Jessica Chang (Solo Designer)
X-functional team of 5
Gallery's bet is that most people will one day own an NFT. Currently NFT collectors mint and buy NFTs on marketplaces like OpenSea, but the pieces they collect just sit in their wallets, usually cut into a square aspect ratio with a price tag slapped on top. Gallery is the place where collectors go to showcase and display and share the digital things they own as a way to express themselves online.
First, this was by far the most highly requested feature in the Discord community. One of our active collectors, mikegee, went so far as to mint his own NFT with a custom-made header using our typeface which he bought for several hundred dollars just to use as a placeholder header for a makeshift separate gallery.
Users don't generally scroll past the first collection, as galleries are meant to be curated and glanceable. Some galleries are very large and contain hundreds or thousands of NFTs: WindMillsz. Often times, large media such as .gifs or autoplay videos make the page load and scrolling experience very slow and unenjoyable. Many of these NFTs are worth thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of USD and do not get the recognition they deserve.
We hypothesized that creating more entrypoints into multiple galleries per user will increase session duration per profile, and result in more engagement (shares) per user.
The eventual goal for Gallery is that a user's profile would become anyone's online identity layer, which consists of a personalized view of someone's digital collectibles, as well as their followers, activity on Gallery, music playlist, and social features like a guestbook. Simultaneously, we were launching an activity feed for an individual user, so the gallery was evolving to become only a part of the user's profile.
This meant that a navigational redesign was inevitable. The old navigation was breaking, as people were struggling to find their followers list (a small link in the navigation bar), and the navigation bar was not designed to support a sub-page to list a user's galleries and other sub-pages like the activity feed.
I spent a day to explore navigation concepts that were scalable, could accomodate for all the new features, moweb friendly, and unobstructive. I also knew that resources would be spent on a mobile app in early 2023, and unless done now, there would be potentially too many moving pieces to rework the navigation in the summertime. I showed Terence the mockups and asked for an accurate lift estimate.
The list of advantages for an improved navigation proved to warrant a two-week navigation redesign sprint.
A quick poll in discord showed that most collectors would most likely only create around two to three galleries. I explored showing galleries in a card and list format. I opted for the card format that showed four images as a way to preview the contents of the gallery. Searching galleries was deprioritized as we don't expect most users to make create than 8 galleries.
Previously, the collections manager was usable only for small collectors. Large collectors found it unusable as through hundreds of rows of collections to find what they need to edit.
Additionally, I made sure to design an experience that would be easy to understand for new users by designing a set of skippable tip popovers.
Previously, collections management happened on a page that is separate from the editor, as shown below.
I built collections management into the left-hand panel of the Gallery Editor, and shifted NFT management into the right hand panel which was taken up only by the column selector. This reduces the steps it takes to edit a collection. The final design (in testing) is shown below.
The multigallery experience is still in build, but since the launch of our new navigation as well as social features, session duration has already increased 3x, from 179 seconds in November to 520 seconds in January.