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Ruby Islands Mockup

Ethereum Layer 2 DeFi Platform

company

Ruby Islands

project Period

Feb 2024

my responsibilities

User Research
Prototyping
Usability Testing
Design QA
Pixel Art Creation

Overview

Background

As the demand for Ethereum blockchain transactions skyrockets, scalability emerges as a critical concern. In response, I developed a visionary Layer 2 DeFi platform concept. This platform offers a potent solution by diverting transactions away from the congested main Ethereum chain.

Problem

Ethereum's expensive gas fees and sluggish transaction speeds, coupled with low yields, have left users seeking for accessible alternatives. They desire user-friendly solutions for quicker, more cost-effective transactions, and enhanced earnings.

Objective

This solo project aims to craft a gamified Ethereum Layer 2 DeFi platform. It delivers users a seamless, efficient liquidity experience while revolutionizing accessibility and scalability within the Ethereum ecosystem.

What are the problems?

I started trading Ethereum a while ago, eager about the opportunities in crypto - swapping tokens, earning interest, and being part of something new. But lately, it's been more frustrating than exciting. Ethereum, which used to seem full of promise, now feels like quicksand, eating away at my profits and enthusiasm.

I'm not alone in this struggle. Countless other traders are facing the same challenges, yearning for a smoother, faster, and more affordable trading experience.

Trading on the Ethereum Mainnet is a NIGHTMARE!!!

Ethereum Mainnet pain points

In order to gain deeper insights, I conducted interviews with several friends who possess extensive experience in crypto trading. Through these conversations, they candidly shared the various challenges they have encountered throughout their years in the industry.

Notable Quotes from the interviewees

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It feels like I'm paying more in fees than I'm making in profits. Every trade is a gamble on gas prices.

– Philip C.

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The slow speeds make DeFi feel unreliable and cumbersome. I can't trust it for quick trades or fast-paced strategies.

– Ivy L.

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I'm looking for other easy-to-use platforms that offer better returns without sacrificing speed and efficiency.

– Andy P.

So... what do the traders want?

Escape High Gas Fees

Traders all want to pay less gas fees so that they can make more profit and do smaller trades without worry.

Need for Speed

Ethereum Layer 1's slow transaction times frustrate traders, who desire near-instant confirmations to react quickly to market shifts and seize opportunities.

Yield Enhancement

Diminished returns on Ethereum DeFi protocols disappoint users, who crave platforms with competitive yields without sacrificing speed or security.

User-Friendly Gamified Interfaces

Traders seek DeFi platforms that offer engaging experiences, featuring gamified elements and interactive features for an enjoyable participation in decentralized finance.

Ideation

As a big fan of pixel art top-down video games, I wanted to explore how this playful and nostalgic aesthetic could translate into a user-friendly and engaging DeFi platform. For initial inspiration, I delved into popular games like Crossy Road and Sprout Lands to understand how they use pixel art to create intuitive interfaces and a compelling user experience.

Pixel art games are always charming and nostalgic for a wide range of players.

Ethereum Mainnet pain points

To further explore the visual direction, I utilized Scenario.AI, an AI image generation tool. By feeding the platform keywords and design elements associated with pixel art, I was able to generate a variety of concept images. These images served as springboards for further ideation and refinement of the visual language for the gamified DeFi platform.

Leveraging AI technology

Ethereum Mainnet pain points

Solution - Ruby Islands

Inspired by research and user needs, I created Ruby Islands, an innovative Ethereum Layer 2 DeFi platform. It gamifies the experience by visualising token pairs as islands where users can add liquidity and "build houses," creating a more engaging approach to DeFi participation. Additionally, it offers a boost in points for adding liquidity to its native token, "RUBI".

Key Features

  • Swap Tokens

  • Add Liquidity by Deposit

  • Earn Ruby Points

  • Complete Quests

  • View Portfolio

  • View Tutorials

  • etc.

Ruby Islands First Prototype

But does it really work?

After investing a couple of hours in creating the design materials and prototype, I invited five users to test it. As anticipated, they identified several usability issues. Subsequently, I refined the prototype by implementing the necessary changes to enhance its usability.

Usability Issues
#1

Users struggled to locate specific token pairs on the map interface.

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Changes: Implemented a search bar within the top menu, allowing users to easily find desired pairs.

Top Menu Before
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Top Menu After
After
Side Menu Before
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Side Menu After
After
#2

The Quest Notification (red dot) wasn't clear.

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Changes: Replaced the red dot with a number representing the amount of new rewards available.

#3

Users misinterpreted "Claim" and the ruby icon, believing they claimed tokens when it was actually points.

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Changes: Replaced "Claim" with "Accept" to indicate a confirmation action. Removed the ruby icon and replaced it with the word "Point" to clearly communicate the reward type.

Quests Before
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Quests After
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Final Prototype

Seamless Wallet Integration

Connect your favorite wallets with ease, including MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, and WalletConnect. Say goodbye to frustrating setup processes and hello to a smooth DeFi experience.

Swap Token
Swap Token
Select Token
Select Token

Effortless Token Swapping

#1

Dive into the vibrant token swap feature. Simply input the desired amount and token type, and watch the real-time conversion unfold. Integrated balance displays for your wallet and the equivalent USD value provide complete transparency throughout the process.

#2

Mark your favorite tokens for quick access, ensuring your most-used swaps are just a tap away.

Ruby Point Lab: Loyalty Rewarded

Ruby Islands goes beyond just DeFi; cultivate loyalty with the Ruby Point Lab! Earn points for depositing and swapping tokens, fostering a sense of accomplishment and a reason to keep coming back.

Accumulated points can be held for future airdrops, unlocking exciting possibilities within the Ruby Islands ecosystem.

Ruby Point Lab
Ruby Islands Materials

Conclusion

By gamifying the experience through pixel art islands and prioritizing user needs, Ruby Islands offers a delightful and accessible platform for anyone seeking to explore the exciting world of decentralized finance. This project has been a rewarding learning experience, and I'm excited to see Ruby Islands set sail and empower users to navigate the DeFi seas with confidence.