Rearchitecting Blockfi.com

Rearchitecting Blockfi.com

When

Jan-May 2022

My Role

Information architecture, content strategy visual design (lead)  User research, testing, project management (support) 

Collaborators

Heaven Martin - UX Designer & Project Manager Steph Lienti - UX Designer & Developer Benjamin Pittman - UX Designer

Tags
Content StrategyResearchDesign (other)
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BlockFi is a cryptocurrency financial services company that aimed to "redefine banking" by bridging the worlds of traditional finance and blockchain technology. During my time as a grad student at the University of Baltimore, we chance to work with BlockFi on a client consulting project. We were tasked with redesigning their corporate website with the goal of creating a more useful and engaging content experience for site users. Process:

01 - Uncovering the problem

02 - Exploring solutions

03 - Impact & outcomes

01 | Uncovering the problem

BlockFi.com is the company’s main vehicle for communicating with its clients, partners and investors. However, despite successfully building a recognizable brand and loyal following through an its active social media presence, Blockfi’s consumer website has lagged behind.

While the site already had a backlog of good content and a lot of potential, there were a few major challenges in the way of success.

CHALLENGES

📈 Unscalable solution

The website wasn’t structured with future business needs in mind. So it wasn’t well equipped to handle the volume of content the company needed to keep its customers engaged as it expanded. Overtime, the original site structure became lost in the sea of new content creating a site that felt disjointed and confusing to navigate.

⚖️ Organizational needs > user needs

Site content was mostly focused on the organization itself with the goal of attracting new investors and business partners. Now that the company has grown, it needed to be refocused around the product offerings and information that is valuable to customers. 🤷 Minimal investment Internally, there’d been a lack of interest in the website because of the minimal ROI it provided the company. This led to a lack of investment in maintenance, governance and regular publishing, so a lot of the site’s content had grown stale.

During stakeholder conversations, we learned that the client’s main goal was attracting and engaging new, high quality commercial clients. With that context, we identified a few key project objectives.

OBJECTIVES ✅ Refine the site's structural design to improve its usability ✅ Elevate the messaging and visibility of key company products/services, value to customers and product differentiators ✅ Improve the site's user experience to make it a better reflection of BlockFi's brand and increase engagement with key audience segments ✅ Refine the site's structural design to improve its usability ✅ Elevate the messaging and visibility of key company products/services, value to customers and product differentiators ✅ Improve the site's user experience to make it a better reflection of BlockFi's brand and increase engagement with key audience segments

Gaining context

We kicked off our work by doing some research to get a better understanding of BlockFi's brand and market position followed by a detailed assessment of their website’s current performance and shortcomings. Here are the methods we used:

  1. Website content inventory - Used Screaming Frog to crawl and inventory all of the existing site’s pages to get a full picture of its current structure.
  2. Brand and competitive analysis - Analysis of BlockFi’s brand and market positioning and how they compare to 3 major competitor brands (Gemini, FTX, Coinbase)
  3. Website SWOT analysis - Heuristic review of the existing site and identified SWOTs
  4. Website performance analysis
    • Search analysis - Review of internal search function and used Moz to assess SEO/SERP performance.
    • Content analysis - Review content inventory and assessed individual page and content area performance against UX best practices
    • Accessibility analysis - Used online tools to scan for common accessibility and site performance issues.

Because of my experience working in content design, I took the lead during this stage of the project. I was especially instrumental in conducting the site inventory and performance analysis.

Getting to know our users

Before kicking off this project, BlockFi had conducted market research and identified 4 key consumer customer segments, Thriving Investors, Profit Traders, HODler Traders and Crypto Dabblers. Although BlockFi also uses some areas of the website to connect with investors and partners, since this project was focused on improving BlockFi's customer communication, we used these segments to develop the personas that helped guide our design process and focused our work on the site areas targeted at that group.

💁‍♂️ 💁🏽‍♂️ 💁‍♀️ Our 3 primary personas were based on the first 3 audience segments that make up the core of BlockFi’s customer base. BlockFi calls these clients Crypto Fluent because they are seasoned investors who’re familiar with the crypto market.

💁🏾‍♂️ Our secondary persona belongs to a category of investors BlockFi calls Crypto Curious. These are clients who have limited crypto experience and few investments but have the longterm potential to become loyal BlockFi customers.

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02 | Exploring solutions

Given that it only takes few seconds to lose user interest, we decided to center our design strategy around bringing the most important information paths to the front and center of the site, cross-populating content to drive more traffic to underutilized areas of the site and incorporating interactive features to get users more engaged.

Workshopping ideas

We used the findings from the research and analysis we conducted to rework the website’s structure. We also decided to redesign the layouts of some of the individual pages and content areas around the site to make them easier to navigate and more engaging. We workshopped these ideas as a team, then I took the lead on creating wireframes and mapping out the new site structure.

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Testing the concept

To make sure we were on the right path, we did a series of card sorts to test the effectiveness of the new labels and hierarchy. After we used this data to determine the best way to restructure information on the site, I created a lo-fi prototype from our wireframes and led a few task-based usability test sessions to validate our design decisions.

Card Sort Testing

  • Moderated tests and user interviews conducted using Optimal Workshop and Zoom
  • 14 participants asked to categorize 21 Cards based on the labels we chose for the new sitemap
  • Users asked to sort cards into 5 Categories based on the new site hierarchy (closed sort)

Prototype Click Testing

  • Remote, moderated tests conducted using Optimal Workshop and Zoom
  • 4 participants given 7 tasks designed to reflect user scenarios developed around our personas
  • Participants asked to click on the area of the prototype they thought best aligned with the task/scenario they were given
I created this map of the proposed new site structure based on the findings from our test sessions
I created this map of the proposed new site structure based on the findings from our test sessions

03 | Impact & outcomes

For our final client report, we put together a conceptual prototype of our redesign to help the client better visualize our strategic recommendations.

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We also developed a few user scenarios based on our personas to help them understand the connection between our recommendations and their user's needs.

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💡 PROJECT IMPACT At the end of the project, we presented our findings and delivered strategic recommendations to the client. BlockFi incorporated some of the strategies we recommended such as improving the site’s navigation labels and hierarchies.

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