In the summer of 2018, I spent 14 weeks at Coinbase as a Product Design Intern on the Consumer team. One of my first projects was a redesign of the clawback experience to increase the number of users who pay back the funds they owe.
Users are placed in a clawback state when they purchase cryptocurrency or deposit funds into their Coinbase account, but did not have enough funds in the bank account that was used for the transaction. The cryptocurrency is instantly credited to the user before their bank is debited, so Coinbase attempts to get the payment back from them, which is called a “clawback”.
In the original design of the page, users in this state log into their Coinbase account and are sent to a payment page that looks completely different from the rest of the platform. Users are not given information on why they have restrictions on their account, what their next steps are, or when the clawback process will begin.
The lack of clarity caused users to be frustrated about the restrictions on their account and have trouble understanding how to pay back their owed funds. Consequently, only about 15% of failed bank transfers were initiated by users.
I was tasked to redesign the end-to-end experience for users in the clawback state to make the self-recovery process more intuitive and transparent. A successful redesign would enable users to choose which payment method(s) to return the owed funds with and have the restrictions on their account removed sooner.
Although the user flow did not change for this redesign, it was helpful to map out a high-level user flow. This allowed me to understand the entire system and the screens I needed to make designs for.
When a user owes Coinbase funds, their ability to buy or send cryptocurrency is disabled.
The user is notified through email and has five days to voluntarily pay back the funds. If the user completes the full payment, their account restrictions will be removed.
If the user does not complete the full payment by the end of the five days, Coinbase will attempt to clawback funds from all of the user’s Coinbase accounts and payment methods.
If the clawback system fails to retrieve the full payment, the user will have account restrictions until they add a payment method and complete the payment.
After the user flow was established, I worked on several iterations of wireframes for the following screens:
Select payment method
The payment method screen was the most challenging part of this redesign, as the number and type of payment methods differed among users. I made many iterations of the screen and ultimately decided on a design that allowed users to combine funds from their Coinbase fiat wallet and bank account(s) to make the payment. While users would be able to use multiple payment options to make a single payment, the UI would be overwhelming for users with many payment method options. The option of selling cryptocurrency to fund the payment also added more complexity for two reasons:
The experience would be confusing for users, as they would be brought to the existing sell modal and may not remember how much they needed to sell.
There would be high friction, as users would have to navigate back to the payments screen from the initial screen in the clawbacks flow after selling cryptocurrency.
To make the UI more simple and reduce the cognitive load on users, I decided to focus users on making one payment at a time with a single drop-down. If users wanted to sell cryptocurrency, they could select one of their cryptocurrency wallets and Coinbase would sell the amount necessary to fund the payment.
Below are the final designs for desktop web, mobile web, and emails. The redesign was launched at the end of my internship as an A/B test against the original experience. Success will be determined by measuring the percentage of users who successfully pay back the funds they owe during the five-day grace period compared to the original design.
Below is the core flow in which a user has a single failed payment and successfully pays back the transaction with the funds in their Coinbase account.
Based on the redesigned web screens, I designed and prototyped the flow for the mobile app.
However, as there was not engineering bandwidth to build the full flow on the mobile app, I created a notification banner on the main Prices page that could be implemented in the interim. The CTA button would take users to a mobile web page to make the payment.
I also designed and partnered with a content strategist to write the copy for eight emails on web and mobile to notify users about returning the funds they owe, confirming payments, and the status of the clawback system. Below is the initial email that notifies users about their failed payment.
The biggest lesson I learned from this project was to get feedback from as many people as possible early in the design process. While the engineers were already building the designs of my original concept, I received feedback during a product review that the payment method screen was too complex. Consequently, I was challenged to explore a broader range of designs that would be intuitive for all users, regardless of how many payment methods they had.
I had the opportunity to work on several other projects during the course of my internship, but am unable to share them publicly. If you would like to know more about my experience, feel free to reach out. I also shared some of the lessons I learned in this blog post!