Crypto App Made Easy

The works of a UX designer…sort of…

GhostPay’s vision is to give clients the option of using cryptocurrency as an alternative payment form in everyday purchases. They heavily focus on client anonymity and want to want to rid of the negative stigmas around cryptocurrency. I took the knowledge of GhostPay and applied the UX process to build a mobile application to allow users to learn, trade, manage crypto wallets, and purchases in an efficient and educated way without compromising their data privacy security.

Goal: Build a mobile application that allows users to learn, trade, manage crypto wallets and purchases in an efficient and educated way without compromising their data privacy or security.

Timeline: 2 weeks

Role: UX Designer

Methods: User Research, Sketching, User/Wire Flows, User Testing

UX design process

Research

I started with a quick topic mapping exercise to map out key issues, themes, and concepts surrounding cryptocurrency, to guide my research questions.

Topic Mapping

I then processed to interview 15 interviews in which 5–10 were randomly picked. The questions I asked included:

  1. When I say cryptocurrency, how does that make you feel?
  2. What are your thoughts about cryptocurrency?
  3. What is your understanding of cryptocurrency?
  4. What is your experience with cryptocurrency?
  5. Is cryptocurrency something you would like to learn more about?
  6. What’s been holding you back from using or pursuing cryptocurrency?

Some comments people had to say were:

“ Cryptocurrency makes me feel a little uneasy. Because of the whole dark web scene, I associate cryptocurrency with nefarious and exploitative actions.”

“A better education in how it works and what it is would definitely make me feel more comfortable using it. Also, having it be more widely accepted by merchants would be helpful too. You can have all the potatoes in the world and be filthy potato rich, but if no one accepts your potatoes as a form of payment or trade, the potatoes are worthless.”

“When presented with the term cryptocurrency, it makes me feel somewhat nostalgic as it seems to imply it could be the currency of the future and reminds me of how much technological change is currently in the works and is also yet to come. It also makes me think of bitcoin and how it is associated with hackers and ransom money in film and tv.”

I’d want to learn more about it because it’s interesting.

Synthesis

Having spoken to 15 subjects, 11 of them had little to no knowledge of cryptocurrency but would be interested to learn more about it. Two out of the 15 had advanced knowledge of digital coins. By advance, I mean they were actively trading coins, had investments, and have used the system to purchase items. Another 2 of 15 had heard of the word before but didn’t care to learn more about it and useless.

Based on the interviews conducted, I focused on the theme that kept on coming up. To validate my own thoughts, I made a quick empathy map to help visualize the pain point.

Pain Point Mapping

I also sketched out a user storyboard to show how and what type of person would be using this app.

People are skeptical of cryptocurrency because the knowledge was not there, but there was interest. Because of GhostPay’s strong interest in having cryptocurrency as a common payment form, users need to understand what crypto is and how it functions. Due to negative narratives around the use of cryptocurrencies and a lack of knowledge of cryptocurrencies in general, people are scared and uneasy about the idea of unregulated digital payments. By adding an education feature into the app, my solution tackles this issue for people to see the positive side of cryptocurrency.

Design

After finding the pain point, I began sketching out the user flow avenues, including login/signup, trading cryptocurrencies, purchasing, and education.

User Flow

Now that I have a pretty solid understanding of the app's flow and features, I began a rough draft of a wire-frame of the app.

Lo-def wireframe

Because I wanted to test my app before moving to a clickable prototype, I made a paper prototype to conduct usability tests. I asked people to treat the paper prototypes as if it were a real application in which they would click and swipe and let me know if things were confusing things or I should add or take away. After conducting three usability tests with users, the most common feedback received was the learning materials' organization page, some unrecognizable icons. I went back to the drawing board to make changes and add text to support the user’s understanding.

Clickable Prototype

Having gone through the second round of usability tests and making small further changes (like adding a bookmark so users can save the lessons they wanted), I moved onto making a clickable wireframe. In this step, I was able to really fill out the main contents on each page of the app by adding necessary texts and icons.

Clickable wireframes

Reflections

The greatest challenge for me in this project was understanding cryptocurrency. I did not know about cryptocurrency, nor was I interested in it, but I was asked to create a mobile app that might be used by other people who have little to no knowledge of digital currency. Having read countless articles, saw numerous videos, and even had a knowledgeable person explain why the cryptocurrency is important, I was left even more confused.

For sure, this project has areas for improvement. Still, in the short period of time, I had to build the app, I’ve learned to work in a limited time frame, how to ask strangers research questions, ask for feedback from colleagues, and how to go from research & to plan to design, to prototyping, and to testing only to repeat the cycle over again for improvement.

During this process, I have discovered that I really enjoy the wire-framing and prototyping process over the research & planning process.

Now, I’d like to think my understanding of cryptocurrency moved from a level 0 to 0.5.

I quickly made a simple high-fidelity of what I imagine the application would look if it were to be developed into an apple watch app for fun.

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