Home » User Experience

digital signature trends for 2023
Digital Signatures

Digital signature technologies have become a reliable way of doing business in a primarily digitized world. These technologies are expected to grow in popularity in 2023 and here are several key trends to watch:

  • Increased adoption: As more organizations and individuals become aware of the benefits of digital signature technologies, you can expect to see greater adoption of such solutions. This adoption includes a wide range of industries such as financial services, real estate, legal, IT and many more that serve as early-adopters of new technologies and which process a high volume of digital transactions requiring digital signatures.
  • Improved security and compliance: One of the key advantages of digital signature technologies is the enhanced security and compliance they offer. These technologies use advanced encryption and authentication methods to ensure the integrity and authenticity of signed documents. In 2023, you can expect to see further developments in the security and compliance of digital signature technologies. ZorroSign’s data security platform provides users with the security and privacy afforded by blockchain technology, plus our patented fraud detection technology (the Z-Forensics token), and passwordless login options through biometrics security.

  • Enhanced user experience: As digital signature technologies become more widespread, you can anticipate a greater focus on improving the user experience. This could include the development of more intuitive and user-friendly interfaces, as well as the integration of digital signature technologies with other tools and platforms. In this spirit, ZorroSign just recently launched our completely redesigned user experience! On the back-end, we’ve updated to a scalable microservices and containers architecture—allowing our platform to grow quickly while enhancing our development team’s productivity, autonomy, and efficiency. We’re also deploying on Provenance Blockchain for select organizations and continually enhancing our privacy, security, and compliance capabilities. On the front-end, you will quickly see the simplicity of our new user interface—delivering what we believe to be the best user experience for digital signatures!

  • Increased use of biometric authentication: Biometric authentication methods, such as fingerprint scanning and facial recognition, offer an additional layer of security for digital signature technologies. In 2023, you can expect to see more organizations and individuals using biometric authentication methods to sign documents electronically. ZorroSign leverages the biometric security of Apple and Android mobile devices to login to individual devices (and so the ZorroSign app) with hardware biometric capture features such as face, fingerprint, and iris scans. Such biometric login facilitates passwordless user authentication at the device-level for subsequent ZorroSign digital signatures and document management.

  • More advanced integration with other technologies: Digital signature technologies can be integrated with a wide range of other technologies, such as workflow management systems, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and document management systems. In 2023, you can anticipate more advanced integration of digital signature technologies with these and other tools, enabling organizations to streamline and automate their document signing processes.

Overall, 2023 is shaping up to be a promising year for the adoption of digital signature technologies! As more organizations and individuals embrace these solutions, ZorroSign is expecting to see a range of benefits, including improved security and compliance, enhanced user experience, and greater integration with other technologies.


Contact us
 to learn more about our data security platform built on blockchain and put us to the test:  Start your free trial of ZorroSign’s data security platform today!

While information and data have always been valuable commodities, they have never been as available and distributed as they are in our digital world today. With digital information being so readily generated and shared, data security rises in importance. Learning about data security and how it may impact your business, government, and personal life is a necessity. So let’s dive in to what data security means and its importance in today’s technologically driven world!

What is Data Security

“Data security is the process of safeguarding digital information throughout its entire life cycle to protect it from corruption, theft, or unauthorized access,” defines Fortinet, a computer, data, and network security company. “It covers everything—hardware, software, storage devices, and user devices; access and administrative controls; and organizations’ policies and procedures.”

“When properly implemented, robust data security strategies will protect an organization’s information assets against cybercriminal activities, but they also guard against insider threats and human error, which remains among the leading causes of data breaches today,” adds IBM. “Data security involves deploying tools and technologies that enhance the organization’s visibility into where its critical data resides and how it is used. Ideally, these tools should be able to apply protections like encryption, data masking, and redaction of sensitive files, and should automate reporting to streamline audits and adhering to regulatory requirements.”

The Importance of Data Security

In today’s digital world, protecting proprietary information—including client data, financial transactions, knowledge archives, infrastructure and databases—must be a top priority for companies and organizations. If they fail via data breaches, hacking, or theft, companies may lose customers and lose trust.

“All businesses have data that’s valuable and that has to be protected,” said Candy Alexander, international president at Information Systems Security Association, a nonprofit organization for information security professionals and practitioners.

