Blockchain UX: A Journey Improving GoodDollar’s Beta

Liav Gutstein Liav Gutstein
blockchain ux
Listening and learning: Blockchain UX

Blockchain UX Was Front Of Mind When We Launched The Beta In Late 2019 – Here Is What We Learnt

At the end of 2019, we at GoodDollar — the not-for-profit project aiming to reduce global wealth inequality through blockchain technology and universal basic income (UBI) principles — launched a limited beta program to test and develop our ecosystem. Blockchain UX was central to our offering.

The three-month test, which concluded in mid-February 2020, included an exclusive marketplace, called GoodMarket, where a select number of people can trade items on an online platform using our cryptocurrency (GoodDollars, or G$).

GoodDollar’s Wallet And Marketplace

Access to the closed beta site was granted to 500 employees at the Tel Aviv headquarters of eToro, the multi-asset investment platform — and GoodDollar’s core sponsors.

Three System Pillars To GoodDollar Beta

There were three key elements we were testing on the ecosystem. The first was the onboarding model, which is the users’ entry point to our ecosystem. From there, the user could sign-up and invite, for rewards, more friends to join GoodDollar.

The second part we were testing was our decentralised wallet app, which is the tool through which the users can redeem their G$ rewards through inviting friends who signed up, claim their free daily basic income, and send and receive G$.

Finally, we wanted to test the marketplace platform, which we have called GoodMarket — a space users can access via our wallet and spend their GoodDollars. For the closed beta, we worked with our new friends at PaperClip. GoodMarket, just like any online marketplace, allows posting of items to sell. Once an item has been sold to another user, a transaction has to occur between a seller and a buyer.

blockchain ux
GoodDollar’s Beat Test Ecosystem

Test Findings: Onboarding

In this piece, we will review our first challenge: moving users from onboarding to a decentralised, main application. We’ll write more about the other elements, once the test has concluded, in mid-February.

The app beta was launched on November 11, the first birthday of the GoodDollar project. Since we wanted to test our full onboarding experience — which incentivises people who have already joined to invite others for rewards — we delivered 10 invitations to the first tranche of people. Once they were on board, they could then invite more people and verify their request to join the system.

The basic flow for joining GoodDollar is minimalistic — or at least we tried to build it that way. Generally speaking, you can join GoodDollar using Facebook, Google and email logins.

The invitation mechanism worked well, and a vast majority — approximately 70 per cent — of the 500 who were whitelisted to this beta test, joined within days.

Data-Driven Insights

From the get-go, we’ve viewed and logged data, mainly using two analytical tools: Amplitude and FullStory. As such, we were able to obtain funnel views within days. Through a thrice-weekly standup meeting, we identified our first significant funnel drop, which was also our first big challenge and opportunity to improve.

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Conversion To Wallet

Through numerous interviews and many video playback views, we realised that our ambition to make users invite other people had blocked progress to our next stop of the funnel: the opening of the decentralised wallet on users’ devices.

Ultimately, the wallet is the access point to the GoodMarket, but more importantly, it is the app itself. The invitation model was designed to encourage new users to sign up and convince them to join the mission by inviting their friends (and gain rewards for it). Still, our analysis suggests users were overwhelmed by the main invitation dashboard, at the end of their onboarding funnel, before moving to the wallet — so many components, so many tasks, so much to understand.

There were two findings from our analysis:

  1. People didn’t understand the wallet and its role in the system.
  2. On the other end, users encountered issues around installing the wallet on their phones.

Combined, these two problems meant that we suffered a low conversion rate (52 per cent).

A word about the decentralised wallet conundrum. Unlike websites, web-based digital wallets are more like apps running on the cloud, instead of your phone. We chose this approach as a means to support as many users as possible, as quickly as possible.

However, one of the learnings from the beta experiment is the decision that a web-based experience for digital wallets is not good enough, because we can’t use native features (like contacts and push notifications). And for additional features, we will be porting the next iterations of our digital wallet to native iOS and Android over React Native.

Eat, Sleep, UX, Repeat

To counter the teething issues, we attempted to improve our UX microcopy — reducing the number of texts, amending the text to be clearer — and prioritised the options for the user by numbering them.

When that didn’t shift the needle, we tried highlighting the most critical task by changing its colour and making it the boldest component on the screen.

Invitation Dashboard First Iteration
Invitation Dashboard First Iteration

The next step was to remove some of the unessential components that were nice to have (such as “Helpful Invitation Tips”) alongside sending a reminder email nudging users to advance to their wallets.

Back To UX Basics

One of the first things you learn in the UX field is Hick’s law, which states that the more choices the users are presented with, the longer it takes to make a decision. But it’s not always easy to follow this principle in more complicated systems when the user needs to take a lot of actions to complete all his or her tasks.

We decided to make a dramatic change and reduce the components and tasks to one single action (“Go To My Wallet”). It was not an easy choice, but it was the right one.

Invitation Dashboard Final Iteration
Invitation Dashboard Final Version

After disabling all other options, users finally started to find their way through our intended funnel towards the wallet, and the conversion rate rose way up to 80 per cent, pleasingly. The remainder of the tasks could be done via the wallet itself, so the users didn’t lose any of their options.

Conversion To Wallet — After Changes
Conversion To Wallet — After Changes
Version 1 through 3 of our invitation dashboard
Version 1 Through 3 Of Our Invitation Dashboard

What We Learnt: Key Takeaways

The closed beta test has been extremely helpful, from a UX perspective. Our analysis has informed iterative tweaks and improved the product as a result. The three key takeaways for me are:

  • Obtain data hooks early, and connect them to a system you can learn from.
  • Don’t be afraid to make significant changes in your design if needed.
  • Always keep in mind your main KPI. Sometimes, while in the working process, it’s easy to drift with new features or components that are taking the users out of focus in terms of the funnel you want them to go through.

When the closed beta is completed, in mid-February, we will be posting more analysis, but hopefully, this article offers an honest insight into the workings of GoodDollar and our direction of travel.

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