Proposal: Nouns Bidder 2.0

Nouns Bidder 2.0

Summary

As the Nouns community continues to grow and establish itself as one of the most high-profile DAOs, its digital presence should evolve along with it. We propose creating an independent bidding site separate from nouns.wtf, optimized for delight.

Objectives

Evolve the Nouns Brand

The proposed Nouns Bidder 2.0 web experience will extend and evolve the basic Nouns branding using modern web technologies and advanced interactions.

This proposal leverages an award-winning team of designers, strategists, and creative technologists to design and build a premium Nouns bidding experience, drawing more traffic and interest in the Nouns brand.

Ultimately, we want to set the standard for web3 brands and digital experiences.

Decentralize the Bidding Experience

Creating a separate bidding front-end will further prove and fortify the Nouns as a decentralized protocol.

Enabling multiple and distinct bidding front-ends to co-exist on the Nouns protocol demonstrates that anyone, not just Nounders, can build for Nouns.

Approach

We’ve meticulously crafted an approach that will enable us to build a second bidding site with intent and creative flair.

1.0 User Research

The process is designed not only to build on the Nouns brand but to gather data to improve the user experience of the bidding process.

We’ll recruit and conduct 30 min interviews with 8-10 qualified participants. Through one-on-one interviews, we’ll seek to understand the perceived experience of the existing Nouns bidding experience and identify potentially unforeseen insights into how we can improve the design.

We’ll split research recruitment into two screened groups:

  1. Advanced users: Understands Nouns value proposition, coming to the site to place a bid and check bid status.
  2. Intermediate users: Native to crypto, understands DAOs and NFTs, arrives to the website to learn more about Nouns.

Specifically, we’ll study the experience of both segments to understand the two core scenarios: the bidding experience and the learning experience.

The research will be summarized in a report that will be shared back with the Nouns community. The learnings will also serve as the basis for core flows and site architecture ahead of any prototyping or development.

2.0 Brand Identity

With minimal Nouns brand guidelines established, the branding activities will be up for interpretation by the project team. That said, the Nouns Bidder 2.0 will pull visual inspiration from the existing nouns.wtf, but mostly from our vision of what the future of the Nouns brand could be.

Nouns Characteristics (included, but not limited to):

  1. Courageous
  2. Playful
  3. Smart
  4. Fair
  5. Futuristic

These characteristics serve as the basis for the visual language we build around an updated bidding interface and, ultimately, a more robust visual representation of the Nouns brand.

Internally, we’ll create several mood boards to determine a general direction to share with the Nouns community (at our discretion).

Once a direction is set and agreed upon internally, we’ll construct guidelines around the building blocks of the visual identity:

  • Typography
  • Color palette
  • UI elements (buttons, cards, etc.)
  • Motion and interactions
  • Tone and Voice

With guidelines established, we’ll prototype multiple iterations of the experience for web and mobile, fine-tuning the vision for the brand and UX/UI.

3.0 Design and Prototyping

In parallel to the branding efforts, we’ll make key decisions to rewrite the website content based on the research and brand strategy. A content inventory will be generated for the Nouns community to review and provide feedback.

Throughout the UX process, if a key design decision becomes a point of debate internally, we’ll use our discretion to conduct guerilla-style user testing to quickly gather the necessary evidence. Otherwise, we won’t make any formal plans for user testing in this phase.

With a brand direction decided, we’ll move as quickly as possible to prototyping in high-fidelity to simulate a polished (possibly animated) design and gather feedback.

Depending on the amount of feedback we receive from the Nouns community, we’ll plan to move through 1-3 design iterations.

When the design is finalized, we’ll make final decisions around the front-end technologies needed to bring the vision to life.

4.0 Development

Because the objective is to achieve a premium web experience, the site will be designed and developed using advanced web technologies to create a delightful, interactive auction and immersive browsing experience.

Example: Cann Social Tonics (this was built by the project team)

The website code will be statically generated, for performance and security concerns.

Lastly, we’ll meticulously test and optimize for performance. We’ll compress any high-resolution images and create caching mechanisms to keep load times as fast as possible. Once the site is developed, we’ll test performance on all primary browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox) and for mobile and web prior to launch.

Upon completion of the Development phase, we’ll invite any members of the Nouns community to conduct a code review before deployment and launch.

5.0 Launch and Marketing

The core team will prioritize organic marketing efforts to build awareness around the Nouns Bidder 2.0. A dedicated Twitter account will be created upon acceptance of this proposal, with regular project updates and progress within each phase occasionally shared publicly.

After the launch, we’ll submit the site for digital design awards where, if chosen, will generate significant exposure in the creative and tech community.

Any additional marketing or advertising efforts around the Nouns Bidder 2.0 will require an additional proposal.

Project Timeline

18-20 weeks

Team

The core team pulls together the resources, experience, and firepower of multiple design agencies and consultancies. We bring to bear years of friendship and experience collaborating and working together on similar projects.

