Product Design


In this 12+ week sprint, I collaborated with an agile team of designers, engineers, researchers, product strategists to build a Kadena blockchain explorer with NFT analytics, an open source Web3 product.

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A platform that provides traders with robust data needs

Founded in 2016 by the creators of JPMorgan's 1st blockchain, Kadena is currently the only scalable layer 1 PoW blockchain.

In 2022, the growth of Kadena development skyrocketed with the launch of Kadena NFTs and DeFi. Traders needed more extensive blockchain activity analytics.

Kadena Blockchain Explorer ↗, while providing crucial information on Kadena activity, doesn’t provide enough data in rich user experiences for the likes of traders or users who need to see more.

K-Block is Tech Fleet’s answer to providing robust data needs in the Kadena community to pave the way for Kadena’s mainstream adoption. (Source ↗)

My Role

Led a team of 6 UX designers to revamp K-Block to launch beta in a 12-week sprint.

→ Redefining Scope
I redefined the product with my team by identifying key features to prioritize for the beta launch, aligning with traders' needs and the business vision.

→ Revamping the Visual Design
User testing on the previous version of K-Block suggested that users found it untrustworthy. To address this, we identified numerous areas for improvement and decided to revamp the entire design system. Additionally, I redesigned the brand identity to align with the new aesthetics.

→ Facilitating Collaboration
I facilitated cross-functional collaborations with the research, writing, and development teams. I planned my team's timeline around the needs and goals of other teams to optimize our collective outcome. I spearheaded joint development and design meetings to efficiently address blockers for both teams. Internally, I conducted weekly design critique sessions to foster collaboration and promote critical thinking in design decisions.

→ Product Management
I spearheaded a backend development focused phase and served as the product manager for a team of developers.

Use the slider to see the previous version (LEFT) and my redesign (RIGHT)

Finding the MVP

Identified the jobs-to-be done for beta, and backlogged the rest

The previous version was a mixture of an NFT marketplace and blockchain explorer.

We worked with the client and identified features needed for a minimum viable product that had a competitive edge over existing Kadena explorers.

We decided to focus our efforts on the explorer and NFT analytics, and backlogged the entire marketplace.

To that end, I made several changes on the homepage including removing the side bar (with a total of 4 items on the menu, the decision to introduce user friction in the navigation was not justified), restructured the information architecture by presenting information traders needed in a logical order and an easily scannable way. I also eliminated the marketing copy and rewrote the UX writing in the buttons.

Visually, I cleaned up the page by reworking the hierarchy of the design, erasing visual noise that distracted users from the data itself.

One key thing a designer on the team and I partnered to improve is the neighboring chain visual on the block detail page.

Kadena's unique multi-chain structure (aka Chainweb) makes it challenging to depict the relationships of the blocks in a simple way.

Most of our competitors displayed the Chainweb on a table with multiple rows and innumerable connecting lines that flash and update in near real-time, rendering it impossible to read.

We wanted to keep the graph simple, but we felt that the previous design did not clearly convey the block's connection to its parent block and neighboring chains.

After several iterations, we settled on this design, omitting the block itself from the graph. Our design zoomed in on the part of the astronomical Chainweb relevant to the block in question.

User testing

Moderated usability testing with 13 participants

The participants were categorized into three groups:

1. Blockchain beginners
2. Experienced blockchain explorer users without specific knowledge of Kadena
3. Experienced Kadena users.

According to the detailed testing report by the user research team, here are some
of the praises from the participants:

One participant has experience with multiple explorers such as those for Ethereum, VChain, Kedane, and Solana. They were highly impressed with K-Block

One participant found K-Block's data analytics to be more comprehensive than other options, considering it a one-stop-shop for high priority blockchain information.

One participant was impressed by the layout of K-Block's landing page, including features like Latest Blocks, Transactions, and the unique NFT table not commonly found in other explorers.

Usability Learnings
Changes we made based on the testing results include:

1. Terminology:  
 Users were confused what "Total Assets" meant, so we further split it into "Total Tokens" and "Total NFTs"

2. Rearranged order of four main data points to facilitate ease of use:
 I moved "Active miners", originally placed at the far right side and thus more likely to be neglected, to the
second position, followed by gas price, both of which were more relevant for most users than other data on the table.

3. Additional Pop up tips:
Pop up tips were added to more items following feedback from beginner users.

4. NFT price range:
Users noted that the inclusion of price range would allow them to make an offer and negotiate when buying and selling NFTs.

Next Steps & Final thoughts

The front-end developers did an amazing job rendering our design documentation and prototype. Backend work—pulling data from Kadena—proved to be extremely challenging, which eventually hindered the timely launch of the beta. Development needs to be prioritized as future teams continue improving our beloved project.

Personally, I truly had a great time working on this project. I enjoyed working in this space and loved the challenge of gaining a deeper understanding, not only of blockchain but also of Kadena in particular.

I learned so much from running our weekly design critique sessions, figuring out how to balance speed with quality, and ensuring consistency among seven designers as we navigated our way through overhauling the design system.

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