Individuals and organizations rely on the companies they do business with to safeguard their data. If a trusted company fails at this task, the company will have more than just the legal fallout to contend with.

According to UpGuard, the combined cost of global data breaches in 2021—including customer repayments, auditing services, legal fees, and fines, among other costs—was approximately $6 trillion. But a failure to protect private information negatively impacts more than just a business’s bottom line, it endangers their reputation and future success. As such, companies employ skilled professionals to prevent or mitigate such risks.

“The cloud, mobility, and the powerful devices most of us have in our pockets enable a culture of convenience, and the ability to collaborate and be more productive. While this convenience arguably makes our lives easier, it also makes it easier for cybercriminals to gain access to our sensitive personal information wherever it lives or wherever it is traveling across the network,” explains SimpliLearn. “New security threats pop up all the time, and IT security professionals need to stay up to date with the latest tactics hackers are employing in the field.” Data security teams must include strategists, communicators, and lifelong learners to ensure IT security is consistently a top priority.

ZorroSign is a Data Security Platform Build on Blockchain

Advancing data security is critical for any technology managing data, and ZorroSign delivers data security in several ways.

The first way ZorroSign supports data security is by using distributed ledger technologies—originally built on Hyperledger Fabric, now expanded to include the Provenance Blockchain—ZorroSign provides superior privacy and security, while preventing fraud and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Blockchains provide structural layers of protection from cybercrime like ransomware, malware, or phishing attacks by decentralizing the data set itself (preventing any one breach to access the entire data set), and then by giving endpoints (or nodes) a quick path to recovery, even if they are themselves breached or their access ransomed. Unlike centralized databases—which can be breached at unsecure endpoints (users and devices) or even at managed service providers (MSPs) hosting them—giving attackers complete control once they gain central access, blockchain technology distributes data physically across separate nodes. By decentralizing data storage, blockchain effectively prevents any one endpoint (even if compromised) from gaining control of the full data set. This distributed nature defeats any attack seeking to breach a system and holistically encrypts the data files stored inside: A single endpoint node might be breached, and its files held for ransom, but the larger data set cannot be controlled by any one endpoint (or central authority) and so attackers cannot capture the full data set for encryption, ransom, and shutting down the network.

ZorroSign has further elevated our data security through our patented fraud detection technology we call the Z-Forensics token. This unique digital solution can:

  • Prove that the individual who is performing the action to sign the document is who they claim to be (verification)
  • Apply a digital equivalent of a wet-ink signature to the document (legal intent)
  • Prove the authenticity of the printed or digital version of an electronically signed document, its content, attachments, and the signatures on it (authenticity)

Plus ZorroSign supports computer security with passwordless authentication capabilities, leveraging the biometric security of Apple and Android mobile devices to login to the device (and ZorroSign app) with hardware biometric capture features such as face, fingerprint, and iris scans.  Such biometric login facilitates user authentication at the device-level without passwords (which can be hacked or stolen) for elevated security of digital signatures and your digital documents.


Contact us
 to learn more about data security and put us to the test:  Start your free trial of ZorroSign’s data security platform built on blockchain today!

We are proud to finish 2022 strong by sharing our completely redesigned user experience for ZorroSign’s data security platform built on blockchain!

On the back-end, we’ve updated to an elaborate microservices and containers architecture—allowing our platform to scale quickly while enhancing our development team’s productivity, autonomy, and efficiency. We’re also deploying on Provenance Blockchain for select organizations and continually enhancing our privacy, security, and compliance capabilities.

On the front-end, you will quickly see the simplicity of our user interface—delivering what we believe to be the best user experience for digital signatures!

For a quick introduction to our new look, new features, and new benefits, watch this short overview from our U.S. operations team:

What’s New with ZorroSign’s Data Security Platform Built on Blockchain

And for an expanding overview of key functionality, visit our YouTube channel to watch helpful videos on creating an account, creating E-Sign documents, using platform tools, digitally signing documents, and so much more!

ZorroSign’s YouTube Channel: New User Experience Playlist

We are thrilled to share our updated platform with you . . .

Remember: When your data privacy and security are on the line, Block It Down!

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-zorrosign-moved-microservices-you-should-too-shamsh-hadi/

At ZorroSign we recently made a major change to our platform architecture!