Yaz (Project Lead) is an experienced product leader and design entrepreneur. He is the founder of MSTQ—a globally ranked design firm—and has led world-class product teams to build award-winning digital experiences for Google, Union Pacific Railroad, Georg Fischer, and many more.

Martin (Art and Creative Direction) has earned over 55 awards, including the prestigious Awwwards Independent of the Year. Founder of Numbered Studio, his work has spanned fashion, tech, and lifestyle brands: Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dyson, Porsche, Google, Hermes, and many others.

Leo (Creative Front-End Developer) is the CTO of Numbered Studio. He has extensive experience with modern front-end programming languages such as WebGL, JavaScript, and React. He’s helped build interactive experiences for Ed Banger, I Am Other, Perrier Jouët, Yves Saint-Laurent, and many others. He’s earned over 35 Awwwards, including two Sites of the Year (Pharell William - Happy 24 Hours & Ouigo - Let’s Play).

Charlie (Brand Strategy and Content), recognized by AdWeek as the Top 20 Marketers to Watch, is a veteran consumer marketer and Founder of Sign and Sapien. He is the former Chief Marketing Officer at Factor ($277m exit) and former Head of Brand and Media at RXBAR ($600m exit).

Brkfstsndwch (Community Marketing) is the founder of Brkfst World NFT and an active participant and builder in the Nouns ecosystem. An experienced program manager, Brkfstsndwch has a proven track record of building awareness and engagement around NFT communities.

Tommy (Project Management) is an experienced DevOps professional. As the Innovation Manager of a successful ed-tech startup, he has managed and overseen the development of industry-leading consumer and enterprise products.

0xDesigner (Research and UX Design) is a multi-disciplinary designer skilled in user research and UX/UI. In addition to designing the Nouns POAP UX and website, 0xDesigner has worked with Fortune 500s to design wearables, mobile apps, web apps, and voice assistants.

Jazz (Research and Design Strategy) is a senior design strategist skilled in ethnographic research and design thinking processes. She has a Master’s Degree in Design and was a finalist in Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards in 2020.

Bob the Builder (Web3 Developer) is a senior full-stack developer with experience building web applications in many modern programming languages, with expert-level knowledge in Javascript, React, MongoDB, Node.js, HTML, and CSS. Bob also has experience building web3 integrations on the Ethereum and DeSo blockchains.

TBD (Front-End Motion/Developer): an additional front-end developer will be onboarded after the 3.0 Design and Development phase.

The core team reserves the right to onboard additional team members on an as-needed basis, which includes, but is not limited to, researchers, developers, graphic designers, and copywriters.

Sample work:

All public samples of work can be found at www.mstq.io and www.numbered.studio. Due to confidentiality, any additional work product is available privately upon request.

Compensation

Key Deliverables made publicly available:

  1. Nouns.wtf User Research Report
  2. Nouns Brand Strategy Analysis
  3. Nouns Bidder 2.0 Brand Guidelines
  4. 1-3 Nouns Bidder 2.0 Figma Prototypes (mobile and web)
  5. Hosted Nouns Bidder 2.0 Website

Costs:

  • 110 ETH for Branding, Design, Development, and Deployment of the Nouns Bidder 2.0
  • 10 ETH for six months of maintenance, timely bug fixes, and design/content updates as needed

Proposed payment schedule:

  1. 50% due upon proposal approval (60 ETH)
  2. 50% due upon project completion (site deployment) (60 ETH)
4 Likes

I think this is a very cool and ambitious proposal with what looks like a superstar team.

What I need help understanding - what do you think can be improved with the Nouns website right now? I think it is pretty straight forward - Noun Art, Auction Number, Time Left, Current Bid. I am all for optimizing the experience, but I would like to know more about how you envision that compared to what we have today.

120 ETH is a huge outlay to conduct a bunch of user interviews on how to fix the Nouns website, when I’m still not convinced there is a problem with the Nouns site, let alone one that would cost 120 ETH to fix.

I think you should conduct some user research that points to what the problem you are trying to solve is as a prerequisite to this proposal.

2 Likes

Thank you for putting this together and welcome!

Where do you think our current site and bidding UX/UI is most deficient?

Have you ever dealt with a site that was a conduit for $200-500k items? Or anything with a pricepoint like that? It’s a rarefied audience and I would be curious on your perspective as to how marginally impactful things like how “premium” the web experience was would affect the marginal bidding and interest in items like Nouns for people who are the target demo. My instinct is that the pricepoint makes all other constraints small in comparison. Removing or alleviating UI/UX constraints will not be very effective as levers. The quality of our mobile experience for instance is almost definitely not much of a gate given how people interact with crypto today. I could be wrong though, I often am. But I’d love to hear your team’s thoughts or experience that would be comparable and how you think about giga premium merchandising.

