We built the highways
but forgot to build the signage.

We built the highways
but forgot to build the signage.

- Connie Yang -  

Role

UX Designer

About

Cryptorai is a privacy focussed Cryptocurrency portfolio tracking and market data app.

Duration

Duration

March 2018
- September 2018

Team

Team

1 Designer
5 Developers

2 Designers
4 Developers

Contribution

Contribution

Information Architecture, Prototyping, Conceptual Design, Visual Design

Problems

labyrinth@2x

Deep nesting within
the product coupled
with inefficient state management led to a counterintuitive navigation structure.

Contrast@2x

Poorly balanced
visual tone resulted
in usability issues substantiated in the form of  misidentification of clickable targets. 
and students.

Discover

Being a feature-rich app, certain features were overshadowed by others owing to poor discoverability within the app.

Approach

Cryptorai was one of those projects where I found myself dipped in hot water right on my first day after joining their remote team as a part-time gig.

Brutal deadlines, an oversaturated market, cutthroat competition, and a boatload of design debt. I was the first designer on their team of 5 highly experienced developers, all working remotely.

After learning about their previous individual experiences working with designers, I had to set up a digital space for them to talk, collaborate and discuss design. I didn't want design to become a one-man job within the team. Rather, I wanted everyone to think like a designer while developing the product in order to avoid bottlenecks in the decision making process. 

Screenshot 2019-03-17 at 9.14.59 PM
Screenshot 2019-03-17 at 9.14.17 PM
Screenshot 2019-03-17 at 9.16.05 PM
Screenshot 2019-03-17 at 9.15.14 PM

We used Invision for design reviews, presentations and discussions, while the sprints, task lists and responsibilities were managed on Azure DevOps.  

Screenshot_20190317-234610
Screenshot_20190317-234534
Screenshot_20190317-234543
Screenshot_20190317-234618
Screenshot_20190317-234615

Screenshots of the Cryptorai app before I joined the team.

This really came through well because they were already used to making design-related decisions without labeling it under design, but as product decisions long before I arrived. When I was folded into the product, I started with a product evaluation session with everyone where’d I’d ask questions like - 

“Why was this page made like this and not like that?”

- and drew parallels for myself to acquire a frame of understanding. Most of the responses manifested a strong rationale behind them from a dev and trader point of view. As a UX designer new to this industry, it took me a while to understand the product and the space before I could make any assessments. 

Not being a crypto trader myself, my questions would often be along the lines of -

“What’s the significance of that number on the screen?”

“How does that really affect the decision of a trader?”

“How does one translate these numbers into something of actual value?” 

Research

Screenshot 2019-03-17 at 9.48.13 PM
Screenshot 2019-03-17 at 9.52.25 PM
Screenshot 2019-03-17 at 9.49.32 PM
Screenshot 2019-03-17 at 9.49.09 PM

My research for this project mostly included watching hours of YouTube videos on Crypto Trading and reading up on blogs from Coinbase, CoinTracker, and Coindesk while tracking firebase analytics of our app. I enlisted myself in slack and telegram groups of popular crypto portfolio tracking applications to check on what their users were talking about and issues they were facing with other such platforms.

I realized that there was a very deep nesting problem within our app which would have been fine if all the screens didn’t look alike. Certain parts of the app required strong visual contrast in order to help the user develop a sense of awareness within the app. Hence I took steps to restructure the IA and design a new navigation scheme to allow users to find and reach assets / pages faster. 

Findings

Prioties

Even within Crypto, a certain demographic is willing to trade in privacy for convenience.

Even within Crypto, a certain demographic is willing to trade in privacy for convenience.

When it came to talks about privacy, some traders weren't bothered by privacy and were willing to trust their portfolio management services with their exchange API keys. Their minimum requirements were that they needed a mobile app that could accurately maintain their portfolio and wasn't an eyesore.

When it came to talks about privacy, some traders weren't bothered by privacy and were willing to trust their portfolio management services with their exchange API keys. Their minimum requirements were that they needed a mobile app that could accurately maintain their portfolio and wasn't an eyesore.

Privacy Unaware

Most traders are unaware that they are voluntarily giving up their privacy
to their portfolio management services
.

Most traders are unaware that they are voluntarily giving up their privacy to their portfolio management services.

Most traders were unaware of the fact that their exchange API keys were being stored on an encrypted cloud by their portfolio management application to deliver faster on-device performance. After being made privy, some would resort to going back to Excel Sheets.

Most traders were unaware of the fact that their exchange API keys were being stored on an encrypted cloud by their portfolio management application to deliver faster on-device performance. After being made privy, some would resort going back to Excel Sheets.

DataD

For a large percentage of traders, data density was more important than aesthetics.

For a large percentage of traders, data density was more important than aesthetics.

Some of the traders would even request values in Satoshi on mobile devices and most of them would align themselves behind a data-rich application than one with great UI but fewer data points.

Data visualization also played a vital role in determining one's proclivity. 

Some of the traders would even request values in Satoshi on mobile devices and most of them would align themselves behind a data-rich application than one with great UI but fewer data points.

Data visualization also played a vital role in determining one's proclivity. 

Hero

Visual Design

After compiling the research and having understood enough about the crypto landscape, I started working on the visual design of the product, the thing I was actually hired for but couldn't restrict myself to.

In order to balance the workload and the deadlines, I decided to skip digital wireframing and jumped onto visual design right after paper wireframing. 

Navigation
Artboard
UI
UI Copy
UI Copy 2
UI Copy 3
UI Copy 4

Beyond the mobile app

Navigation Copy 2
Navigation Copy 3

Drop a line at aditya@chaiwala.design to
know more about my work at Cryptorai.

Reach out to me at aditya@chaiwala.design to know more about my process at Cryptorai.

download-on-app-store-png-download-on-app-store-902

Other Projects

KakshaA mobile first classroom management tool

SIIC SeedCampA bootcamp for ideation stage founders

Summer 2017 Internship ExperienceAn account of my internship at Redd User Experience

SureLocalA hyperlocal pharmaceutical delivery service