We have always been built on blockchain—and have always delivered the most private, most secure digital signatures—but we wanted to scale our platform much more aggressively, and that vison required a big change in how we develop and deploy our technology. Specifically, we moved from a centralized, monolithic approach to using microservices and containers.

Let me explain why we choose this new engineering approach and how your company might benefit from a similar move.

What Are Microservices? What Are Containers?

“A microservices architecture splits your application into multiple services that perform fine-grained functions and are part of your application as a whole,” explains IBM. “Each of your microservices will have a different logical function for your application.”

Explained another way, “a microservices framework creates a massively scalable and distributed system, which avoids the bottlenecks of a central database,” says Avi Networks (now part of VMware). “Microservices break an application into independent, loosely-coupled, individually deployable services… allowing for each service to scale or update using the deployment of service proxies without disrupting other services in the application and enabling the rapid, frequent and reliable delivery of large, complex applications.”

There are two types of microservices:  Stateless (which do not save data, so any data is lost when the microservice’s container restarts), and Stateful (which do save data and so write to a database).

And where do you put those microservices? In containers.

“Containers are packages of your software that include everything that it needs to run, including code, dependencies, libraries, binaries, and more,” continues IBM. “Docker and Kubernetes are the most popular frameworks to orchestrate multiple containers in enterprise environments”

“Containers are a lightweight alternative to VMs for providing isolated operating environments for your workloads,” says Edward Kisller for JFrog. “Containers avoid the infrastructure overhead of a full-blown OS and provide only those resources (i.e., installations, dependencies, and code) that your applications actually need.” In other words, containers do not use all the CPU or RAM but instead share the operating system kernel for faster boots and less memory consumption.

“A container is a useful resource allocation and sharing technology. It’s something dev-ops people get excited about,” writes Ev Kontsevoy for Teleport. “A microservice is a software design pattern. It’s something developers get excited about.”

Why Develop with Microservices? What Are the Benefits?

“Microservices architectures make applications easier to scale and faster to develop,” notes Amazon Web Services. “Enabling innovation and accelerating time-to-market for new features.”

Such were ZorroSign’s high-level goals:  To improve scalability, resilience, and productivity.

“Moving to microservices enabled a polyglot tech stack,” said Priyal Walpita, chief technology officer at ZorroSign. “Which means our engineers could contribute to our development efforts using the technology stacks that they know best, plus we boosted performance and facilitated a continuous delivery pipeline for easier and faster deployments.”

“Applications were traditionally built as monolithic pieces of software,” continues Avi Networks. “Monolithic applications have long life cycles, are updated infrequently and changes usually affect the entire application. Adding new features requires reconfiguring and updating the entire stack — from communications to security. This costly and cumbersome process delays time-to-market and updates in application development.”

In contrast to monolithic apps, microservices/container architectures bring benefits such as greater:

  • Agility — Microservices foster the organization of small, independent teams that take ownership of their services. “Best examples of microservices agility are sites like Amazon, eBay, Uber and Netflix, which are active 24×7,” notes AnAr Solutions. “The performance of these sites is a benchmark for other sites and applications. The response time, ability to handle multiple requests and process in minimum time is commendable.”
  • Productivity — “The microservice architecture tackles the speed issue of applications and its productivity by dividing it into small parts. In this way, these applications are developed and maintained at a very fast speed,” writes Terralogic. “Different teams work independently without waiting for the other team to finish their chunks of work. In this way, separate microservices are easier to locate and modify. Quality assurance of this microservice architecture is very fast as the programs which are developed early are tested instead of waiting for all the programs to be completed.”
  • Resilience — With microservices, an application will still function if part of it goes down because microservices allow for spinning up a replacement, granting the entire system higher resilience. “Three well-known microservices resiliency techniques improve fault tolerance and allow applications to smoothly handle failures,” explains Dr. Alan F. Castillo for Cloud Computing Technologies: Retry patterns, circuit breaker patterns, and timeout design patterns. “Employing these patterns is a very effective resiliency strategy for microservices applications. It doesn’t matter how you apply these patterns; what matters is that you have systems that can properly deal with failures.”
  • Continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) — Microservice facilitate CI/CD for applications and modernize the technology stack. “There are some goals of a strong CI/CD progression to serve in the microservices design, for example, every team of coders independently develop and install their changes or edits owned by them individualistically so that it did not affect or disrupt the work of other teams,” reports DevOps Enabler. “CI/CD best practices include the goal of automating the building process, testing the products, and then releasing the software. Developers must be able to track the performance metrics of DevOps throughout the software delivery lifecycle and warn people so that they can quickly recover if something goes wrong during deployment or release cycle.”
  • Scalability — Meeting demand is easier when microservices only have to scale the necessary components, which requires fewer resources. “Since an application is composed of multiple micro services which share no external dependencies, scaling a particular micro service instance in the flow is greatly simplified,” writes Atul Saini for Fiorano Software. “If a particular microservice in a flow becomes a bottleneck due to slow execution, that microservice can be run on more powerful hardware for increased performance if required, or one can run multiple instances of the microservice on different machines to process data elements in parallel.”
  • Security — “Migrating to microservices creates an opportunity for a much better security model,” explains Kontsevo. “As every microservice is a specialized process, it is a good idea to only allow it to access resources it needs. This way a vulnerability in just one microservice will not expose the rest of your system to an attacker.”

