Solana

Solana DeFi Margin Trading Module: A product design challenge and prototype.

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Situation

I was given a design challenge by Solana to create and prototype a new user experience for decentralized finance margin trading within one week.

Task

1) Build a Defi Margin trading platform feature:
- Add Margin Trading in a “trust-less” manner.
- Anyone can jump in and use up to 100X margin.
- Note: Currently, the max trust-less margin is 5x.

2) Exchange between ETH and AAVE (X x Y = K).
- When the user purchases more of one token, you get less of the other.
- Smaller trade does not push the price too much, allows the buyer to use more leverage.
- Larger transactions, plus a large margin, can affect the price too much.
- Adjust balance (with a slider?)
- Intermediary token is the market maker token.

3) Uniswap.org. The protocol will hold some money which will lend to you.
- The riskier the trade, the less a user can borrow. Some ways to measure risk:
A) Run a credit check
B) Consider a counter-party ranking system based on traders’ past trading experience.
C) Depending on how much this trade impacts the market, it will affect the amount of risk accepted by the system.

4) User is a Non-savvy trader.
- Make it look simple for purchasing with margin.
- Complex exchanges like Binance are NOT desirable.
- Go long or short for any asset?
- Specify how much leverage I want.

Action

I researched the functional requirements, competition, trading language, and the current overall app flow in competing services. Then I evaluated blockchain and traditional finance competition.

To keep the solution focused, I chose just the trading window and quickly moved to design and rapid prototype a mobile web version. Much of the layout and trading language was initially standard and evolved to address the unique needs of blockchain-based apps and what that community expects.

Design Notes:
I approached this as a functional design exercise with the following in mind:
1) Color: Choose some colors from the Solana logo for buttons.
2) Font: Roboto for web browser and web mobile, a standard font with a monospaced family.

Result

Stakeholders accepted the first round of design in less than a week. The work demonstrated how rapid design and prototyping solve immediate usability problems in fast-paced development environments.


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