Building and products to make DeFi adoption easy at @themahadao •formerly @iconscout (acquired. by @lottiefiles)
MahaDAO is a community-focused decentralized organization launching the world's first value coin, ARTH, dedicated to solving inflation problems and bringing stability to the economy.
The Protocol employs a two-token system. The first being, ARTH a new type of currency designed to not be pegged to government-owned currencies (like US Dollar, Euro, or Chinese Yuan), but still remain relatively stable (unlike Gold and Bitcoin). Without being influenced by government-owned currencies, ARTH is backed by GMU(Global measurement Unit) and the Second token is governance token MAHA.
Since the team launched the first version of ARTH in January 2021 the team tried and tested different types of models to build a stable value coin until June 2021, whether it is a fully collateral-backed model, elastic supply model, Seigniorage Share model, or partial collateral model. The team tested all and finally got stability. It was founded after which we can scale it through different products. here I remember a line by Paul Graham "In order to scale, you have to first do things that don't scale at all".
In this article, I will explain my experiences and journey of building a platform to scale the ARTH.
"In order to scale, you have to first do things that don't scale at all"
After getting stability, the core strategy was to build a platform that can scale the ARTH ecosystem for larger adoption. That's where the ARTH Loan came into the picture. A product like this had always been a part of MahaDAO's long-term plan. A product where users can take the most advantage through value coin without worrying about volatility so building ARTH Loan from which users can take a loan with zero interest and generate ARTH with leveraged position would be the right and perfect opportunity to grow market cap and users.
My Role and Responsibilities
I was the sole designer to work on an end-to-end process to design a cross-platform experience, a design system that allows us not only to design and build things more efficiently but also helps evolve the product faster multiple times a year.
Use-cases that we were focusing on after getting ARTH stability:
1. ARTH Loan - 0% interest loan platform that will use ARTH value coin as its primary asset to transact loans. Borrowers can take leverage and extract loans by collateralizing 110% of their crypto assets.
2. Redeem - Users can redeem ARTH using different collaterals.
3. Farming - Users can put different LP tokens to earn reward MAHA & ARTH
4. Analytics - It's a one-stop place to analyze protocol. apart from token stats, there are graphs to analyze ARTH loan stats, Revenue, and ARTH utilization.
This project aimed to ship the entire product experience on the web and mobile. While testing ARTH for stability and different launches earlier, we found out that a decent number of users were coming from mobile devices also. So, the product should be fully responsive and consistent across all the devices. As the ecosystem was growing, it was clear that major product design changes needed to happen to give simplicity. ARTH's design needs to scale. The tricky constraint here was to move fast to build since we decided to launch ARTH Loans within 5 weeks after coming up with the idea.
Designing complex product can be difficult but by dividing it into important user experiences, you can make it approachable and double.
In January, I worked on the Vault app which was the first version for ARTH adoption. we aimed to scale the adoption of ARTH through Vaults. In Vaults, people can put collateral and generate ARTH. Their locked collateral will also generate some interest in the vault. but we stopped working on this product without launch and focused on testing value coins to stabilize ARTH with different models.
Product vision was set, now it was time for action. From early launches of testing ARTH for stability and testing with the public community and tester groups, our intention for the next product was to have a consistent experience across web and mobile devices. The process began by sketching out the user flows, considering all the design use cases, and progressed to iterating on Figma prototypes.
I explored a lot of different flows and design use cases, after few rounds of iteration and feedback from a team I had a solid base of user flows to work from. Below, I have put images of a few user flows, early research, and visual iterations to show the process. Apart from these, there were lots of papers which I haven't put here.
Early iterations and flows
A glimpse of the early version of ARTH before getting stability
As I was the first designer of MahaDAO, from the start I considered working on building a scalable design system from the ground up which can be useful to build products as it scales and keep the entire product ecosystem consistent on a multitude of platforms and devices even with multiple introductions of new features. It truly helped to reduce the time to build and design multiple products by using existing design patterns.
For the building design system, I approached the Atomic Design methodology. as the different products grew at a scale I added more patterns to make evolving system. I added these patterns to create a component library which I referred to throughout the design process. Making a whole design system from scratch was challenging considering time constraints but while iterating on designs it helped to increase productivity and I was able to focus more on solving design problems to experiment with more ideas faster.
"A Design System isn't a Project. It's a Product, Serving Products. " - Nathan Curtis
As a part of product design scaling, navigation was a major redesign. In a previous version of ARTH, I went with the top navigation and it worked well when there were not too many navigation items. but as our product became more sophisticated I have to rethink navigation and after a few iteration and testing, I decided to go with side navigation to simplify the experience.