Not everything is easier with microservices, of course. Three commonly acknowledged challenges of deploying microservices typically include: First, the “complexity from managing microservices written in different languages,” as we’ve done at ZorroSign. Second, the “cost implications of network resource usage from remote calls across multiple services” and third, “investigating root causes or auditing systems becomes challenging when dealing with log management across distributed services, as log aggregators would be required,” suggests BMC.

But complexity, costs, and support all increase when any application grows, so facing those challenges with a microservices architecture is little different than facing the complexity, costs, and support challenges of a larger monolithic app.

Why ZorroSign Choose Microservices—and Why You Should, Too

Our CTO and I have been assessing microservices for several years, and committed to an overhaul of our DevOps a year ago. We spent the first half of 2022 building the next iteration of ZorroSign’s blockchain platform with microservices and containers.

“Beyond the development advantages, microservices allow us to more easily manage complex ZorroSign back-end services and improve our entire system’s resiliency,” said Walpita. “It’s far easier finding and fixing bugs, allowing our development team to focus on single, isolated functionality, and then deploying asynchronously to other development efforts, whenever new functionality is tested and ready.”

From my perspective, I was intrigued to learn how microservices improved our defense-in-depth capabilities, as security can be configured much more granularly and configured at each microservice level. With ZorroSign’s commitment to privacy and security, microservices were another important upgrade to keep our platform ahead of the competition.

“Our team develops in C#, Go, Java, and Python,” adds Walpita. “Being able to deploy all those program languages in a single application, united across AWS cloud tools, Docker, and Kubernetes, gives ZorroSign the flexibility our engineers desire and the scalability our customers demand.”

Finally, I asked Priyal what advice he might give other organizations thinking of deploying microservices. He said: “Make sure your product and development team are mature enough to adopt the complexity of a microservice architecture. At some point, a growing app’s need for scalability, higher resilience, and improved performance may make microservices the best path forward. But ensuring your DevOps are ready to integrate and manage all the pieces of a polyglot tech stack is the key to success.”

I encourage you to consider microservices for your apps, and welcome the chance to talk more about this exciting architecture for new technologies!

Blockchain-based digital signatures for greater privacy and security

With more and more businesses, governments, and individuals employing blockchain technology for commerce and operations, ZorroSign stands as key addition to your technology stack. 

Whether you’re decentralizing data with web3, securing cloud or software-as-a-service (SaaS) architectures, committing to digital transformation, or elevating sustainability, our multi-chain blockchain solution is the perfect addition to your IT offerings—learn how!

If You’re Decentralizing with Web3

The idea of escaping a centralized authority managing protocols, transactions, and access was built into the World Wide Web from its earliest days

  • Web 1.0 was the initial iteration of the World Wide Web in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.  “Web 1.0 is the term used for the earliest version of the Internet as it emerged from its origins with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA),” writes Kuntal Chakraborty for Techopedia. “Experts refer to it as the ‘read-only’ web—a web that was not interactive in any significant sense.”
  • From those early static web pages, a platform model of computing soon evolved that would become Web 2.0 or the ‘social web.’  Here, interaction with growing web applications and platforms drove e-commerce and the expansion of the Internet, allowing large providers to aggregate and control much of the shared data.  This is the Internet we know today.
  • The dream of Web 3.0, however, is to break the centralization of information and democratize the Internet more to the vision of its earliest founders.  “Web3, ” claims Chris Dixon from Andreesen Horowitz in a recent article in The Economist, “combines the decentralized, community-governed ethos of web1 with the advanced, modern functionality of web2.”

