Zignaly is a cryptocurrency trading platform that helps crypto investors make the right trades by the right time by either copying other traders called "copy-trading" or receiving trade suggestions based on technical and fundamental analysis called signals. Historical performance and detailed profiles of these traders and their signals are featured to help decide who to copy.
Considered to be one of the promising startups in the industry, Zignaly has raised funds recently and was looking to invest in providing the best possible experience to their users to gain traction and grow their userbase.
• Redesigning the user onboarding flow.
• Solving the problem of handling multiple sources of cryptocurrencies on a single account.
• Redesigning the look and feel of the platform.
Before working with us, Zignaly had detected certain frictions in its customer's first experiences with the product, which resulted in a suboptimal activation rate. From the total number of users who signed up for the product, many never made their first investment through the platform.
Also, they knew from customer feedback that the platform has to handle multiple sources of cryptocurrencies. Selling cryptocurrency in exchange for regular currencies is the privilege of a few platforms subject to different prices and regulations, so a crypto holder has likely bought via various sources in their lifetime.
Competition in this niche is increasing, and there are some excellent examples of well-developed user experience in the industry.
Zignaly focuses one the novice part of the user demographic, but unfortunately, the novice found it disproportionately complicated to onboard. Understanding the concepts of cryptocurrencies and copy trading at the same time can be overwhelming in the beginning.
Onboarding has to be easy and educative to lower the bar for entry for their primary user persona, a novice trader.
Integrate the option of multiple sources of crypto into account handling intuitively and straightforwardly.
Create a look and feel based on the existing brand and codifying the visual language in a sustainable design system.
Ensure that the value proposition of Zignaly translates to real value for the user through consistent, thought-through, and validated design concentrating on the most pressing issues now and creating a roadmap for the future development of Zignaly.
To ensure sustainable growth, UXUI has to be started treated systematically and developed strategically. Making sure that habit is going to be part of Zignaly was a critical desired outcome of the project.
One of the keys to this project's success was that we collaborated directly with Zignaly's CEO, the head of marketing, and the lead developer. This direct and continuous communication with the highest stakeholders from the client's side kept the conversation at a high and strategic level.
From our side, we had a UX researcher, who also took up the role as project manager during the duration of the project, and myself as the UXUI designer.
Trading currencies and especially crypto is a lot more simple nowadays than it used to be, but it is still a relatively complex and high-risk activity.
We had to become relative experts in the domain of day trading and cryptocurrencies in only a matter of days. We started out by reading business news, trying out most of the available services in crypto trading and day-trading.
Going through the process personally meant getting immersed in this world. Checking currency rates multiple times an hour and talking the talk in the team really helped us understand the problems users might face.
Also, we found that by prioritizing tasks that need less domain knowledge initially, we could start delivering from an early point while making sure we have time to dive deep in certain areas later on.
After getting up to speed about trading and crypto in a couple of days, we held a kickoff. The kickoff meant running multiple remote UX workshops to better understand our client's problem and close the knowledge gap regarding its market, customers, and broader product strategy.
Make sure we were on the same page in terms of high-level direction and objectives.
Discuss and define the target audience our research should concentrate on.
Map out the team's ideas on the main pain points users have during the onboarding.
Clarify our hypothesis regarding the goals users might want to achieve with each of the features we were planning to work on.
The first step in solving any problem is to define and find the roots of it. To do so, we decided to interview people from Zignaly's user base who had signed up but never made their first investment.
We asked them about the reasons why they had started to use the product in the first place, the expectations they had, their first impressions, and overall experience with the product.
Additionally, we asked them to walk us through the platform and show us what they understood, what wasn't clear, what they liked, and what frustrated them.
Furthermore, we also conducted user tests on the existing platform, testing people that corresponded to Zignaly's target audience but who had never used the product before to get a better sense of the problems that may arise when using Zignaly for the first time.
Throughout this process, we made valuable discoveries, such as the following:
• Some users didn't understand that they had to connect an exchange account (source of crypto), and when they did, its importance wasn't evident.
• The process of connecting an exchange account required information from users, which many of them struggled to find.
• Users usually had trouble understanding the concept of copy-trading and its difference with trading signals.
• Users required more information about the copy traders to trust them enough to copy their trades.
• The option that Zignaly had to trade with virtual money was very much appreciated by users, but only a few were able to find it.
Testing the customer journey provided us with a template to validate our hypothetical user journey (from the kickoff meeting) with real data and observations. It allowed us to quickly identify and prioritize the main pain-points in that journey and create a clear roadmap for the project.
In the following, I will show some examples of how knowledge coming from research connects to the decisions we made while adapting the user flows and redesigning the interface.
It was clear from the beginning that novice users were struggling to make it through the onboarding. While not all complexities could be eliminated, we aimed to create a much more logical and less overwhelming onboarding where educational materials are presented to the user at the right moment.
