ICON Dashboard CPS proposal

The ICON Dashboard is a blockchain explorer made for regular people. It’s designed to improve understanding and encourage exploration of the ecosystem, and eventually become the main hub for people using ICON.

Phase one of the ICON Dashboard will include the ability to search and view details about transactions, assets, apps, wallets, smart contracts, and governance on the ICON blockchain. It will also include the ability to export your transaction history.

Why is it necessary?

ICON’s sales pitch revolves around interoperability, but that’s no reason to put all our eggs in one basket. We should give people as many reasons as possible to use the ICON ecosystem. For our team, that means innovating with products and websites that are appealing and accessible to a wide audience.

People will always prefer simple products over more complex ones. Good design over average. The majority care more about ease of use than security or decentralisation, which you can see in the number of retail investors affected by the CEX fallout in 2022.

Blockchain is a complex industry, so user experience has naturally become a key selling point. After the collapse of LUNA/UST, people lamented the lack of UX-focused blockchains to move to. ICON has high-quality apps, but it didn’t go far enough to be a serious contender in that conversation. We wanted to change that.

So what would it take for ICON to be considered a leader in UX?

To users, the interface is the product, so the quality of a blockchain is implied by the content they see and the tools they interact with. Our goal was to optimise these touchpoints to make ICON appear like an integrated, well-put-together ecosystem.

First, ICON needed a sales pitch/onboarding funnel and a strong, consistent brand. We addressed that a few months ago with whyicx.com.

That brings us to this proposal, for a tool every user is likely to find themselves on at least once: the blockchain explorer.

Whether it’s once a year at tax time or a more regular activity, the majority of crypto users will need to view the details of a transaction through a blockchain tracker/explorer.

Blockchain explorers provide a core service, yet they’re universally bad. Created for developers first, the content is presented in a way that’s difficult for most people to understand. And no one leverages their potential as an onboarding and exploration tool.

But people are waking up to the fact that something needs to change:

Tweet  Shaan Puri Screenshot 2023-03-09 at 12.36.13 PM

People don’t enjoy using trackers like this:

And they're willing to pay for something better:

Like this:

The ICON Dashboard is not another Etherscan clone. It's a unique product that aims to help regular people make sense of the most important blockchain metrics, and explore the ecosystem with ease. It will be free to use and always ad-free, with a multitude of ways to support itself through paid features in the future.

How will it work as an exploration and conversion tool?

Imagine you help someone get started with ICON. You send them some ICX and share the details via a link to the ICON Dashboard. They’ll see information about the transaction that’s easy to understand at a glance, and will have the opportunity to learn more about their wallet, the asset they received, the app it’s tied to (if any), and where they can use it. All while being exposed to the ICON brand in a high-quality interface.

Many investors use trackers to assess the health of a blockchain, so the Home page serves as a “pulse check” for ICON. It provides meaningful data about network activities, and is designed to encourage further exploration of everything ICON has to offer.

And while not related to conversions, an understandable tracker would have been invaluable for tracking the Omm hacker’s movements after the recent exploit.

What’s it going to cost?

$60,000 over 6 months.

Source Amount Notes
UI/UX design USD 25,000 1 designer at $10,000/month for 2.5 months
Outstanding design & content work USD 20,000 1 designer and 1 writer at $5,000/month for 2 months
Front-end development USD 30,000 1 developer at $5,000/month x 6 months
Back-end development USD 5,000 Back-end services provided by sudoblock, plus 12 months of hosting
Hosting & maintenance costs USD 5,000 1 year of app hosting, and 1-2 months post-launch maintenance & enhancements

The cost of the UI/UX design work will be absorbed by our team, so this proposal will cover the remaining design, development, and content efforts contributed by PARROT9 to build phase one of the ICON Dashboard:

  • Home page
  • Ecosystem page
  • Governance page
  • Transaction details page
  • Wallet and smart contract pages
  • App and token pages

To assess the viability of the design, we’ve already built an interactive prototype similar to our demos for Balanced and Omm. The details are still being refined and have already advanced beyond the mockups shown here, so if this proposal is approved, we’ll share the prototype in our first progress update.

The frontend and ICON tracker API will be sufficient to support most of the data for phase one, but some backend work will be required. We’ve talked this over with sudoblock, and will allocate $5,000 towards backend support and 12 months of infrastructure costs. The new data points will support the ecosystem chart, many 24 hour stats, additional governance info, and historical token prices, and will be made available for anyone to leverage, including Balanced.

We’ll also spend some time talking about our design process in public to get more eyes on ICON. See this in action with our content about whyicx.com and the transaction details page.

How will it become self-sustainable?