“The rise of technologies such as distributed ledgers and storage on blockchain will allow for data decentralization and create a transparent and secure environment, overtaking Web 2.0’s centralization, surveillance and exploitative advertising,” writes Charles Silver in a recent Forbes article.  “Indeed, one of the most significant implications of decentralization and blockchain technology is in the area of data ownership and compensation… Web 3.0 will bring us a fairer internet by enabling the individual to be a sovereign.”

Blockchains are distributed ledger technology (DLT) leveraging cryptography—user authentication, data encryption and verification—to secure information records (blocks) distributed across peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. DLTs replicate, share, and synchronize digital data geographically spread across multiple sites (nodes), with no central data storage or administrator. They can run publicly (open) or privately (permissioned).

Perhaps most importantly, blockchains can support smart contracts—where terms, conditions, and permissions written into the digital code that require an exact sequence of events to take place to trigger the agreement of the terms mentioned in the blockchain contract. This hardwiring of contract details greatly increases speed (via automation), trust (where accuracy and backup are built into the transaction), and autonomy (as no third parties are required to mediate or control the exchange) of transactions.

As such, centralized solutions such as blockchains have immense potential to transform business contracts, real estate deals, digital rights, supply chain security and provenance, estate planning, and many other legal transactions.

And here is where ZorroSign shines! 

User Experience

We have built our digital platform from the ground up using blockchain technology.  Launched with Hyperledger Fabric, our multi-chain platform now supports the public Provenance Blockchain as well, giving our users an entirely new world of decentralized digital transactions.

Our web3 technology platform also provides identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) capabilities through a patented Z-Forensics token plus fraud prevention, user authentication, and document verification.  Web3 features such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) allow us to automate form completion for digital documents, and can improve regulatory compliance across global standards for legally enforceable digital signatures.

Paired with Provenance Blockchain—which reduces the need for third-party intermediation, drastically reducing costs and freeing up capital in financial transactions—ZorroSign’s platform promotes greater transparency and liquidity for organizations, and allows for new kinds of financial engineering and business opportunities.

If You’re Securing SaaS or Cloud Solutions

More than 90% of all cyber attacks begin with phishing but blockchain architecture, originally built for zero-trust environments, can deliver a compelling alternative to centralized databases and a strong protection against cyber attacks. How?

  • In phishing attacks that seek to steal data, blockchain presents a data architecture where no single endpoint node controls the data set. Even if an individual endpoint is hacked through phishing or other social engineering, the data set is distributed across many nodes. This decentralization of data and access means even successful phishing attacks that penetrate a blockchain endpoint only gain a small piece of system access.
  • In cyber attacks that seek to inject malware such as ransomware, the distributed nature of blockchain defeats those seeking to breach a system then holistically ransom the data files stored therein. Again, a single endpoint node might be breached, but the larger data set cannot be controlled by any one endpoint (or central authority) and so attackers cannot capture the full data set for encryption, ransom, and shutting down the network.
  • Recovery is quicker with blockchain, too. With blockchain, each endpoint node has a unique encryption key to access and write to the distributed ledger. If any one of those endpoints is successfully hacked (compromising their access key), the blockchain can simply remove distributed ledger access for that compromised key, issue the endpoint a new key, and allow that endpoint to quickly regain distributed ledger access (effectively as a new endpoint). This speedy recovery process effectively maroons any ransomware on the endpoint it attacked—ending its access and threat—while allowing the endpoint to re-engage the larger data set with a new key and without needing to pay any ransom to the attackers for restored access.

ZorroSign technology leverages the biometric capabilities of hardware endpoints to verify user identities—for example, PC and mobile device fingerprint scans, iris scans, and face recognition to ensure users are who they claim to be.

ZorroSign is proud to be the first to adopt password-less login amongst our digital signature competitors.

And ZorroSign multi-factor authentication (MFA) provides maximum security, as before a user can sign a document, our platform can validate multiple dimensions of authentication based upon your transaction security needs: What you know (i.e., your ZorroSign login password ), what you have (e.g., your laptop or mobile device), who you are (e.g., biometrics such as fingerprints or eye iris on the device securing who can access it), etc.

