I’m a UX Designer helping to build the new Internet: Ask Me Anything

Hello! I’m a UX Designer who works for MaidSafe and, as is probably obvious, am helping build the Safe Network.

I work to understand the possibilities for what a new Internet can be, how it could meet the needs of people, and help design it so it can do just that.

It’s exciting to be involved with something that will be so transformational, so please do ask me anything!

I’ll do my best to reply to as many as I can, but if it’s outside out my area of expertise, I’ll let you know.

For fun and shares, I’ll also aim to round up some of the most interesting, or perhaps some of the most common questions, and respond to them on YouTube.

[Also cross posted on Reddit here]


Do you think modularized e-commerce tools like a multi-sig escrow service, decentralized arbitration desk, and network wide shopping cart could be developed by Maidsafe and how do you see that affecting the everyday internet user to have alternatives to Shopify, eBay, Etsy, Amazon?


how will the experience of developing for the SafeNetwork differ from developing for the current web, from a UX Designer perspective? Are there any new skills required or would any current UX Designer find it very easy to make the transition? What would be the biggest change a UX Designer would encounter?


How to perform classic ‘backend’ operations, like matching orders for a trading platform?


How could the Safe Network impact the ease and security of everyday internet users financial information?

How could Safe Network help protect countries energy infrastructure against attack from other foreign actors? I imagine it making cyber warfare in general harder and bringing a level of peace by eliminating the temptation of current attack surfaces, easing tensions.


How much will be you be able to run ‘in the browser’ (or maybe on the SN APP)? Just thinking of how much more convenient it is these days now that many things like Zoom are web apps and you don’t have to download and install software for each platform and device you might use in advance.


… and the big one: how will search work?


Awesome questions guys, keep 'em coming.

I’ve started answering a few on Reddit, and I’m rounding some up for YouTube too.


It feels like people on the current web have fallen into a ‘trap’ where companies own people’s data (stored on the company servers).

Will Safe Network improve this situation so people don’t end up falling into a similar trap?

How do you think online behaviors can be changed so people can avoid this pitfall on the Safe Network?


Some questions:

Do you the relationship between businesses, users, apps and data will change? What sort of new dynamics will form, what will be better/worse?

Given nature of safe apps and their data, do you anticipate that less user data will need transmitting and trusted with third parties (shops, etc)? Will the traditional role of centralised app databases be reduced, given this relationship? Will there be advice to developers on how to understand and develop with this new model, when so many are used to client/server models?

Are there plans to define data standards to help apps share data with minimal friction? E.g. message formats, data patterns/conventions, etc.

Will there be an app wish list and UX help/outlines for developers who may wish to contribute towards these? Pooling efforts to create a more cohesive suit of apps may be great for devs and users?

In relation to the above, would there be any bounty programs to encourage developers to start developing apps? Once the network is generating income, will some of this be diverted to such endeavours?


Don’t hold back guys! :sweat_smile:

Seriously though, all great questions.

I’ll likely take the weekend to ponder some of them… they are big’uns, just as I’d have anticipated from you lot!


The day before, I promoted to another human being (a woman) Safe and explained to her how we would regain control of personal data, and she asked me: Isn’t it too late for that, they have all the information for us already? How would you answer that, Jim?


My answer: personal data goes out of date very quickly. Old data isn’t very valuable in general, but companies - and riding on their backs governments - are always interested in what you’re up to now so they can build and test better predictive models and sell things to you in real-time. That’s why Facebook and Google can never have enough personal data. So it’s never too late to start.


Thanks to trolls and bullies, conspiracy theorists and opportunists, disinformation and fake news are running rampant. We had Trump, and Brexit; authoritarianism is on the rise. How is it a good idea to give more power to people to post whatever they want, to share any information they want? Won’t this just exacerbate the problem?


Thank you for the answer, I’m interested in Jim’s answer too. :thankyou:

My personal answer was that even if we accept that our generation has lost the battle (and I do not accept it), it is important to fight for the future of the children (the woman I spoke to had a child). :dragon:


Great that you’re doing this Jim. It’s seeing things like this start up again that make me believe we’re almost at beta!

Have you considered crossposting to /r/AMA for some additional awareness?


Yeah I did consider that, however it seems they want you to answer only on r/AMA, when I had planned to answer a bunch on YouTube.

Maybe for another time though?


It’s because authoritarianism is on the rise we need the power to go back to the people. Freedom of speech is about letting everyone have free speech, even people with views you disagree with. It’s all a matter of perspective. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.


Maybe this is not something you can answer Jim, but lately I’ve been wondering about our networks “governance”. I know governance is kind of an ugly word for something like the Safe Network, but how are future improvements being made once the network is out in the open?


Full disclaimer - those were not my actual personal assumptions, beliefs, reasoning, or questions in my above question for Jim. I fully agree with you there @bittog9.

The question is a rough summary of the most difficult time I’ve ever had trying to explain Safe to someone - about three sentences in I was being attacked as if I was suggesting utter lawlessness and chaos, with poor and uneducated people believing the wrong things, voting for the wrong people, and burning everything to the ground.

I got emotional and did a terrible job answering at the time, so I’m taking this opportunity to get Jim to do the heavy lifting.