Help users introduce crypto to their relatives and friends with sharing feature
Researched blockchain tech to better understand project's goals, created and added new feature to an existing product and brand, designed onboarding experience that helps guide and teach new users about cryptocurrencies
👩🏼💻 My responsibilities
User research & synthesis
Myself: Product Designer
My design process
*This process was tailored to fit Coinbase's
specific project scope and goals (speculative)
Challege + Solution
Competitive & Secondary research
5 User interviews
Understanding user & business needs
5 Usability tests
Final designs & prototype
Thoughts & Next steps
I wanted to help Coinbase by building and integrating a feature that will allow users to join or link accounts to one another, and share multiple functionalities like earning interest, sharing lessons, and sharing coins, thus assisting beginners to use Coinbase and start investing.
Coinbase is a crypto exchange platform that wants to broaden their audience and make crypto economy accessible to all. Crypto currencies, digital assets, and digital wallets are still quite innovative, new concepts for most people, therefore Coinbase’s current users/customers are quite niche, specialized people. Currently non crypto savvy users are discouraged from joining the app because they don't understand what crypto is and the explanations seem too technical and hard to understand.
Coinbase wants to help all users invest in, and profit from crypto, by providing a new sharing feature called 'Coinshare' where beginners can benefit from more experienced users.
Inspired by my husband, I got curious about crypto and its technology and downloaded Coinbase. The app was very user friendly and I was able to take some lessons and quizzes and earn various coins. In all, since I started, I have amounted to 42$. After learning about the app's versatility and potential I thought: "Why aren't more people getting in on this?"
I wanted to know more, so I set out to talk to different users.
After having some insightful 1-on-1, I realized I saw it all wrong at first...I had the help of my husband (who's reaaally into crypto and reads about it all day) and so to me it was easier trying the app for the first time and "risking" in investing, but most users didn't have such privilege. The common Coinbase user or crypto holder is a niche, specialized, person of a certain status.
"I can't afford to invest in high risk assets",
"I don't think I know enough to start investing"
“It seems scary, but I want to know more about it”
Secondary research and Competitive Analysis confirmed this trend.
So not everyone knew about crypto, and certainly not everyone was able to invest in it. The risk for most users, in this case, outweighed the benefits.
That's where the feature 'Coinshare' would come into place.
Some participants were curious 👀
Check out the empathy map below to see all they said!
I interviewed 5 participants and validated the fact that most users would benefit from such a feature.
It was important to empathize with the user and make sure their needs were met. For that I created two personas.
Meet Nicole, the crypto enthusiast.
Her goal is to succesfully invest in cryptocurrencies and be an advocate of this technology so that the market isn't as volatile and the prices stabilize.
She thinks there is still a lot of confusion and miscommunication when it comes to crypto so she gets frustrated when people are close minded and won't try to learn more about it.
Meet Liam, the new investor.
His goal is to be safe with his money. He wants to build finacial security and invest in risk free assets.
He is concerned about crypto because is a concept he still doesn't fully understand. He finds that there isn't any reputable source of information out there that he trusts, whom can more clearly explain this to him.
I included the company's goals along with the technical considerations in this diagram.
For speculative purposes, but also taking into consideration the research conducted, Coinbase would like to integrate a feature to invite more customers to use their services
To better understand how to best incorporate this feature I started by creating a Site Map of the current mobile app:
I then integrated the feature to that Site Map:
I also created a Task Flow to follow the user's journey as they join the feature to make sure I was building all the pages necessary:
Making sure the feature matched Coinbase's existing UI was a priority at this stage. I created a Style Tile to get a feel for the brand's visual identity. Coinbase is modern, clear, accessible, professional, and efficient.
First, I started sketching out the wireframes on paper to get an idea of the overall layout and hierarchy. Then, I created mid fidelity wireframes of the integrated feature.
First, click on the feature and learn about it.
Second, choose how and what type of information you'd like to share. Third, connect with your family and friends.
Fourth, further customize your settings. Finally, once you're ready, send your invites and connect!
I build a prototype to conduct usability tests and point out weaknesses and/or strengths in the design and flow of 'Coinshare'.
Talking to the participants and watching them go through the feature, helped me identify what parts of the design worked and which parts needed change.
From this research I was able to gather valuable insights that helped me guide my design decisions during revision time:
Overall every participant had a positive impression of the feature and its interface. But there are some improvements to be made specially for new, inexperienced users to help them understand what the feature does and guide them through the onboarding process.
Once they completed the tasks and saw the capabilities of the feature, all participants were happy about it, they thought it was well integrated in the already existing mobile app and would definitely be curious to explore this feature further and try it out.
Most users, beginner or experienced, would benefit from this feature but the new users, depending on crypto proficiency, would probably need some more guidance throughout the onboarding process and understanding the feature itself. The sharing functionalities need to be well defined.
I used all the insights I gathered from all the research and testing and came up with the final iteration of the design. I also created a UI Kit to hand off to developers to better communicate my design choices and demonstrate each element in different states.
Check out the final prototype!
Thoughts and Next Steps
The most challenging part of this process was being able to understand the company and product, and how to best integrate a feature to an already established visual design and identity. Given that the client was Coinbase, I had to take some time to learn a little bit about crypto and the technology behind it. I also had to make some assumptions about the viability of this feature since this was a personal project and I didn't have direct contact with the client.
I learned that research is crucial when validating an idea or solution. When I decided to choose Coinbase as my client, I couldn't just assume that users would utilize Coinshare. I had to first confirm that this feature was needed and would be beneficial for the majority of users. I did that by talking to.
If I had a chance to discuss with the client and truly understand the company's constraints and limitations I would probably go deeper into understanding the technology behind Coinbase and what powers their coins. I'd look into adding a social aspect where users could find each other with ease and be able to safely share multiple features.
🙋🏻♀️ I'm proud of
Tackling a subject that I wasn't too familiar with to find out how it could benefit the community, and actually understanding most of it was very rewarding. I was able to take all that new information and apply it to develop a new idea and feature.
✨ What's Next for Coinbase
Cryptocurrencies and crypto economy grows and changes everyday. It is yet to be standardized and regulated. Only then we'll truly know the limits and possibilities that crypto will offer. I'd like to conduct deeper research and approach more users to test out Coinshare and observe how it performs in larger numbers to better understand what works and what doesn't.