ZorroSign has further elevated our security through our patented fraud detection technology we call the Z-Forensics token, our unique digital solution that can:

  • Prove that the individual who is performing the action to sign the document is who they claim to be (verification); 
  • Apply a digital equivalent of a wet-ink signature to the document (legal intent); and, 
  • Prove the authenticity of the printed copy or digital version of an electronically signed document, its content, attachments, and the signatures on it (authenticity).

Unlike any other digital signature solution, ZorroSign seals all your documents with our Z-Forensics token—capturing the complete audit trail and accompanying attachments and signature workflow. The token is encrypted and contains all the details about the transaction: Time stamps, user authentication, documents and attachments.

And like your SaaS solutions, ZorroSign’s SaaS model can be deployed in various cloud configurations, making it seamless to integrate into your existing platform as a public, private, hybrid, or on-premise cloud:

  • Our standard deployment is on Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud computing network
  • In our private cloud configuration, all your data and the ZorroSign application run in a private and secure cloud network dedicated to your organization
  • In a hybrid cloud configuration, your data can be stored on either ZorroSign data centers or in the private cloud, while the ZorroSign platform and applications run on their standard public cloud configurations
  • On-premise deployments require your department to manage and maintain your own data centers, but gain the benefits of unlimited API calls and total control over identity access management (IAM), data privacy and security, and data integrity processes

If You’re Committed to Digital Transformation

For years, organizations have steadily moved more and more of their operations to digital data and delivery. Such advances save time and effort, automate key processes, and drive greater efficiency and effectiveness. With digital transformation, customers or constituents can receive services faster and gain self-service options, and employees get more time to work on the most important projects.

“Digital transformation is no longer an option, but an imperative,” notes the Harvard Business Review. “Recent research from Accenture has found that in the three years prior to 2018, firms who led their industry in enterprise technology adoption grew two times faster than laggards. Today, they are growing five times faster. The risk is no longer merely getting left behind, but being eliminated altogether.”

For organizations leveraging digital data, apps and SaaS, IoT, or any of the multitude of other digital solutions, adding ZorroSign can be an important consideration.

To transact business, commerce, government, or individual trade in such a digital ecosystem also requires legally enforceable digital signatures to prove agreement and intent. Our multi-chain blockchain platform delivers such digital signatures and ensures the digital chain-of-custody necessary to successfully defend digital signatures in a court of law.

And by digitizing paper-based workflows, ZorroSign’s digital signature and document management platform can decrease costs, reduce errors, and increase productivity across digital operations . . . a massive benefit for any organization committed to digital transformation!

If You’re Focused on Sustainable Business

Digital operations also eliminate paper so “going green” with paperless operations may readily align to your IT organization’s corporate social responsibility goals or vision. 

At ZorroSign, we help IT organizations deliver paperless operations. We all understand that switching from doing business using paper to digital records is not only a smart business decision, but it is also good for the environment. Each time you use ZorroSign to digitally transact agreements, contracts, and other documents—instead of printing, faxing, scanning, shipping documents overnight to collect signatures—you save trees and water, plus reduce carbon emissions.

Further, ZorroSign is dedicated to advancing sustainability while advancing new technologies, promoting a paperless life and leading sustainability programs that support environmental conservation. The company’s Save-a-Tree, Plant-a-Tree program, for example, plants a tree on behalf of customers every time they save 8,000 pages of copy paper. As one tree produces roughly 8,000 pages of copy paper, this amounts to a double incentive: Reducing the destruction of trees via reduced paper use, plus increasing the number of trees as a reward for reducing paper use.

For all these reasons and more, if you are using blockchain technologies—or planning to in 2023—consider ZorroSign as a strong complement to your technology stack!  You can start with a free 14-day trial to see what we can deliver or contact us to learn more!

blockchain trends

We at ZorroSign recognize that the technology industry is constantly evolving and changing. As new innovations are created and others evolve, we find it important to stay on top of these trends so that we can provide our customers with the most current, useful and secure technology possible.

A report by Fortune Business Insights predicts that the global blockchain market will grow from $7.18 billion in 2022 to $163.83 billion by 2029. With that explosion in growth, here are some recent trends to keep your eye on as more and more blockchain solutions come to market . . .

Environmentally-Friendly Blockchains

While blockchain has brought about amazing transformation in businesses and the tech space, one of the largest obstacles for a future of blockchain is the excessive use of energy needed to run proof-of-work blockchains.

“Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind,” said Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, in a live-streamed Clubhouse session with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin in 2021. “And so it’s not a great climate thing.”

However, evolving trends in blockchain technology increasingly focus on developing “greener” blockchain systems. Solutions like carbon offsetting and focusing on bringing less energy-intensive proof-of-stake blockchain architectures are introducing more environmentally-friendly blockchains.

“With the rise of blockchain technology, a number of platforms have emerged that are allowing users to reduce their overall energy consumption by a huge margin,” notes a recent article in Finance Magnates. “For example, Cardano reportedly consumes only 6 GWh of power per annum, while Stellar (XLM), Iota (MIOTA), and Tron, also have extremely low power needs.”

Furthermore, one of the most popular blockchain networks, Ethereum, is moving to a proof-of-stake algorithm this month with “The Merge.” This proof-of-stake validation offers a more sustainable solution for enterprises attempting to make the jump towards greener blockchains.

Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS)

At the intersection of blockchain and cloud computing can now be found Blockchain as a Service (BaaS)—a service offering that allows businesses to use cloud-based solutions to develop, host and adopt their own blockchain applications, smart contracts and other relevant functions on the blockchain. Here, the cloud-based IT partner or service provider manages all the required tasks and activities to keep the distributed ledger infrastructure up and running.

BaaS allows organizations to focus on operations and key tasks, and it reduces the technical difficulties and the need to purchase expensive technology solutions. Based on the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, this third-party service delivers the installation, configuration, monitoring, and maintenance of the infrastructure. Moreover, this blockchain technology trend offers the ability to take benefit of blockchain features without the need to learn difficult coding.

Companies like Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, and others have already implemented it BaaS and we will continue to see other businesses make the leap.

Metaverse and Web3

Web3 refers to the next generation of the internet that will be decentralized, open, and run on blockchain. In its current form, web2 is overwhelmingly dominated by Big Tech corporations that use, control, and monetize the personal data of its users.

The dream of web3 is to break the centralization of information and democratize the Internet more to the vision of its earliest founders. “Web3,” claims Chris Dixon from Andreesen Horowitz in an article in The Economist, “combines the decentralized, community-governed ethos of web1 with the advanced, modern functionality of web2.”

Web3 “will be based on the convergence of emerging technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and augmented reality,” notes Neeti Aggarwal and Dandreb Salangsang in The Asian Banker. “It will be characterized by decentralized data, a more transparent and secure environment, machine cognitive intelligence and  three-dimensional design.”

Web3 advocates claim that the technology will give users back control over their data through decentralized applications.

The metaverse is essentially described as an immersive 3D world that users can transport themselves into for work, play, and communication by using a combination of VR, AR, and other advanced technologies. Blockchain is a driving force behind many aspects of the Metaverse, including NFTs, gaming, payment methods, virtual real estate, and even identity authentication.

The idea of the metaverse is sometimes inaccurately conflated with Web3. But while it’s built on Web3, the metaverse—or metaverses, given that there are many—is about user experience and arguably about web culture as much as the tech on which it relies.

The metaverse will become a virtual world that will provide its users with unforgettable digital experiences. And built on blockchain technologies, the more popular the metaverse becomes, then the more blockchains are deployed and engaged.

At ZorroSign, we love learning the latest trends in blockchain technology so that we can continue to provide the most secure and user-friendly digital signatures platform available. Put our blockchain to the test by signing up for a free trial at https://www.zorrosign.com/new/.

User Experience

The user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) of technologies, especially web-based solutions and apps, are critical to such technologies’ market success. “Taking advantage of the benefits of great UI/UX design is more vital than most people realize,” explains Eliza Brooks in a JumpStory article on design. “Everyone wants to experience and have the best technology, while at the same time not wasting any precious time.”

“If users cannot use your product and access all of its features, your prospects of success are greatly reduced,” notes Digital Solutions. “This usability factor is where the realms of User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) enter the picture. A great User Interface will draw people to your app right away, while a great User Experience will leave a lasting impression on your users.”

At ZorroSign, we have taken this truth to heart and are proud to unveil our entirely redesigned UI/UX for the next generation of our multi-chain blockchain platform for digital signatures!

