Design challenge

An NFT marketplace for Robinhood

Design Challenge

Robinhood NFT Marketplace

Duration

December 20, 2021 - January 3, 2022


Role

I designed the visual identity for this project, drawing inspiration from Robinhood's current design system. I developed the crypto and business research plan. And, I designed a user interface and experience of the Robinhood NFT marketplace.

skills

UX Design
UX Research
Visual Design
Product Thinking
Business Research
Crypto Research

TOOLS

Figma
Photoshop
After Effects

Overview

About

What was this project?

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital assets that represent real-world objects like art, music, in-game items, and videos. They are one of a kind and can be bought and sold online using cryptocurrency. Robinhood NFT Marketplace aims to be a peer-to-peer NFT marketplace that makes discovering, selling, buying, and learning about NFTs effortless and enjoyable through beginner-friendly designs.

Product Vision

What did we imagine?

Robinhood NFT Marketplace aims to bring down barriers for non-technical users to interact with blockchain technologies and explore new forms of investments with user-friendly and familiar interfaces. Our product vision aligns with Robinhood’s overarching mission statement to democratize finance for all and facilitate creator economies' expansion.

Make NFT investing user friendly and less intimidating
Context

Background

what's going on?

Non-fungible tokens play a crucial role in helping people achieve increased economic freedom by enabling creators and artists to explore novel ways of establishing creativity and ownership. Although they have been around for years, NFTs exploded in popularity in 2021, and their global market valuation reached a whopping $52 billion (according to crypto.com).

Problem

What needs fixing?

Even though NFTs investments are currently all the craze, the option to manage them with the same precision and as part of mobile apps that people already use to keep track of other investment instruments is still largely unavailable. Additionally, there are limited platforms that cater to non-crypto-savvy users who are less familiar with crypto jargon and processes.

Opportunity

where's the value?

Since Robinhood announced, it would be launching its crypto wallet in January 2021, introducing its own NFT marketplace would allow the company to enable users to manage all their investment assets in one place without having to leave the app to use third-party platforms like OpenSea. Robinhood's mobile brokerage expertise transfers well to creating a product that simplifies and democratizes NFT's.

How might we help investors confidently and effortlessly invest in NFT’s on Robinhood ?
Research

Design Goal for Blockchain

setting standards

Blockchain's user experience issues need to be addressed. As is often with technology, jargon creates friction for the user experience and can lead to wasted funds and time, leaving new investors confused and frustrated. Experiencing high commission fees and slow transaction speed discourages investors from trading or using the platform often. Address names are unnecessarily complex and usually not customized by their holder.

Blockchain’s famed transparency is hardly usable for people unfamiliar with technology. Overall, the current state of blockchain causes it to be used by a small group of users, who are forced to deal with relatively high entry barriers and numerous questions and problems than meeting user needs. Keeping these pain points in mind, we came up with four key design goals to follow during this redesign process: Discoverability, Awareness, Education, and Security.

Discoverability

  • Enable users to explore newly added, featured, and trending creators and creations through a variety of filtering options
  • Ensure customizability of content on platform home feed, so the user is flexible in terms of what they value and want to see more of
  • Supporting users in finding more relevant items through a search by using item categories (e.g. art, music, 3D, etc.) and hashtags

Awareness

  • A concise breakdown of any fee (e.g. such as for gas) and/or commissions for trades on the platform
  • Clear communication about the security, usage, and public visibility of the investors’ personal information
  • Provide the most relevant information at first glance on cards for individual listing items and collections

Education

  • Education via tooltips and expandable options that explain jargon like “gas fees” and “wallet address”
  • Vetted articles and documentation from top Crypto organizations and content from Robinhood Learn can help people improve their technical understanding, making investors feel more confident
  • News section so investors can make informed decisions

Security

  • Multi-factor authentication in-app, so we know it's you when you initiate a transfer and transaction checks to understand better the risk of where coins are being sent.
  • Provide better protection against scams using interface features like the "report" button and the "verified profile" checkmarks for official accounts

Market Statistics

Competitive Analysis
Data provided by NFTGO.com

NFTs made headlines in 2021 due to the increasing number of sales, particularly the sales of Beeple's "Everyday: the First 5000 Days", which became the world's most expensive NFT. Since then, NFT sales volume skyrocketed, with the market cap reaching a total of over 11.5 billion U.S. dollars as of the latest data, according to NFTGO.com.

