After diving into blockchain and realizing its potential, our team of 8 decided to launch a Token Sale using NEM’s technology (Catapult fork). Our token, Cache, aimed to be the currency for developers by developers. We campaigned on two flagship products, Blockstart and Cacheout.
Blockstart aimed to be the Firebase of blockchain, allowing developers and businesses alike to launch apps on a public or private network within minutes. Cacheout was designed to be a cross between Stack Overflow and Steemit with Cache bounties. This would allow developers to get paid to give meaningful answers and incentivize them to do as such.
Our goal was to help widespread adoption of blockchain through educating our student developer network and empowering developers to build on blockchain through Blockstart. We hypothesized that there was a UX bridge missing between blockchain enthusiasts and traditional technologists, and we planned to leverage our developer network to close that gap.
As the product manager and sole designer on the team, I designed the getcache.io website and crafted the purchase token experience for users new to crypto. I created branding guidelines for colors, typography, and design language. I also worked closely with engineers to understand the technology and simplify blockchain processes.
The biggest challenge was distilling the token purchase process into digestible steps, while having the user fundamentally understand what was happening. Blockchain processes often come with questions of reassurance from first-timers, and since all transactions were final, we needed users to understand the process the first time around.
Our goal was to raise another funding round via Token Sale while introducing our developer audience to blockchain and cryptocurrency. We wanted to pave the way to bridging the UX gap between blockchain enthusiasts and traditional technology.
Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Research
There were two main objectives I needed to accomplish during my research: An understanding what information is needed on a token’s website to trigger an investment purchase, and the best example of a token purchase process.
I began by digging into tokens and currencies that were highly rated on top listing sites. On a conceptual level, the one’s that seemed to perform best demonstrated a thorough assessment of the product that is powered by the token, a strong team, and notable partners in the space. On a technical level, there needed to be a strong whitepaper, token economics, token breakout, and an intimate understanding of the technology.
The best websites aggregated snippets of each into their home landing page, but were highly technical and complex in nature. I felt we could adopt this format while catering to both blockchain enthusiasts and beginners.
TOKEN PURCHASE PROCESS
I explored many of the top crypto exchanges and wallets including Coinbase, Bitpay, Nanowallet, Binance, and Lisk. I purchased a variety of currencies and completed transactions on third party wallets, and completed purchases from companies who are currently accepting crypto. My goal was to get a sense of the UX groundwork thus far, as well as aggregate a list of what I felt worked best and what could be improved upon.
The main conclusion I drew from my research was that even the best user experiences with crypto required some previous knowledge in the space. This led me to hypothesize that erring on the side of familiarity was best for mass adoption.
DEFINING A NORTH STAR METRIC
Since the majority of our students were very new to blockchain and cryptocurrency, I felt a great metric of success would be the actual purchase amount from our existing user base. All product decisions were thus geared toward this goal, and kept us focused on ease of use.
The Purchase Process
During my research, I noticed that a majority of the wallets and exchanges I interacted with relied heavily on specific amounts. While this was likely preferred for the more seasoned crypto user, it left a sense of ambiguity for those who were new to the process. New users also didn’t have a sense of the size of their investment. There was no indication of a small or big purchase — just a textfield to enter an amount.
Therefore, I started with designing them with a sense of familiarity — packaged products. There were 5 cards with a set amount of tokens and the price of each. Users could immediately get a sense of the gravity of their investment and didn’t have to make the cognitive decision to enter a specific amount to purchase.
Maintaining familiarity, the next step was to create a checkout process that felt similar to traditional experiences. This is also where I felt we could cater to the more seasoned investor, providing a link to purchase a specific amount. The logic being that the inability to purchase a specific amount would not deter them from a purchase, and once on the checkout page, they would already be committed to a purchase in some capacity. They could then have the option to proceed with their intended amount, or purchase a custom amount.
I experimented with a few checkout page options that allowed users different paths, but eventually chose this version. Being that users needed to enter a wallet address or create one, the best experienced proved to focus on that sole purpose. For new users, realizing they need a wallet address became a clear binary option to proceed.
Purchase Flow (4-5 Steps)
It was important for us to keep the steps as succinct as possible. Once a wallet address was entered, we still needed to account for KYC/AML compliance and have the user select a payment method to continue. For new users we placed a bold call to action above the wallet address field, allowing a separate experience and flow for wallet creation. This created a clear sub-process while not detracting from the primary flow, and allowed us to expound on that where we needed.
The full purchase process contained 4 steps with Coinbase Commerce, and 5 steps with sending via wallet transfer.
We also adopted the structure of having snippets of information on the homepage to build a story and strong overview of our mission. Most of these categories also featured a call to action to offer more in depth information. These were especially needed for our products and technology.
PRODUCTS, MILESTONES, PARTNERS, & LEGAL
Over a two month period, we were able to go from design and ideation to launch of our website, wallet, and token purchasing. The final result was raising $400,000 USD in token purchases, with over half of the amount being from our existing student base. Our students found the process easy and intuitive, and showed greater interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency.
While slightly altered, the Cache website can be viewed here.