By using side navigation I was able to show at least double the number of navigation links. This also means it is much easier to add more items as your product grows and keep the navigation view consistent across all the screen sizes.
The overview page is where users can see their loan and protocol loans and major data at glance, there are 3 sections to see what's happening with loan protocol at glance.
There are two major data points that need to be displayed on the overview page: Total locked value in protocol and total ARTH debt of protocol. Users should be able to see their loan information at glance instead of opening individual tabs to see information and the third section is the all loan section where users can see all loans of users from protocol.
In the third section, if there is any user whose loan's collateral ratio comes down to below 110% then any user can liquidate that loan. I starting there are four collateral available like ETH, MATIC, DAI, WBTC from which users can open loans per collateral. while opening the loan they can also select leverage to open a loan with the leveraged position.
Modify loans was quite complicated where there are different functions like add or remove collateral from loans or pay part of the debt and generate more ARTH for loans. so I created two tabs for updating collateral or tabs for categorizing selection.
With enough ARTH, users can close their loan and if users don't have a collaterals ratio above 110% then the user's loan will be liquidated and collateral will be distributed to Stability Pool as a reward to Stability Providers.
As a secondary measure to avoid the protocol going into extreme stress, the stability pool acts as a source of liquidity to repay debt from liquidated loans. It ensures that the total ARTH supply always remains backed by collateral.
When a loan position is liquidated, an equivalent amount of ARTH corresponding to the remaining debt has to be burned from the Stability Pool's balance to repay its debt. In exchange, the entire collateral (committed by the borrower) is transferred to the Stability Pool as a reward to Stability Providers. The Stability Pool is funded by users transferring their ARTH into the pool. These are also known as pooled users or stability providers.
From redeem, screen users can redeem ARTH by using different collaterals.
The analytics page is a one-stop place to analyze all data of protocol. apart from token stats, there are graphs to analyze ARTH loan stats, Revenue, and ARTH utilization.
Farming is where users come to put their LP tokens from different third-party platforms and earn rewards. My goal was to make it simple so that users can see their locked amount and reward on the same screen and do all action also, instead of showing it on a different screen for a particular farming pool. Fees generated through the protocol in various ways are shared with stakers participating in these farming pools.
Here I have only discussed ARTH Loan, Redeem, Analytics and Farming. Apart from these, there were other design use cases also like transaction feedback, transaction notifications, Connect wallet, user wallet which I haven't discuss here since they are easily understandable.
As I discussed before, the Platform needs to have a consistent experience across different platforms and we can't compromise with user experience. so I keep that in mind and made it possible. below I have put a few of the screens to show responsive design.
ARTH Loan is just beginning for ARTH adoption. MahaDAO will launch a Lending and borrowing platform soon which I already started to work on. Secondly, to grow the ARTH ecosystem even further MahaDAO incubated Scallop which is the world's first DeFi enabled neo-bank that uses blockchain to create a secure and safe bridge between traditional and decentralized finance. It provides a wide range of traditional banking services powered by DeFi and blockchain technology. The scallop is expected to launch its full suite of products in September 2021 in the EU and UK for 747m potential users and expand to Asia next year.
Experience of building products in the crypto space was something new and challenging to me as it's still evolving space and we are seeing new innovations every day.
While doing these I faced a steep learning curve, I continuously tried and dive deep into different crypto products to learn about DeFi space more every day. From the product side, there were times where I have to change a whole product from scratch because the protocol that we tried was not working as we intended. but through this experience, the biggest learning was to building, test, and scaling ideas in the blockchain space.
Sometimes, users do not have the time and patience for you to come through, which is why it's crucial to never stop learning, building, and shipping. Always make sure you deliver what you promised first and then move forward to make it the best.
On an ending note, I would say building products in the crypto space can be crazy because crypto space moves too fast so you have to keep up with the pace.
It's a perfect time to be working on decentralized finance and blockchain, and I'm humbled to work on design efforts as we enter the next era of Web 3.0. Learning to find your own process and thinking is challenging but if you got somebody with great experience and mindset it really helps you. Thanks to Dalpat Prajapati who helped whenever needed throughout the journey to make this process existing while building all the products to make important product decisions and also ingrain a habit in me to observe ask as many as "whys" for every decision whether it's from a design, product, or business perspective. I really appreciate his support to bring the best out of me.
I tried to cover all the important details here. there is more to talk about but that's for another article.
Thank you for reading this far. ♥️
This article was first published here.
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