Ripe Finance allows users to deposit assets to earn yield and borrow against those assets. The protocol aims to achieve 100% capital efficiency by borrowing the remaining value and putting it to work earning yield on your behalf. This is powered by Ripe’s native stablecoin, jUSD.
Two key components of this protocol are the Juice Score and the Bonding Mechanism. As the lead product designer, I was tasked with creating a user-friendly and intuitive interface to represent these complex mechanisms among other features in the protocol.
Earn, Borrow, Bond, and Juice Score.
I studied complex DeFi mechanisms and Ripe documentation to translate the concepts into a user-friendly design. I led strategic discussions to incorporate features and researched how they would impact the user's journey. I collaborated closely with the Founder and stakeholders, focusing on refining the overall functionality of the product and ensuring a seamless user experience.
I also collaborated with two other designers, guiding them through the design process and ensuring that our work was aligned with the overall vision for the product. This involved regular design reviews and feedback sessions, as well as collaborative brainstorming sessions to generate new ideas and solutions.
The challenge was to simplify Ripe's complexities because it posed a steep learning curve for users. Unique to Ripe was the Juice Score and the Bonding Mechanism. The Juice Score is completely unique and proprietary. To gain a comprehensive understanding of yield farming, collateralized lending, and bonding, I actively engaged with various protocols.
I participated, analyzed, and annotated protocols such as Aave, Yearn, and OlympusDao, identifying their strengths and potential opportunities that our team could leverage. I collaborated closely with the founder and other stakeholders to gain a deep understanding of these mechanisms and their role in the Ripe Finance protocol.
The research consisted of figuring out how these concepts could be translated into a user-friendly interface. As the concepts of the protocol refined, we would create new designs from previous versions in Figma, often live, to spur new ideas and solve UX issues. I also worked with people outside of the organization to validate concepts.
The design progression of bonding chart and page.
During the ideation phase, I brainstormed ways to incorporate the Juice Score into the product. Recognizing the Juice Score as a novel concept, I explored various visual representations, considering elements like boosted APY, color, token icon, and placement to highlight its importance. For the Earn and Bonding positions, I decided to use a card design instead of a table to represent active and inactive positions, which differentiated us visually and experientially from other financial products that use tables. When possible, I used charts to help simplify the data.
My philosophy in design is to prioritize the functionality and accessibility. The UX portion of the design process was closely involved with the founding team and engineers. I lead the design process by working on the requirements, user flow, and information structure before incorporating a beautiful UI. The design process involved creating wireframes with tools like Excalidraw, whiteboards, and Figma to start organizing concepts like the bonding chart that showed the bonds available per epoch, the APY, the boosted APY from the Juice Score, and the time left remaining in the epoch.
Once we had a firm understanding of the UX, we partially shifted our focus to branding. We involved the marketing and sales team to ensure the brand and product presentation resonated with our target audience. My team and I created a series of moodboards and mockups to communicate branding concepts. After finalizing a direction with the team, we designed key elements such as the logo, coin symbols, website, and pitch decks. This process was instrumental in creating a cohesive and compelling brand identity.
Brand Deck brainstorming exercise to define the organization's attributes
Initially, we conducted internal testing to validate our designs. We also created testing groups in from our discord channel where we validated concepts. We tested the placement of the Juice in the dashboard and navigation, and how well users understood the bonding mechanism. We found that the more we incorporated the Juice Score into the product, the stronger the adoption and understanding of the system. In our findings, we observed that users initially needed to invest some extra time to comprehend the workings of the product. However, the learning curve was not steep, and users quickly understood how the protocol works. Our audience is technical and most of them have seen similar patterns. Overall, the results affirmed the effectiveness of our design direction.
Looking back, this project was a valuable learning experience. It challenged me to understand complex systems and translate them into user-friendly interfaces. This enriched my comprehension of various DeFi protocol concepts such as yield farming, collateral leveraging, bonding, and proprietary features like the Juice Score. I anticipate expanding my knowledge of the latest DeFi technologies and applying these insights to upcoming projects.