Taker is racing to the market with a DeFi (decentralised finance) protocol to build an ecosystem, based on DAO infrastructure, to provide ensured and instant liquidity to users who hold NFTs. Their value proposition is to enable users to create their own DAO and launchpad, creating shared lending pools for specific NFT collections of their choice and give high ROIs to their members. This is quite a complex and innovative concept not available on the market yet. The existing mvp is not user-friendly and lacks good UX design principles and aesthetic benchmark UI/visual design to attract user engagement with the initial adoption targeted to crypto natives, NFT collectors and influencers.
I was brought on as the sole product/UX/UI designer on the team with existing designs ( done by an agency without a proper product design process.) I worked on a freelance basis about 8 hours a week over a 3 month period, due to my bandwith and their budget. I worked primarily with the product manager (in the US) who was in close contact with the founder/main stakeholder (in China) who didn’t speak much English. I also collaborated with the front-end engineer (in Europe). The remote team was very engineer heavy (5+ engineers) and not design driven, which made the whole project challenging and we worked mainly asynchronously, communicating in Slack, Jira and Confluence. The founder also changed the product direction and offerings quite a bit throughout which also made things challenging (which is why I think the product manager left). I tried to advocate for design thinking where I could. My main drive for working on this project was that I was interested in getting into the world of crypto and blockchain which I think is the future of finance and the web, so it has been a great new learning experience and got me excited about NFTs (non-fungible tokens) due to their huge potential which have exploded in value the last couple years.
NFT desirability is based on hype, exclusivity and rarity, users are willing to pay a lot of them for speculation, social reputation, gaming and collecting for fun. Gaining popularity in the luxury art world as well as online gaming in developing countries.
Pak’s piece, The Merge was the most expensive NFT ever sold on December 2, 2021, with almost 30,000 collectors pitching together for a total cost of $91.8m. (USD) Pooled liquidity/fractional ownership of NFTs is a growing trend.
The demographic of buyers is quite diverse, with 23% as millenials, the top five countries with the biggest NFT adoption are in Asia, and men are three times more likely than women to be NFT collectors.
NFT marketplace platforms are quite futuristic looking with black and vivid colors like pink/purple/turquoise gradients, or white gallery like for displaying art and also minimal/sleek in design aesthetic. They are more for browsing, informal and e-commerce like.
DeFi platforms are quite minimal in UI and designed for crypto natives, and look more formal than NFT platforms. The UX is quite complex for some of them. Users are looking to do serious and quick transactions.
DAOs are decentralised “companies” of the future governed by its members. The concept is still quite new so the technology to support them is still developing and increasing in demand. More education is needed around them as with many Web3 concepts.
Money: use their NFTs as collateral for instant liquidity
Fun: leverage NFT’s without selling them
Influence, Reputation, Status
Money: Earn interest and service fee
Create their own DAO and be a part of one
Potential to part own defaulted NFTs
Be part of a NFT DAO (reputation, belonging)
Money: earn interest
Potential to part own defaulted NFTs
Language is not clear and commonly known with many of the navigation/action items such as curator, appraisal terms. Homepage language is not easy to understand, and not inviting to the user.
User is forced to connect wallet on entering app, which may deter new users from staying and exploring further.
Some of the terms such as curator and appraisals is not really seen in other apps, so the user may not know what to expect, there needs to be some change to be more consistent with other well known fintech systems
On launch of the app, the connect wallet experience is already showing red, there should be a better way of guiding the user to switch networks to testnet.
The curator dao creation form is badly designed, showing many red fields on starting the form which makes a poor user experience.
No obvious issues here. The app is probably too early in its development to cater for shortcut workflows, but would be good to have time to design for this in future iterations.
There’s not much design aesthetic compared to top nft marketplace platforms. The fonts need more hierarchy and feel heavy. Not enough whitespace. Colours feel heavy and need to be more minimal. Content layout needs refinement so text is quicker and easier to read.
Jarring error from the start with the connect wallet modal and error codes, and with the curator dao form. Error messaging and design need refining.
Not enough help, onboarding, context on many of the features which would be hard to understand for a non-crypto, non-nft native.
Figure out what features will be in launch and finish designing them (priorities keep shifting)
Create end to end user flows of clickable prototypes for user testing
Reiterate and test again
Waiting for client approval of the above
Successful completion of tasks in user testing
Positive feedback from user testing
No issues from heuristic evaluation
Usage/uptake/positive feedback after launch
With limited time and budget, and an array of problems with this complex project, I used design thinking methods to frame and focus on the most important issues to be solved, with the journey of the Curator DAO first as that is most essential side of the 2 sided lending platform to get users on board. My design solutions and iterations were mostly informed by the initial user testing, heuristic evaluation issues, my intuition, and also from market research of other popular NFT and DeFi systems as benchmarks and influence for design.
There were quite a few curveballs thrown in the project by the client, with the founder switching gears and wanting to build a renting feature when the lending feature wasn’t finished yet, and the project manager leaving all of a sudden who was my best collaborator and translator understanding the need for the whole product design process. So with these unforeseen challenges, I haven’t managed to complete the end to end design process and am waiting on next steps with user validation through hi-fi prototypes and reiteration. There are still a lot of improvements to be made. However, the stakeholders have given me positive feedback on my design solutions and have been happy with my work so far. I have learned a lot about the crypto and NFT space from this and hope to build on this experience in the future.