  • Education via tooltips and expandable options that explain jargon like “gas fees” and “wallet address”
  • Vetted articles and documentation from top Crypto organizations and content from Robinhood Learn can help people improve their technical understanding, making investors feel more confident
  • News section so investors can make informed decisions
What were the main takeaways?
Figure 2: Mindmap of extensive contextual analysis from driver’s perspective
key functionality
Explore content more relevant to you
While some users are interested in investing in newer artists to maximize profits, others want smaller gains through trading items. There is also frustration finding specific types of items as new NFTs are minted every day. We realized that there couldn’t be a standard explore feed that works for all.
COMPONENTS
  • Help creators get discovered by creating categories for new artists and their newly minted work.
  • Allow users to customize the content they want to see on their home page and feed.
  • Provide a search bar, content categories, filters, and hashtags that improve searchability
key functionality
Feel safe with investments
Through our interviews, we recognized a common concern: trust and security. Investors new and old acknowledge the risk of losing their hard-earned money and require that their platform sufficiently protects their personal information.
COMPONENTS
  • Visual elements to identify verified information, such as checkmarks for official profiles
  • Include multi-factor authentication before in-app transactions, such as placing bids
  • Keeping the user in the know about their information’s visibility and usage
key functionality
Understand what to do and how to do it
Simplicity in interfaces, language, and the overall experience was a commonly-mentioned theme and necessity for users. Our interviewees confirmed this. We recognized that applications with the most straightforward interfaces usually performed the best among the competitors.
COMPONENTS
  • Use accessible design principles for interfaces and only present helpful, contextually relevant information to users.
  • Replace over-complicated explanations with simple, intuitive explanations
  • An investment is an asset bought with the expectation of generating some future income or profit.
key functionality
Learn smart investing quickly and easily
The most common problem that creates a barrier to entry for people without heavy technical knowledge about blockchain is the lack of access to easily digestible information that breaks down complex topics. We must use our product as an opportunity for education.
COMPONENTS
  • Balance jargon and abstraction so that new users are motivated to learn but aren’t overwhelmed
  • Empower investors to make informed decisions by providing them with vetted information and news
  • Utilize Robinhood Learn to help people unpack technically challenging topics more easily
Features

Education

Inspire informed action

Empower investors to make informed decisions by providing them with vetted information and news

Simplify intimidating topics

Utilize Robinhood Learn to help people process technically challenging topics more easily

Abstract, but still teach

Balance jargon and abstract away details, so new users are motivated to learn but aren’t overwhelmed

Customization

Improve the exploration process

Allow users to customize the content they want to see on their home page and explore feed

Help creators get traction

Facilitate the discovery of emerging creators by creating categories for new artists on the platform

Provide granular search options

Provide a search bar, content categories, filters, and hashtags that improve searchability

Moodboards

Organize content, your way

Schemas vary based on experience and perspective. Users can express themselves by creating and sharing moodboards with the community.

Browse similar recommendations

Similar to how Spotify recommends songs to your playlist based on past listens, the marketplace shows you what you’d love based on your moodboards.

Share your perspective

Community is a key pillar of the NFT ecosystem. Being a part of it, you see the world differently from others, and your moodboards would reflect that.

Security

Multi-factor Authentication

Include multi-factor authentication before in-app transactions like placing bids on items

Report suspicious listings

Visual elements like profile checkmarks and report buttons generate more trust from users

Manage your personal details

Keep traders in the know about their information’s visibility and usage

Cards

Glanceable

There’s only so much time in a day. With glanceable cards, you can gather only the most necessary information.

Appealing

NFTs can reveal the artist and appreciators in all of us. Cards let the art speak for itself, with as few distractions as possible.

Balanced

We display only two cards per row to give each item the focus it deserves, avoid cognitive overload, and yet show multiple listings as you scroll

Reflection

How did I feel when working on the design challenge?

I felt invigorated working on such an exciting, impactful project. We were overwhelmed with the amount of work we had ahead of us. And, at times, I even overworked myself to the point of suffering from COVID for an entire week. Nonetheless, I’m incredibly proud to have made an entire case study encompassing a whole app design and supporting research.

What would I have done differently?

I wouldn’t have overworked myself. We likely would have completed this project faster if I hadn’t pulled all-nighters on the first two days. Also, we were pretty scattered with our research plan, mainly owing to our lack of experience doing such an expansive project. Moving forward, I believe we have a solid basis for Crypto research and case study presentation.

What did I learn about each other from this project?

I learned that Resham is a monster at creating interfaces. She’s incredibly fast, and she’s very open to design critiques and debates. She has a natural eye for information organization and aesthetics. We worked seamlessly through the entire process, and there were no points of friction — ever. I’m so blessed to work with her regularly.

What did I learn about myself from this project?

I learned that I can get distracted quite quickly, and I’m very thankful Resham was there to keep me on track. Among other things, I was surprised to find that I was relatively competent at case study design and research — things that are relatively new to me. Since playing around in Photoshop at age thirteen, I never realized that I would’ve expanded my skills to market analysis, user experience research, and visual design. I’m excited to see how I can grow as a designer in an age where the job is less focused on kerning and more on problem-solving.

Dimitri is an incredibly talented designer and team player. His years of experience, eye for detail, and perseverance in the face of challenges are what set him apart. Not only are Dimitri's determination and passion for perfection infectiously inspiring, but he also takes the initiative to go far above and beyond because of how deeply he cares about good design.

Resham Khanna
Product DESIGNER, meta
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