The ICON Dashboard won’t use the CPS to fund it forever.

We’ll continue to evaluate which path makes the most sense as we build out phase one. After completing the work outlined in this proposal, we’ll either submit a second proposal to support phase two, which includes more charts, wallet integration, enhanced NFT support, and monetisation strategies. Or we’ll apply for the Interoperability Incentive Fund and other grants to bring our dashboard to other blockchains, under the parent name “ChainDash”.

You may look at this proposal and think we’re out of our minds: a design-led explorer doesn’t scale for the constantly growing nature of blockchain. But, as notable business leaders would say, “Do things that don’t scale.”

The ICON ecosystem is tight-knit and new products aren’t released often, so we’ll provide custom design and content for every token and app. For other blockchains, we’d start by supporting the top 20% of assets/apps, and establish smart defaults for everything else. And in the nature of open-source, it will be set up so that people can help us fill in the gaps.

About the team

The ICON Dashboard is brought to you by PARROT9, the design team behind Balanced, Omm, and WhyICX, and a top 10 validator for ICON.

This proposal is being sponsored by Protokol7.

This is my first reply in the forums. :grinning: I really like the layout and slickness to it. Simple yet easy is always the best route to take, just how I like the simple use of Balanced and OMM. I believe it would be beneficial for ICON has a whole.


Funds are better spent on building products that are useful. No point building a show-and-tell if there’s not much to tell ?

Chains no longer need to speak for themselves, let the dapps do the talking.

The design looks great, but I don’t think this level of effort is required at this time. This is only my opinion, but I think a better option would be to wait until BTP is live, and start this new dashboard effort with a cross-chain focus to hopefully get more eyes on it. From there, work backwards to cover the ICON-specific stuff mentioned in this proposal. With the way things are now, I can’t imagine having a nice tracker would result in more users, so I’d like to see this level of effort put into the BTP stuff first.


This looks frigging amazing and is really badly needed in the ecosystem. There’s been multiple trackers over the years but they’ve ended up outdated or clunky. Right now there isn’t even a website to properly assess the current ICX staking APY. This is such a simple essential piece of info and yet the only place is can be found is on icon.community (and at times it’s been down there too). That’s one thing that has shocked me over the years…the amount of people constantly having to ask what the current ICX staking APY is and where it can be seen…with the answer changing. For a few months (not that long ago) the answer was even that this couldn’t be viewed on any site…

I had a few favorite sites to look at APYs and governance but they’ve all diminished to some extent (or are gone entirely). I’m not a dev so can’t really comment on whether $60K is a reasonable cost for this. It may be a good idea to split out what the $60K costs will be for before the vote goes live on the CPS (i.e. number of devs and their pay per month etc.). I feel if this isn’t done there may be a few rejecting due to them not knowing the breakdown and deeming it too expensive.

Hoping to see this approved and live this year :slight_smile:


Hi there,

I have a few feelings on this, please take it constructively.

As much as I love the idea of updating interfaces and reporting capabilities, and this one does look nice, I do think you are wrong with the draw of it, I don’t believe the first thing people think when they come into ICON is “what does the explorer look like?”.

The reality is, I would rather the funds be spent on core development that will bring real value to ICON i.e. BTP - we should start looking to improving these areas when the harder, more important items are completed and we have enough people wanting to come into the explorer, right now the amount you asked for wouldn’t bring that value I’m afraid.

Which brings me on to the monetary value part of it, I don’t think 60k is worth it nor is the timeline stated, I am of course not an expert but I wholly don’t believe it takes that long to do what is shown in the proposal.

I apologise for sounding negative but I don’t think this is a worthwhile use of the funds when we have more important matters to address.


Hmmmm, I see where your coming from on this one but im going to have to pivot back.
Like Bud brings up, weve had some periods during the last few months where it has been pretty tough to find strong redirects for community members to things such as APY. This has been amended now but I would say in the less ideal way of having it only featured on the community homepage. Albeit this alone may not present the value, that point I can definitely follow.

In regards to BTP, i do see how this tracker would be very valuable in an interoperable future. It displays assets from different chains in a way that appears very slick. Or at least i recall seeing some of the teams concept work for these sorts of assets, I see now that those screenshots haven’t been used above which may actually offer good insight into how it would perform as a interoperable tracker.
Would suggest.

@PARROT9, could we see some of the concept work for crosschain assets in this post?


I completely agree about the layout and simplicity of this. It’s always great when things are easy to use and understand. I think that having a reliable and up-to-date tracker for things like ICX staking APY is essential for the ICON ecosystem. It can be frustrating and can discourage new users when information is hard to find or constantly changing.