I looked through your case studies and the work looked great. Which case studies between MSTQ and Numbered.Studio would you say are ones that Nouners should check out when thinking about work that could be done for Nouns?

The cost jumps out.

Team looks great, even though @brkfstsndwch is involved.

2 Likes

Thank you for the kind and encouraging words! And I appreciate your feedback—thanks for taking the time to read our proposal.

Re: Bidding UX/UI—Our intent isn’t to fix anything that’s broken. Instead, we want to understand what can be improved. We don’t want to underestimate the ability to confirm a bid, notify a bidder of their place in the auction, reduce errors or the experience of settling an auction.

Here’s what I’ve learned from my experience:

  1. Small design tweaks can go a long way
  2. There’s often an insight revealed that’s a surprise to the project team and the client team
  3. Research in this context is as valuable for creative ideation as it is for problem-solving (i.e. imagine how fun it might be to post a note with your bid)

Even if we don’t uncover any critical insights, here’s why the research is still valuable:

First, we’re testing not only for “bidding” UX but for the “learning” UX as well,. We want to go into building with a clear understanding of how Nouns is currently perceived. Who is the audience, and how can we appeal to them? How can we better articulate the Nouns brand and value proposition, written or visual?

We think the content around Nouns, the DAO, and the treasury is ambiguous. We’re confident the qualitative data gathered will help us rewrite the website content and create visuals to improve understanding to a broader audience. The result: a faster learning curve and more advocates to share and grow the Nouns brand.

Second, by publishing what we’ve learned from researching the bidding experience, we are open-sourcing best practices for others that want to build bidding sites, whether for Nouns or not. We think this is valuable for web3 as a whole.

Re: cost—the research is a small fraction of the cost/timeline. These were our considerations for the cost:

  1. The development costs for an immersive and interactive website are high and a bulk of the cost. We have preliminary ideas around building a virtual museum as an evolution of the Nouns Playground, using Nouns that move or animate on scroll in the About section, etc. We don’t want to formalize any of these ideas without carving out proper time for creative ideation, but we have ambitious ideas for the interactions on the site.
  2. Many team members will be paid in fiat. The lengthy timeline and ETH volatility are a concern that we want to mitigate. We would be open to a cost reduction for increased upfront payment if you think this is a big issue.
  3. Most importantly, we asked ourselves what resources we would need to create the best digital experience we’ve ever built. We want to give this project our absolute best effort.

Let me know if this rationale resonates or not. Your feedback is helpful and I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

1 Like

Thank you for the warm welcome, Noun 12. And I appreciate you taking the time to read the proposal and provide feedback.

As I mentioned in my response to Noun 22, this proposal is not intended to fix anything that’s broken. We’re hyper-focused on delighting anyone interested in bidding or learning about Nouns. We want to learn where those precious moments of delight might be.

We think the branding and digital presence has a lot of room to grow. We want to make Nouns feel like the Lambo of NFTs—visually and viscerally—through interactive storytelling.

If you don’t think this intent comes through clearly enough in the proposal, please let me know and I’ll update it to reflect that.

Regarding previous experience, MSTQ regularly works with clients on projects and retainers of this size since 2016. I’d be happy to share some references if you’d like.

Some of my favorite/relevant work examples are:

  1. The MSTQ website itself (I’m biased, I know).
  2. drinkcann.com
  3. useplink.com
  4. superfluid.numbered.studio/

Hopefully, this answers your questions!

Timeline clarification:

1.0 User Research (~2 weeks)
2.0 Brand Identity (~2 weeks)
3.0 Design and Prototyping (~4 weeks)
4.0 Development (~12 weeks)

Clarification: this proposal is not a redesign of nouns.wtf. It’s a separate bidding front-end independent of nouns.wtf.

We don’t want to underestimate the ability to confirm a bid, notify a bidder of their place in the auction, reduce errors or the experience of settling an auction.

I understand where you’re coming from and I think things can be made to feel a little more intuitive and snappy, but these are changes are relatively marginal and not something that I think justifies a 5 month long campaign that costs $500k+.

Speaking of the timeline, Nouns is less than 4 months old and it’s community and vision has evolved considerably from when I joined 3 months ago. We cannot possibly imagine where we, and the crypto space as a whole, or the world, will be by this summer, so I think a major rebranding campaign focused around user opinions today is inappropriate for the DAO at this stage.

I understand that some unexpected improvements can be uncovered in the design process, but for me to support such an expensive long term campaign I really need you to articulate a clear vision of how and why this will improve the bidding process and bring more people to Nouns.

3 Likes

respect your ambition but you didn’t answer a fundamental question: what’s wrong with the current site?

1 Like

Nothing. We’re not trying to fix anything. We’re trying to decentralize the nouns bidding protocol.

I think this should be split into multiple proposals or atleast make it milestone based. Right now it just sounds like “will make newer better website” and a lot of us are sitting here asking what needs to be fixed.