I designed an app for art investment with “0” knowledge of NFTs and Web3

A product design case study

Auli Badoni
6 min readMay 21, 2024

How it all started?

During my 10k designers bootcamp, I was given a task to choose and design a real world brief into an app, i.e “Design an app for fractional art marketplace and investment platform”


An art investment app with a blend of AI, web3, traditional and fractional auction methods, adapting with the current art world.

Project Overview 🗺

My double diamond 💎

📌 Problem Statement

The traditional art market presents significant barriers for younger individuals interested in art investment, such as high entry costs, limited access to high-end artworks, insufficient purchasing ability and a lack of transparency.

To address these challenges, there is a need for an innovative platform that normalises art investment by offering fractional ownership opportunities, personalised recommendations, and seamless transaction processes, creating a premium experience with a quiet luxury vibe that attracts a diverse audience of art enthusiasts and future investors.

Artsy does an amazing job at showcasing and selling art online through auctions. However, to find an edge in this niche, I mostly focus on Web3, NFTs, cryptocurrency, and the implementation of AI to create a unique and innovative platform.

Since this is an online marketplace, all transactions are conducted using cryptocurrency and seamlessly integrated with Web3 technology.

⏩ What next?

The pandemic in 2020 accelerated the shift towards digital experiences and online art engagement. With physical galleries and events limited, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have provided a new avenue for artists to showcase and sell their work to a global audience.

So naturally in this post-covid world, the olden and traditional approaches to enjoying and investing in artworks are no longer viable. Embracing art’s digital renaissance and uplifting artist to evolve in this era of technology is a need.

The world and technology around us keeps evolving every minute, and we must adapt, learn and adapt to this rapid pace of development.

The key challenge was integrating all these features into our app 🛠

Research Insights

Given the niche of luxury, I didn’t have direct access to individuals who purchase artwork or invest in NFTs. To better understand the pain points and personas, I utilised Reddit and Perplexity AI to generate useful personas. And then tailored and refined these personas for relevance.

Understand the brief and requirements using user personas

What our users require?

👩🏻‍💻 Personalised and curated feed which resonates with the users.

🏅 Ensuring the authenticity and provenance of artworks.

🧩 Options to own artwork fractionally.

🎟️ Accessing exclusive art events, private auctions, and networking opportunities within the luxury art community.

👨🏻‍💻 Integrating elements of crypto/web3 for in platform secure transactions.

🦾 Personalised concierge services ( AI ) for art acquisition, authentication, transportation, and installation.

🤳🏻 Feature to scan and get information on artwork in certain galleries.

📈 Updating information on bidding with time.

💬 Ability to message the Auction Holder/Consultant for transparency.

wire-framing ✍️


📲 Activating our user

While debating the activation method for user access, I considered the options of basic Google/Apple ID sign-in or mobile number verification.

However, given the exclusive luxury niche of the app, I opted for an invite link approach, similar to platforms like Raya and Cosmos, to uphold exclusivity through a wait-list and invite-only subscription model.

One of the key user needs is to have a personalized system that recommends auctions and artworks tailored to their interests, preferences, and investment goals, ensuring they discover pieces that align with their unique taste and enhance their art collection.

Onboarding flow — checkout the prototype

After numerous iterations and incorporating valuable feedback from my mentors , here’s what transpired 👇🏽

Shoutout to my mentors Abhinav and Shajitha who gave me helpful feedbacks 🤗

🗂️ Tab Bar explorations

🌐 Home Screen and how everything connects

I had to design a Home Screen that provides users with access to essential features, including the AI Playground, search bar, current bids, profile, and enquiry section, along with the feed of live auctions tailored to their personal curation.

The preview screen underwent multiple changes and intense design dilemma 🚧 with the typography and hierarchy to accommodate a unique approach to showcasing artwork details.

While also changing the call-to-action (CTA) that allows users to either inquire about the artwork to the bidder or place a bid directly, saving time for those who prefer to skip the inquiry process and bid immediately.

Development of the Preview Screen
View in AR

🏷️ Your bids

This section takes you to a screen displaying an array of artworks you’ve bid on, their status updates, and the remaining number of minted pieces.

Using “Ends in 2d 5h 56m 41s as the timestamp could’ve been problematic for various reasons 🧐

  1. Lack of Clarity : Users might find it difficult to quickly interpret the exactly “2d” refers to.
  2. Cognitive Load : Users have to do mental math to understand when the event ends.
  3. Urgency : The format might not convey a sense of urgency effectively.
  4. Accessibility : People with cognitive disabilities or those who are not proficient in quickly interpreting such formats might find it harder to understand.

Hence was discarded, a more user-friendly approach according to me was to use a “⩇⩇:⩇⩇” clock format that is familiar to most users.

🙎🏻‍♂️ User Profile

The User Profile Screen helps users to edit their profile, invite others to join, add & manage their wallets and includes a membership token feature, allowing users to access exclusive events on the app.

Profile, Membership token, Manage crypto-wallets

👾 AI Playground

AI playground solves for the need of a personalised concierge, enables them to generate AI-art, remix with selected artworks, scan for information on artwork in certain galleries and other resources.

Users can write their own prompts to create their own art. For better assistance, sample generated art and their prompts are displayed. similar to how DALL-E and Visual Electric showcase examples.

Click Scan Read

🏁 The end — of the beginning

It was fun developing and designing something from scratch in a domain where I had little 🤏 to no knowledge.

A very long process of researching, gathering insights, iterating and implementing feedback has led me to design something that i am kind of proud of, but there’s still room for a lot improvement in me as well as my designs 🧸ྀི

But I can say that I am a better designer now than I was before starting this assignment out.

Here’s a link to the prototype of collectibles app 🫧𓇼𓏲*ੈ✩‧₊˚🎐