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Responsible Gold™ Supply Chain application (RG SCA) tracks the movement of gold through each stage of the supply chain - from the mine to the refinery, to the vault, including logistics operators – to ensure gold is 100% responsibly sourced and conflict-free.

While transferring custody, the participants in the supply chain use an NFC-equipped mobile phone with the RG app installed. Customers scan the chips in tamper-proof seals called crypto seals. The scans record the transfers of custody of gold on the blockchain in real-time.

My Role was to lead the design aimed at improving the user experience, which resulted in reducing task completion time by an average of 2 times.


The app MVP was built by a third-party company. After handing it over, our team of three designers was required to design new features and improve the user experience and visual appearance.


High-security requirements in the gold industry

Due to very limited access to the territory of the gold mines, refineries, and vaults, only one product manager was our company’s sole representative who was allowed to personally observe the entire gold production process and accompany the gold transportation from the mine to the vault.

Don’t make me think ©

Our customers, who were operators of gold processing companies and logistics providers, had to do a lot of paperwork every day. Entering data into the RG SCA was an extra responsibility for them. Therefore, we needed to build a very simple user experience that should be clear and easy to learn.  

To define who the end users are, the design team runs a workshop together with the product team and the engineering team.

We identified four types of users:

  • Mine operator

  • Logistics operator

  • Refinery operator

  • Vaut operator

Four criteria to build the personas:

  • The context (where customers use the app)

  • Motivation

  • Jobs to be done

  • Challenges


My previous experience as a process engineer at a metallurgical plant helped me better understand users' pain points.

Know your users

First of all, we needed to learn more about the gold industry (mining, refining, and storage), logistics, how the product works, who the users are, and how we can help them do a better job.


Having been educated in metal science, I already knew some gold production specifics and shared this knowledge with my teammates.


Understand industry standards

Each supply chain partner uses their terminology. To get familiar with it, I started to learn the users' language. I put together all the findings and shared them with the UX team.

It was time to design a new feature.

Adding assets to a shipment unit

During the shift, refinery operators and vault workers should scan over a hundred crypto seals. This is a responsible, but rather tedious and time-consuming process. Packing gold kilobars into boxes significantly simplifies the acceptance, since the operator can scan 10-15 crypto seals depending on the box capacity.

For refiners, packing is just a means of comfortable transportation of gold bars to a vault. Boxes are not inventory items. On blockchain though, "packaging" is crucial to provide proof of the provenance of responsibly sourced gold.


Therefore, our goal was to create a clear and simple process for adding assets to a shipment unit.

Note. A brief clarification of terminology for a better further understanding.


Since the product manager personally communicated with users and watched the process from start to finish, I asked him more specific questions I could not find answers to in his contextual inquiry:

  • What are the specifics of packing gold kilobars into boxes in reality?

  • Are boxes labeled? If so, what are those labels?

  • Who makes them and how? If not, why?


At the same time, our UX team conducted several brainstorming sessions trying to answer other questions:

  • How can people be sure that the kilobars packed into a specific box (in reality) are exactly the same assets that were added to the shipment unit (in the app)?

  • How to link a shipment unit with added assets to a box filled with kilobars before that is registered on the blockchain? In other words, how to link digital and physical processes


I created a storyboard to visualize steps during the gold refining process. This exercise brought the problem to the surface and, like Archimedes, I could say “Eureka!”

Task flow

Based on the storyboard, our UX team discussed and developed a task flow. We aimed to answer questions, such as:

  • Will users be able to achieve their goals by performing this task?

  • Will they be able to do this with minimal to no friction?

The keyword for solving the problem is "In sequence" 

The final step of gold bar production is stamping the serial number assigned to each gold bar in sequential order.

After that, the kilobars are packed into boxes in the same sequential order. Once packed, each box is then labeled with the sequence of serial numbers enclosed and closed.


Our solution was to duplicate the packaging and labeling process in the application:

After receiving the serial numbers from workers, an admin creates assets in the same sequence using the RGSC Admin console.

This application makes it easier for me to accept gold from logistics companies and verify authenticity before vaulting it.


Vincenzo, a vault worker

Fresh Look

While working on the application, I was asked to improve the UI. I did not want to move too far from the existing version. Keeping in mind the design should be clear, I updated the color palette and typography to give the interface a fresh look.

Admin dashboard



Android mobile app



Closing thoughts

After launching the feature, the task execution time was reduced by an average of 2 times when comparing the total number of gold kilobars and boxes of different capacities.

But on the way to further product development, the team faced new challenges from the customers:

  • What should be done in case of damaging the box?

  • What could replace an expensive crypto seal?

Solution for the Supply Chain Application

Visualize the end-to-end user experience

Being an eyewitness of the gold production run and the voice of users, the product manager gathered raw data to create a detailed contextual inquiry.

Armed with it and the existing mobile app, I went through the entire supply chain to create an experience map. It helped our UX team and engineers gain insight into customers' behavior and how they use the app at different stages of the process.

Then an operator performs the following steps in the mobile app:

  • Selects a box size, enters a shipment unit serial number, and clicks Create

  • Selects assets that should be added to a shipment unit and clicks Confirm. At this time, the app generates a shipment unit label based on the box capacity and the first asset serial number

  • Selects this shipment unit from the list and goes to the detail page 

  • Finds a box with the same label and scans the cryptoseal

Before implementing this feature, we conducted an online usability test with five refinery operators.

  • The task completion rate was 100%

  • The average error rate was 15%. We defined 4 error opportunities. Five users made three mistakes overall

Some metrics and feedback
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