© 2020 Jon Crabb

Pillar // Cryptocurrency Personas and Building a User Testing Lab

At crypto startup, Pillar, in 2018, I initiated an extensive user research and testing program. I spoke to hundreds of people during a crypto craze, and built out personas when very little info existed. These were originally published on uxdesign.cc. Several crypto firms reached out after publication. I maintain an active interest in cryptocurrency, and consult from time to time.


Problem

We don't know who the user is, and we are not validating our designs early enough.

Solution

I built a full “user testing lab” from scratch. I evolved a series of personas out of this research. Valuable insights were gleaned, which led to direct changes in the app.


I wrote about how to conduct mobile user testing for UX Collective here

(I think it's the best guide written on the topic...)



The Personas




One-page Infographic


Cryptocurrency personas


Mobile User Testing

In order to validate our designs, I bought test phones and built special camera sleds for them. I eventually trained a small team of colleagues how to use the equipment, wrote interview scripts, and conducted multiple user test sessions at a week-long conference. 


Building a Test Phone

I am quite proud to have engineered a usability testing sled for a growing startup. After fine-tuning the setup and testing with dozens of users, I wrote up everything I had learned for uxdesign.cc. This covers equipment, software, and interview technique.

My case study on mobile user testing was published by UX Collective

Here is a brief gallery, showing how the rig was built and used.

I've also included a video we shot for Pillar, in which I talk about testing the Pillar Wallet.