The onboarding journey for the G-Coin mobile app
My Role: Research, UX Design, UI Design, Prototyping, Testing
G-Coin offers a seamless experience to save, send, spend, and redeem gold in real-time, 24/7. The blockchain technology and smart contract platform traces responsibly sourced gold from a mine to a refinery and to a vault and then digitizes that gold into secure G-Coin tokens for trade around the world.
Acquiring new users is one of the keys to success. As a regulated brand-new company, G-Coin is required to identify new customers and verified their identity during an onboarding process. That is why G-Coin needs to have it seamless, with a high-security level and low risk.
Blockchain is an evolving technology. Design decisions should be made with an understanding of the principles which blockchain is built on, and how people perceive it.
Heavily regulated industry
Building a financial application needs to comply with strict requirements. Our design mission is to find the sweet spot where user needs, business goals, and regulatory requirements live in peace and harmony.
While designing something new, we are often forced to make somewhat informed assumptions that need to be tested and verified later.
Our UX Design team started by conducting research and my role was to make a competitive analysis. I went through the registration processes of a few popular fintech applications.
What I have learned
Most of the applications desire to streamline the onboarding process as much as possible. However, fintech apps turn out to be those exceptions where friction can benefit the user experience. That can reduce user errors and thus relieve headaches for both users and providers!
Instead of simplifying the registration, our design team aimed to make an inevitably long process as smooth as possible.
User flow as a bunch of fractions
A mobile screen can include a few possibilities to choose from. So to create the initial user flow, I depicted each screen as a fraction where:
The numerator was what users saw
The denominator was what they did, and there could be more than one action over there
An arrow pointed out what users saw next
Positive outcomes and actions were indicated in green, negative ones in red
That approach worked well to help stakeholders easily understand the flow and leave comments.
While working on the user flow, our design team collaborated closely with stakeholders to make sure all the strict requirements were met.
A few iterations had been done before the final user flow was approved by all the stakeholders and our team started to design wireframes.
While designing, some touches that directly improved the user experience were implemented.
Smaller is better
To keep the process intuitive and result-oriented, the screens are designed based on the principle "one screen, one action".
Never leave our user alone
If users get stuck or have questions in any step while onboarding, our support team is always there to help them.
A small button with the question mark that I designed accompanies a CTA-button on each screen, where necessary, throughout the registration. Clicking on it takes a user on a support center page with chat.
Security vs Friction
To keep an account secure, it is required a 2-factor authentication (2FA) in the app. New users must activate 2FA, but we provide the option for repeat users to skip this step when logging in, along with using Touch ID instead of entering user credentials.
It gives them some peace of mind when needed. Security is always a priority in blockchain and digital currency.
Why are we asking for this?
Our users should always know why we ask their personal information such as a phone number or SSN. By giving a detailed explanation, we aim to build trust with our users.
One of the ways to speed up the onboarding process is using a barcode reader or OCR technology (optical character recognition). There is no need for a user to fill in all the fields manually. Just take a photo of the driver's license, and Voilà!
We got very valuable feedback after the launch. For example, people downloaded the application but not all of them started the registration process. They just merely failed to find the register button or spent an unnecessarily long time searching for it.
It happened because the homepage looked a bit overloaded. Besides, the register button had the same font size and color as the other text. So I suggested splitting the homepage into two screens:
The first-time visitors could see a welcome screen with the prominent create button
The registered users could see the screen asking to log in
Implementing those changes at once can be risky. We are going to make an A/B test to find out if the new design helps hold first-time visitors.
Our design team worked closely with the product and engineering teams to understand all the complexities of the fintech application. To make it truly useful, we put an effort to:
Balance user goals and business requirements
Design with keeping the app scalability in mind
In addition, I would add emotions to the design. Studies suggest that creating an engaging digital experience evoking emotion can enhance customer perceptions, trust, and loyalty – one of the biggest challenges facing financial service providers today.