Wefunder is the leading crowdfunding platform for startups currently on the market. It's a two-sided product: investors (average Joes) go on to find startups to invest in; startup founders go on to raise funding for their companies.
As they describe it, it's like a "Kickstarter for startups."
During my interview process, I was asked to finish a design challenge. How better to understand how we work together than simply working together?
Since Wefunder is a complex product, we had to sandbox the challenge to something rather constrained and specific: the Quickstart profile.
When startup founders come to Wefunder to fundraise, they first need to set up a comprehensive company profile. Currently, this process is so lengthy, the UX so confusing, that Wefunder actually does the work themselves.
This is simply not scalable.
To create a quickstart profile that is easy to set up but attractive enough to prompt the founders to finish the setup process flying solo. Key actions on this page are finishing setup, share/tweet, and follow.
Since we only had two weeks to tackle this seemingly impossible problem, we wanted to sandbox it in order to limit the explosion of edge cases, paths, etc. Here are a few assumptions to make life easier:
Who I looked at: SeedInvest, StartEngine, and MicroVentures.
While there were many commonalities, there were some key differences in the UX and info architecture between Wefunder and the competitors. I compiled a list of these differences through some guerrilla user testing. This will serve as a diving board for ideating design improvements.
(Don't try to guess which one is me).
Commonly known as "Chia harrasses friends and strangers".
1. what investors looked for when picking investments and
2. what founders find easy to fill out and what assets are easily accessible to them.
Then, I could compare the two lists and see where there were overlaps and vast differences.
Let's review the design goal
Create a quickstart profile that is easy to set up but attractive enough to prompt the founders to finish the setup process flying solo. Key actions on this page are finishing setup, share/tweet, and follow.
Also handy is a List of Feature Requirements to retain positive attributes from the existing product.
Photos, About the Team, Website Link, Document Upload, Problem Statement, Solution ("Ambition"), Key Facts, Investor Perks (?) - Nice-to-Have, CTA - Stage-dependent: "Publish" and "Edit", <3 Follow Button, Social Media Icons (Facebook, Twitter).
Three key things I wanted to achieve were offering context - especially when it comes to the stakes of not finishing this process, instill a sense of investment, and creating a more easily scannable and visually stimulating profile.
Founders are busy people, so it's important to tell them how much time this process takes, how many steps there are, and most importantly, how they stack up against other founders. The simple comparison of "85% of founders don't finish setting up the profile in the first week. Here's your chance at a head start" both gives context and motivates founders by hinting at possible competitive advantage. Progress bar serves similar purpose.
One other key change is the stickied navigation. Since the key Call-to-Action varies depending on the stage in which the profile is in, it made sense to have the stickied CTAs change accordingly. This way, they understand the most important actions we want them to take, and we can direct them in the right course.
Notifications often draw attention to a message, but as I've learned in previous work, it's important to make the notification actionable.
One way I attempted to make the profile easier to fill out, hence increasing the sense of investment, was introducing elements that are particularly easy for founders to complete, like hashtags, about the team, and deck uploads. Short blurbs and about the team should be instantly regurgitated like a reflex for any serious founder seeking funding. Decks are handy assets that most would have that easily makes a profile complete and comprehensive. Hashtags are easy to complete yet offers a lot of context to potential investors to grasp at-a-glance what the company does.
The main challenge of this project was the confines that really limited the scope. I find it easier to grasp underlying patterns of pain points and devise possible solutions if there is an opportunity for testing with the current system. I managed some casual guerrilla style tests that enabled me to see some rough patterns, but disregarding the current product was especially challenging.
Originally the project was sandboxed so I did not even have to consider current product and user flow. But I found it too up-in-the-air in that case, and opted to design according to current architecture.