Where artists can create generative NFTs on their own custom smart contract without writing a single line of code.
This solo project was part of a 10 week UX course at General Assembly, completed in March 2022.
There are a lot of artists who want to launch an NFT collection, but can't find a developer who can help them encode the art onto the block chain by creating a smart contract.
In this case study I will test my assumption through the design process I laid out below.
The development process of NFT Platform was shaped by the principles of the design thinking methodology. It helped me keep a solution- and action-focused mindset within every design phase.
My general design process is determined by taking all factors of each project into consideration, such as project goals, business needs, complexity of the problem, time, resources, etc. For this project, I determined the following steps necessary:
To test my initial assumption, I defined my research goals and interviewed four digital artists who either have been part of a launched NFT collection, or want to launch of their own. I recruited them by posting in various Discord communities.
I found patterns in my research and grouped them together in this affinity map.
After gathering data from the interviews, I also looked at current competitors in order to define the basic features of NFT platform. I only found a few that havent launched yet, and one competitor, whose features did not encapsulate all the desired ones either.
There are no established services out there yet that have all the features necessary. However, there are some that are being prepared to launch.
Everybody who has launched an NFT collection was lucky to have that one developer friend. Everybody else doesn't know where to even start.
"9/10 difficulty if I were to do that whole process alone without any guidance"
Synthesizing the research enabled me to create this persona named Toby.
Understanding the potential users and validating my initial assumption through research let me define the following:
Artists need an easy way to create, manage and deploy smart contracts because they find it difficult to find developers.
We believe that by creating a simple to use platform and making it easy for artists to upload their art collection onto the blockchain, selling NFT artwork will become more accessible to artists all over the world.
... create a platform that enables artists like Toby to create and manage their own smart contracts without writing a single line of code?
Moving into the ideation phase, I prioritized the desired features using the MoSCoW method. With the intention to design from the smallest scale up, building this matrix helped determine what features the MVP should have.
Taking Toby's persona needs and goals into consideration, I compiled them into a user flow to map out the steps a user will take to complete their goal in the most efficient manner aka. the happy path.
I began sketching the main screens of the mobile view, using the user flow as a guide. This allowed me to quiclky explore different ideas for the layout.
The sketches were turned into wireframes and a mid fidelity prototype, ready for testing. I asked three remote testers to complete two tasks:
The tests revealed very insightful results:
Actions to improve the product in the next iteration:
So I went back, did some more research, revisited and updated my prioritization, created a new user flow and sketches for the iteration.
This time, through two moderated and three unmoderated tests, I requested the testers to complete the following task:
The takeaways from this user test were:
The last two points will need to be addressed in more rounds of iteration and testing.
Here's some insights into the components and pattern libraries I created while making the prototypes.
Here is a styleguide defining things like colors and typography.
They turn the mid fidelity wireframes to high fidelity ones.
Working on this case study has been an incredibly enjoyable experience for me. As someone who had been curious about web3, I deeply appreciated the opportunity to dive into this topic and create this project.
One significant aspect I observed during this process was the difference between working on a project independently from scratch versus collaborating with developers and stakeholders in real-life scenarios. While the course project allowed me to take complete ownership, I recognize the importance of consulting and involving relevant stakeholders in real-world projects to ensure comprehensive perspectives and successful outcomes.
One of the key takeaways from this case study is the paramount importance of research and testing in creating a truly user-centered product. Through conducting thorough research and implementing testing methodologies, I gained a deeper understanding of how essential it is to consider user needs, preferences, and behaviors throughout the design process. This experience reinforced the significance of incorporating user feedback to refine and enhance the user experience.
Overall, this case study has been an enriching learning opportunity that has broadened my understanding of web3 and emphasized the value of research and testing in creating user-centered products. I am excited to apply these learnings to future projects and continue my growth as a UX designer.