As for the cost of $60K, I can’t say for certain if it’s reasonable or not. However, I do think it would be helpful to have a more detailed breakdown of what the costs will be used for before the vote goes live on the CPS. That way, people can make an informed decision about whether or not they think it’s worth it.

Overall, I’m excited to see this project come to life and hope that it will be approved and implemented soon. Having easy access to important information like APY is crucial for community members and can only benefit ICON as a whole.

1 Like

This dashboard looks so smooth I’d love to use it day by day.

I think for the ecosystem it’s of great value to have a flagship ICON explorer like this. If it’s this easy to see which dapps are built, how many transactions are done, where to stake and for how much % it will attrect new investors who are building on web3.

You could even sell the product to other chains to return the investment later on.
But doing that would normalise the ICON explorer and devaluate it for being the smoothest. So maybe not :slight_smile:

One thing I would love to see is the smart contracts. The description states to view details about them too. I’d love to see the content of the smart contract, translated to human language. E.g. with chatGPT or just simply explaining what lines mean. Could be a great way to get more people in writing them for the ICON ecosystem.

I’m not sure about the wallet part. This feels a bit offscope and there are very good alternatives already.

The costs of 60k in 6 months sounds pretty reasonable, however would love to see this divided in frontend/backend.
I think the roadmap for after phase 1 is vague at this point. There should be funds reserved for maintenance, bugfixes and updates. On the longer term you could make some services paid, but that I don’t think that would help adoption of the ICON ecosystem.

1 Like

First of all, great design!

I have to agree that trackers were developed with more tech-savvy users in mind, the current ICON tracker is very basic (imho even more basic as etherscan). So yes, more user-friendly interfaces to trackers have to be developed. However, not every user will be interested in all the data behind their transactions. I think a human readable presented transaction is very useful and needed, certainly if the more tech-savy user can click for the details behind the transaction.

For normal users you should think about what they want to see in there normal banktransactions. So they should maybe have an address book, so wallet addresses can be identified easily instead of a long ICON address. I think the best interface/tracker is where they don’t know they are looking at a tracker (hope this makes sense?).

I also think you are to optimistic about people wanting to pay for something like this. Maybe a paid subscription for power-users, but i don’t think basic-users are willing to pay. I can imagine people are willing to buy ‘dashboard tokens’ for a kind of pay per view, so for more details on their transaction they have to pay a very small amount. Otherwise maybe it could be sponsored by ICON dapp’s and in return the dapp’s are promoted on the dashboard.

One thing i’m personally missing in the current ICON tracker is that i cannot see the history of one token for a selected wallet, in etherscan that’s possible (random example). So if that could be added to the tracker i would like that a lot.

1 Like

It’s a good idea to have an innovative and customized browser that makes it easy to track and control assets.
I like ICON’s line of taking care of the interface of the products, “the interface is the product”.

I think it is a necessary product, I am convinced that the future of the blockchain will be interoperability and privacy. Tools that improve the user experience I think will be key.
I have doubts about how ICON will evolve on privacy issues.
It would be ideal for the new browser to address future privacy issues.

As always, getting financing will be the key. Good luck.

1 Like

Maybe, but we’re just following a strategy that has been successful in the past.

When Apple released the original Macintosh computer in 1984, they faced a challenge in terms of software. At the time, there weren’t many applications available for the Mac, and this made it difficult to market the computer to potential buyers.

To overcome this challenge, Apple created what they called “The Macintosh Software Sampler.” This was a catalogue that showcased the few applications that were available for the Mac at the time, but it went beyond just listing the software titles.

Instead, the catalogue presented each application in a way that highlighted its unique features and benefits. It also included detailed descriptions of how to use the software and what it could do, along with screenshots and graphics to help users understand what they were seeing.

By taking this approach, Apple was able to make the few applications they had available for the Macintosh look much more robust and capable than they actually were. This helped to create a sense of excitement and anticipation around the platform, which in turn helped to drive sales and encourage more developers to create software for the Mac.

Thanks for your support, @budw1ser!

The ICX staking APY is also shown here: https://whyicx.com/#icx-data

And you’ll be able to access it from stats.balanced.network in a few days when we restore the collateral chart. Apologies for the downtime!

I’m not a dev so can’t really comment on whether $60K is a reasonable cost for this. It may be a good idea to split out what the $60K costs will be for before the vote goes live on the CPS (i.e. number of devs and their pay per month etc.).

The true cost is higher, but we capped phase one at $60K as it wouldn’t be realistic to request more from the CPS at this stage. The design is the most important part to get right, and I’d estimate that we’ve already spent around $30K of time on design and prototyping.

