Simple and scalable: design code for a hardware wallet

Hito happened to be a bit late to the party. In 2022, the market of hardware crypto wallets was already full of competitors. Ledger, Trezor, CoolWallet and others had been around for some time. Yet Hito's founder saw an opportunity in offering a wallet that would be not just secure but also user-friendly — a gadget that could be used by anyone, not just crypto enthusiasts.

For a team working on Hito's initial design code, this premise offered a challeging task. The goals were grand:

At the same time there were significant constrains: all this had to be achieved with the very limited resources of an early stage startup.

Mapping the world of crypto

To better understand the context, the team studied all the existing crypto wallets, crypto projects in general, banks and financial institutions.

3 key trends were observed:

  1. The crypto ecosystem didn't have any shared and disctinctive style.

  2. At the same time, crypto wallets often copied Apple trying to present themselves stylish, polished, and premium.

  3. Forward-thinking banks and financial projects wanted to appear more accessible and colorful (NatWest or Apple Card).

Ledger homepage

Talking to crypto enthusiasts

The team also conducted a number of interviews to better understand the targed audience and to identify the messages that would resonate most. Here are the key takeaways:

Identifying Hito's personality

Based on customer interviews, the team identified 5 key messages for Hito.

Overall, the brand had to appear user-friendly, approachable, not dead serious and corporate but community-driven and maybe even a bit humorous.

Since "hito" itself was a Japaneese word (meaning "person") and clearly conveyed references to Japan, even for English-speaking people, using Japan as a style reference was a viable option.

Japaneese refs

Defyning the tone of voice

The team defined that in order to sound not "corporate", the brand should not only be straightforward, laconic and down-to-earth, but also a bit ironic. This approach resulted in adding a bit of humor to the copy, like in the following sentences:

The final result

It took a few design iterations to nail the right style — simple, unique, and scalable.

Hito landing

A few features are worth mentioning:

To fully experience the final product with all its animations and little nice touches, visit a copy of the site: click to see it live.