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Reimagining the block explorer with the WAX Explorer

нояб. 27, 2018

In our recent major development update, we announced the successful launch of several exciting projects including the beta WAX Blockchain and the WAX Explorer, and a sneak peek at what’s coming down the pipeline.

One component of this update that we’re most enthusiastic to share more about is the design of the WAX Explorer. This block explorer is unlike any you’ve seen before, featuring a user-friendly design, a visual representation of every single item traded, and multiple 3D viewing and interactive features.

WAX Explorer

Like other block explorers for other chains, the WAX Explorer shows details for all transactions taking place on the beta WAX Blockchain and other important data. But that’s where the similarities to other block explorers end.

We’ve completely reimagined what a block explorer should do and look like with the WAX Explorer.

Click here to view the Harbinger Knife | Stellar in the WAX Explorer
Click here to interact with the Harbinger Knife | Stellar in the WAX 3D Item Viewer Service

Re-imagining the block explorer with the WAX Explorer

Most block explorers were originally designed for commodity-style, fungible tokens like Bitcoin and Litecoin. They exist to simply provide relevant information about the tokens being traded. For generic tokens like BTC and LTC, the information anyone is interested in tracking is pretty limited to just metadata - what block the transaction is in, the milliseconds it took, the address it was sent to, etc.

But WAX is a different type of blockchain, and the products that are traded on it are very different from what’s traded on other block explorers. As we usher in the new era of consumer-friendly mass adoption of blockchain technology, we saw that it was necessary to invent a new type of block explorer that was different from everything else out there. If the types of items that are trading on the beta WAX Blockchain are different from the items trading on other blockchains, then it’s logical that the WAX Explorer should be different as well.

Unique features of the WAX Explorer

The difference between seeing Ethereum traded on Etherscan versus VGO skins traded on the WAX Explorer is that ETH transactions are just a string of characters whereas non-fungible tokens (NFTs) like VGO and CryptoKitties are all completely unique from one another. They’re unique collectibles and therefore e-commerce products, not store-of-value commodities like other tokens. For this reason, a block explorer that shows transactions of these NFTs must include merchandising data relevant to someone searching for and trading them. That’s what we built with the WAX Explorer.

NFTs on the WAX Explorer
NFTs on the WAX Explorer

The appearance of the items traded on WAX is extremely important to traders of them. Things like the wear value on a VGO skin can significantly affect the price. So why hide these visuals behind an ugly stream of letters and numbers, when customers want to see the items that they’re trading?

Karambit | Tuxedo
Click to view the Karambit | Tuxedo in the WAX Explorer

360 degree field inspection: https://files.opskins.media/file/vgo-img/previews/3177124_video.webm

Designing the WAX Explorer in the same way that block explorers were designed for commodity-style token trading would be like Amazon having just SKU numbers and weight information for its products instead of photos and videos showing shoppers what the product looks like.

In addition to showing the visuals for all items traded on WAX, we also included a 360 degree rotating animation for VGO items and the WAX 3D Item Viewer Service that allows anyone to click and drag on the item to view it at any angle (not all VGO items have the 3D Item Viewer Service enabled now, but all eventually will).

The WAX Explorer also shows relevant information outside of traditional block explorer data like which vCase the item came from, because that matters to the consumers of these items who are buying products - not commodities.

Item Genesis Transaction details shows the case name and other details

User-friendly blockchain experiences like the WAX Explorer will pave the way to mass adoption

Our overall goal was to make the WAX Explorer as user-friendly as possible. If the blockchain community’s goals is mass adoption of blockchain technology among general consumers, then block explorers - and blockchain-based products overall - shouldn’t be designed so that only blockchain-savvy people can easily use and understand. People should be able to use a blockchain-based service like the WAX Explorer without realizing they’re interacting with the blockchain. Consumers shouldn’t have to actively think about using the blockchain when searching for an item’s sale history in the same way they don't have to actively think about using the internet when asking Google Home to turn up the volume on Pandora. NFT traders should be able to easily view the items that they're trading or interested in trading, see the price of the items in USD instead of calculating crypto, and use all of the visual features on the block explorer that exist on other sites.

“Almost all other blockchain explorers out there do not focus user experience and they are not visually appealing to the audiences, which makes very difficult for new users - and perhaps even seasoned users - in the blockchain/crypto world to use,” says Johnny Lin, the UX/Web Design Manager for WAX who designed the WAX Explorer. “I wanted to show that WAX is not just another blockchain, since everything we do here at WAX is revolutionary, so my main objective when designing the WAX Explorer was that I wanted this product to be able to communicate to all of WAX’s audiences and to provide them with a superior user experience.”

The WAX Explorer is in the MVP (minimum viable product) phase, so expect many more features to be added over the coming weeks and months, which we’ll be sharing with the community.

What do you think of the WAX Explorer?

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