We should be able to provide a breakdown of costs in a few days once we get more clarity around the backend requirements. :blush:

@Parabollix to limit the number of responses, this should also address the questions you had.

1 Like

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

I don’t believe the first thing people think when they come into ICON is “what does the explorer look like?”.

Agreed. See this comment for a better understanding of our thinking behind this strategy.

I don’t think 60k is worth it nor is the timeline stated, I am of course not an expert but I wholly don’t believe it takes that long to do what is shown in the proposal.

This estimate is based on our experience shipping products and features, and watching others do the same. We’ve seen deadlines extended so often that we’re the first to call BS when a timeframe sounds too tight, yet when we shared a draft of our proposal with other product teams, they were concerned that 6 months was too optimistic.

Every product in this ecosystem has suffered delays. Off the top of my head:

  • Balanced was supposed to take 9 months. It launched after 15 months, but had to leave out several core features to do so.
  • Omm and Bridge were each supposed to take 12 weeks - both took an entire year.
  • Equality was announced in 2020, and only recently became available on testnet.
  • BTP was supposed to be released… when?

We want to buck that trend with a product that’s ready to launch by the time the grant ends.

Our front-end developer estimated that it would take 4 months to build, but delays are inevitable and we also have work to do on Balanced, so we added 2 months as a buffer. The work required to support the transaction details design and all supporting components is expected to take at least a month of development work on its own.

The design is quite modular, so we can include more datapoints and functionality if we finish phase one with time to spare.

Discourse keeps limiting my ability to post, so back to this account. :sweat_smile:

Like Bud brings up, weve had some periods during the last few months where it has been pretty tough to find strong redirects for community members to things such as APY. This has been amended now but I would say in the less ideal way of having it only featured on the community homepage. Albeit this alone may not present the value, that point I can definitely follow.

In the meantime, you can also direct community members to https://whyicx.com/#icx-data. :blush:

@PARROT9, could we see some of the concept work for crosschain assets in this post?

Absolutely. This was one of the concepts we included in our original tweet thread:

We’ve focused less on the cross-chain aspect for phase one as BTP isn’t live yet, but we plan to support cross-chain transactions that use ICON Bridge. The design is subject to change, but would look something like this:

Thanks for your feedback!

There are many avenues we could take with the dashboard beyond phase one, but we expect the right path to become clear as we progress. As they say, action produces information.

One thing we know for certain is that we don’t want to build this product for it to then stagnate due to low resources, so we’ll be exploring funding avenues as we build out phase one.

One avenue would be to make it the one touchpoint for all ICON-related utilities, including the CPS, a fiat on-ramp, and token swaps. For this, we could apply for funding from the CPS and even the Balanced DAO Fund.

Another would be to approach other blockchains and even VCs, and sell the idea of our dashboard + potential monetisation features. Even if we do that, ICON would still benefit. Because it’s a smaller ecosystem, we’re able to create an end-to-end, fully supported experience. On other chains, it would be more practical to use the Pareto principle: support the top 20% of apps and tokens to cover 80% of the traffic, and have good defaults in place for everything else.

We haven’t gone too into the weeds with the smart contracts yet, but we’d also find them more interesting to look at if they were human-readable. Not sure how feasible that is, particularly for phase one, but will definitely look into it.

Thanks very much. :blush:

We have considered adding an address book and have discussed a few ways to implement this, but thought it would be out of scope for phase one and better suited for phase two, when we hope to add sign-in functionality.

We don’t expect people to pay for the features in phase one – this data will always be free. The idea would be to add paid features later on, when we have sign-in functionality in place. The first paid feature we could add is the ability to export your transaction history with our commentary attached to provide more clarity (i.e. “Claimed rewards”, “Supplied liquidity”, “Minted an NFT”). Having recently had to comment on all crypto transactions for our accountant, this would have saved us hours of work.

As for a token’s history for a specific wallet, we plan to add helpful search and filter options to the dashboard, so this should be possible on the Wallet page.

1 Like

Thanks for the reply! The APY on whyicx.com is different than the APY at icon.community. Which is accurate? Cheers for the answer on the funding too! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Just confirmed that the rate on whyicx.com is the most accurate.

The WhyICX calculation uses Iglobal * Ivoter * 12 / totalDelegated

Whereas the community site uses totalSupply * 0.0399 * 0.77 *100 / totalDelegation

Thanks for that Lisa! Even further cements the point that a single dependable place to get this type of info is needed…recently community members are directed to icon.community to view the current staking APY and it’s currently 0.5% more than that on whyicx.com

Another question that often comes up is how long the current unstaking time is. It’s a little higher than usual. Again, sites where this was easily assessible aren’t live any more.

Cheers for all the answers! :slight_smile:

1 Like