Wefunder Company Profile Redesign
Wefunder is a crowdfunding platform for startups. The profile is essentially a company's dating profile; investors use it to decide whether or not to make the leap. The redesign is a success if it sees improved conversion (% of users who click on“invest”, % who invests).
Low conversion. This is contributing to low investment volume overall and thus low revenue.
Increase conversion between (a) viewing profile and adding investment “to cart” and (b) “checking out” from cart, or confirming investment pledge.
Two types: (1) experienced investors who are familiar with Wefunder/Reg CF and with investing — about 20%— and (2) first or second time investors who are unfamiliar with Wefunder/Reg CF and do not have extensive background in investing or finance — the rest 80%.
One designer (me), one engineer, and two weeks.
First, I needed to find out what the users wanted
I spoke to about 15 of our investors who have made investments in the past 6 months to find out what information they use to decide whether a company is worth investing in. I also learned about their investing behaviors.
They wait until the campaign is closing soon to invest
They want to see the founder, learn about the founder
They skip over the entire top text section
They want terms to be clearer. Access to contract.
They want to know the terms of the investment quickly
They want to know closing date
They want to know the fundraising progress
They would like more numbers less text (aka less '“fluff”)
How much is a good amount to invest?
What could be improved with the current profile?
There are a couple reasons contributing to lower conversion than possible:
Underperforming in following areas:
Indicating clearly the investment and contract type
Indicating clearly the status of the campaign
Providing no sense of urgency for closing soon companies.
Providing no sense of excitement/momentum for companies launching soon.
Placing focus on key facts and founder info
Giving lower-commitment options; unsuitable for first time viewers for campaign and Wefunder
Lacks proper user education
Including placing too much focus on perks, which incorrectly suggests equivalence to Indiegogo and Kickstarter.
All of these things contributed to higher bounce rates and lower conversions because users quickly lose interest or become intimidated by the overwhelming amount of information.
What do our competitor do to address these issues we have? I looked at Funders Club, StartEngine, NextSeed, SeedInvest, Kickstarter, Indiegogo and listed out the ways they have attempted to address the same concerns.
After I have some possible solutions to our pain points, I started the rapid iteration.
Before I did that, I made sure to come up with a spec list of information and actions that needed to be present. This is to make sure I don’t forget or mix up information specific to different contract types, campaign types, and campaign states.
What are some possible solutions?
Knowing what the investors wanted, some best practices, and some mistakes to avoid, I set out three key things we could do with our design that could possibly help increase conversion.
Ease Nerves of Unfamiliarity
Using visual hierarchy to indicate to investors what is important, what is not. Providing necessary learning material where it’s relevant.
Give the investors only what they need to make sound investment decisions.
This is a new thing for a lot of users. We should give enough nuggets for them to deduce what to do, how much to invest, what to expect.
All of the previous goals work together to help address user unease surrounding facing something new.
User flow, sketch, & iterate
A potential investor could’ve landed on the company profile via our explore page, a direct link from founders, or via ads. A user who is from a direct link or ad would not know enough about Wefunder or Regulation Crowdfunding for them to feel comfortable investing. The profile will need to accommodate for such users.
Usually I end up scrawling all over sheets and sheets of paper. I mostly don’t elect to keep them after moving to medium-fidelity. Silly me.
We’re lucky to have floor to ceiling sliding doors covering a significant portions of our company. So I have a habit of printing my mocks and sticking them on the doors and soliciting feedback from the entire team. For the profile hero redesign, I did at least three rounds of this. A lot of ideas were introduced then gutted then introduced here.
The final products:
There are slight variations for different campaign states:
A. Not a live campaign - can be after a campaign has ended successfully or failed.
B. Counting down to a live campaign
C. Live Campaign currently fundraising
D. Closing Soon
The photo section is replaced by a video if the company has one. The intent here is for a future goal of having each company’s founders answer quick questions in a shark tank style Q&A showcased this. Investors most want to see how a founder carries him or herself. The video section is reserved for that purpose. In the meanwhile, since they don’t have a shark tank video, they can upload another photo or video of their own.
The side panel
The intent of this is to give investors a benchmark for how much to invest. The founders come up with these tiers. Often times people have no idea what's a "good" investment amount. Should it be $100? $500? $50,000? Of course you should only invest what you are comfortable with losing. But because it's a common mental model that investments in companies are large sums of money, investors sometimes assume they need to be wealthy to be an investor. These "pickles" are intended to show the investors otherwise.
Additionally, I wanted some interaction here so you only show information (perks or pro-rata rights) when it becomes relevant.
Tiered Progress Bar
Each company sets both minimum and maximum fundraise targets. Since the campaign fails if the company does not reach the minimum, the primary focus before then is the minimum goal. Initially, the progress bar indicates progress towards minimum goal — indicated by yellow. Once the minimum goal is reached and campaign successful, the progress bar changes to green, with progress towards the maximum goal.
Overall, it was a success!
We used six companies with open campaigns before and after the launch of new profiles as reference points. We looked at two conversions: (a) between profile view and adding the investment to “basket” (i.e. clicking “invest”) and (b) between adding to basket and confirming an investment.
Conversion (a) increased from 17.1% to 21.4% — a 25% increase;
Conversion (b) increased from 10.8% to 15.0%. — a 39% increase.
It’s important to keep in mind that those figures have numerous confounding variables since conversion could be tied to the quality of companies launched and we had a record July.
Mostly, we were able to touch on each of the four goals. Since the conversion improved, I can conclude with some reservations that the new design was able to help first time investors feel less nervous about investing.
A few things I could’ve done better
Since this is such a big and noticeable user-facing change, it would’ve been better to prepare the founders for the release. Many founders, after spending months perfecting their profiles, were upset that seemingly without warning the layout was completely different. It didn’t matter that this actually might be beneficial to them, surprises when it comes to fundraising are never good. Next time I would coordinate with points of contact who are dealing with founders to ensure that founders are forewarned about the profile update beforehand.
More data tracking. Since we’re moving so quickly, it’s hard to have precise data for every part of the product. However, next time I would insist on doing at least tracking conversion on the “invest” and “follow” buttons before and after the release.
Team Member Guidance
More guidance for the storytellers on the Wefunder team who would be building new profiles. What are the dimensions of the photos? What about the new video?
More user interviews and testing
More user interviews and user testing. It would delay the process by a week or two, but it’d be worth it for the insights if we could afford the time.
Questions? Comments? Shoot me an email, I’m happy to talk. If you’d like to see a live version of the profile, go to wefunder.com/explore to choose any currently live campaign.