ZorroSign.com/new

UI v. UX

To begin, a quick definition of UI and UX may be helpful. “Generally speaking, UX is the one that ensures your digital platform works smoothly—including pleasant and accessible designs, a clear and concise user journey, simple navigation processes, responsiveness, etc.,” explains a recent Wire Delta article. “On the other hand, User Interface or UI Design is for just that—the interface. In other words, UI takes care of typography, layouts, colors, graphic design, and visual design. So, while it is helping customers interact with different digital products and services, it does not consider the user journey.”

Source: www.mindinventory.com

In other words, the UX is the sum of the whole—the complete experience a user has of using a specific UI, engaging its features and functionality, and generating whatever outcomes the technology produces—functionality, information, calculation, etc.

While the UI is the environment of the screen or app, the physical engagement and interaction via clicks, buttons, form entry, and all other inputs and outputs.

“User interface elements usually fall into one of the following four categories,” write Maria de la Rivva for Career Foundry. “Input Controls, Navigation Components, Informational Components, Containers. Input controls allow users to input information into the system. If you need your users to tell you what country they are in, for example, you’ll use an input control to let them do so. Navigational components help users move around a product or website. Common navigational components include tab bars on an iOS device and a hamburger menu on an Android. Informational components share information with users. Containers hold related content together.”

So UX is the total experience of using a technology, while UI is the tactical, direct engagement of the technologies interface.

Why Your UI/UX Must Continuously Evolve

“User Interface (UI) updates present an exciting opportunity for design teams to reinvigorate stale experiences, address issues, and explore future iterations,” writes Ayana Campbell Smith for Envy Labs. “It’s never a question of if interface updates will be necessary, but instead, when.”

For an innovative technology company, resting on the laurels of a successful product is simply not good enough. Innovators must continuously revisit, refine, and improve their solutions to ensure their great technologies are also great experiences for their customers, clients, users, and prospects.

A well-designed user interface delivers five key user experiences according to GeeksforGeeks

  • Simplicity—which is to say, the minimum clicks or keystrokes to achieve a task
  • Consistency—across typeface, style, size, and components to deliver information with minimal chaos and ambiguity
  • Intuitiveness—input and navigation that is easy to learn, with concise and cogent icons and labels
  • Prevention—readily prevent users from performing inaccurate/inappropriate actions on the site by steering them always to the correct functions
  • Forgiveness—a quick way back/out if users find themselves in functions or content they did not mean to engage

Perhaps equally important, users’ expectations for simplicity, consistency, intuitiveness, prevention, and forgiveness evolve over time—especially as new technologies come to market and reshape their expectations. Recall for example the leap in UI expectations from desktop computers (keyboard and mouse), to our expectations on mobile phones or tablets (touchscreen or voice command)! Evolving technologies produce evolving user expectations and needs for UI/UX.

The Value of Great UI/UX

“A strong and valuable user experience offers a business a strong competitive advantage in attracting and retaining their customers,” continues Brooks. She calls out five critical benefits to a strong user experience, including:

  • Improving customer acquisition—”The more aesthetically pleasing a brand’s site design is, and the more intuitive the features are, the easier it is for them to build trust and thus increase the chances of the brand attracting users and quite possibly converting them into customers”
  • Helping with customer retention—delivering an intuitive, beautiful experience brings people back to that experience!
  • Optimizing development time and costs—by focusing on the customer experience, development teams can more “easily pinpoint and address usability issues” and “anticipate the needs of users before releasing the solution to a wider audience”
  • Increasing productivity—efficient UI/UX design streamlines tasks, work, and outcomes
  • Generating more user engagement—for example, employing UI design that is instructive, clearly conveying the help/benefits of engaging a specific page or functionality
Free Trial

“Investing in an effective Ul/UX design increases customer satisfaction, resulting in satisfied customers,” continues Digital Solutions. “People like to work for companies that make them happy. Ultimately, this will improve your firm’s credibility as a client and fosters positive associations with your company and brand. As a result, the worth of your company and your brand name will shoot up and increase.”

At ZorroSign, we agree completely!

“Digital products with a good user interface give you a competitive edge in a constantly growing world where companies are starting to realize the importance of good user experience,” says Tiffany Eaton for UX Collective. We realize this truth and are excited to share the new UI/UX we bring to market.

Contact us to learn more about ZorroSign’s completely redesigned UI/UX for 2022 . . . or start your free trial to put our next generation user interface to the test!