One of the sources of confusion was how the different levels of accounts relate to each other being the user account on Zignaly and the external exchange account. Actual transactions don't happen on Zignaly. It is only a platform to send and receive trading signals. Users authorize Zignaly to make trades on their exchange account on their behalf.
Separating menus helped break down the otherwise overwhelming possibilities for the user. According to our usability tests, this reorganization of the navigation already helped a great deal with simplifying the onboarding.
We placed the most commonly used actions on the left, navigating between features and the trading platform favorite, dark, and light mode switch. With the labels showing only on mouse hover, we balanced minimalism with abundant signaling.
The reason to highlight the possibility of switching between exchange accounts was two-fold:
• First of all, it is incredibly important to inform the user which account they are using at any given moment to trade. There is no command-Z in trading. Once an action has been committed, there is no turning back.
• Second, experienced traders sometimes have numerous exchange accounts, and making sure they can switch between them quickly makes their life much more comfortable.
Copytrading is a great way to start to get engaged with crypto trading while playing reasonably safe.
We made sure that traders are presented in a way that helps the understanding of the concept for the user.
The trader profile page was redesigned to prioritize information that helps the users decide if they want to trust this trader or not instead of letting the trader decide on the information they want to display. The goal is to push the traders to show actual results and meaningful information instead of marketing blah-blah to attract copiers.
In the trading industry and especially crypto trading, dark mode is a must.
Observing other apps around this topic, we saw that most of them had a dark mode switch. This is because trading crypto is a 24/7 activity with no regard for day and night. Our users told us that there are many different times when they check trading platforms, and this switch does actually get used fairly often, so we planned with including it from the very beginning.
While our researcher was busy with the previously mentioned discovery research, I studied Zignaly's direct and indirect competitors to see what each of them was doing differently, gain a better understanding of the market and gather inspiration.
Together, we ideated on different approaches to solving the problems at hand before agreeing on a direction in collaboration with Zignaly. The first low-fidelity prototype was then created on Axure, a prototyping tool that allows rapid prototyping and complex interactions, ideal for simulating the product's use.
The prototype was then tested and iterated every week over the remaining duration of the project. As is always the case, the initial tests revealed multiple problems from the original design that hadn't been solved and new ones that arose from the new design and paved the way for weekly conversations with the stakeholders from the client's side.
As the weeks passed, these problems were tackled one by one until, in the final weeks, test participants could perfectly understand the product's value and use it without any instructions.
Having proposed the new look and feel early on, we could iterate on the direction for visual design while also building the prototype in Axure. After the key screen flows had been validated by usability testing, we started to implement the visual design to the wireframes. We then continued usability testing in Invision on the final designs.
As soon as the final look and feel was agreed upon, we started to codify the visual language as the main building blocks of the design system as text styles, colors, basic building blocks like buttons and input fields, etc.
After transferring the design effort from Axure to Sketch we continued building a nested design system from all the elements used across the platform.
We also consulted with the client's developer every week, discussing the implementation of new designs, double-checking feasibility, and working out together on how it should be delivered at the end of the project to ensure ease of implementation.
At the end of the project, we exported the final designs to Zeplin, a handoff tool that simplifies collaboration with developers by providing all the specs and ready-to-implement CSS.
These designs included all the screens for the features we had been working on, including different states and edge cases and a mobile version and a dark mode.
We also crafted a UI kit with clear guidelines and rules that would help Zignaly keep design consistency when developing new features in the future and clear screen flows describing the most important user journeys.
Additionally, Zignaly received a research report summarizing all the research findings that could help them shape their product strategy and roadmap and a playlist of all the user tests and interviews conducted.
Working with an innovative company from the crypto space was definitely a challenging but thrilling experience. We were delighted to help create a platform that will shape crypto trading in the coming years and collaborate with such a dynamic and entrepreneurial team.
Working closely with top decision-makers once again proved to be ideal. Zignaly showed great interest in understanding its users needs and frustrations and will use the insights we gathered through our research to shape its product and marketing strategies.
They understood the reasoning behind each design decision and brought their vision and market knowledge to the conversation, resulting in a fruitful strategic partnership.
Domain knowledge is key
It took us a while to understand the complex world of crypto, wrap our heads around the problems at hand and come up with a strategy. This definitely created some anxiety first, but our efforts to set a solid foundation helped us move fast and with confidence in the second half of the project.
Creating a creative space
We switched from using the phrase "yes but" to using "yes and" in our internal ideation process. This method from the improvisational world helped us share feedback and ideas more constructively, opening new ways of approaching a topic. Having complex discussions in a limited timeframe requires emotional intelligence. This allowed us to develop that in our team.
Although we prefer to run workshops in-person when the situation allows, the whole project was done remotely. Tools like Miro, Hangouts, and Slack helped us stay in touch and share important information seamlessly.