital currency industry and the mass market, and the amazing and diverse talent at Metal is ideally situated to make that happen.

Much more to come soon!