RateMyInvestor

Business Development & Product Design

RateMyInvestor is restoring balance to the startup ecosystem by giving founders the ability to rate, discover, and interact with investors. We hope
to mitigate discrimination in the investment world by rewarding investors who practice ethically. Access to honest information on both sides of the table enables investors and founders to work together more effectively and transparently.

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01
01

The Problem

People have been investing in companies for a long time, but the power has always been in the investor's hands. The fundraising landscape is plagued with discrimination and unethical behaviors that have been unreported for decades, allowing founders to fall prone to bad investors time and time again.

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02
02

Our Solution

By offering a platform for entrepreneurs to rate their interactions with investors, we hope to create a centralized database for investor knowledge, allowing for more accountability in the startup ecosystem.

Good investors get rewarded with better recognition and greater deal flow, whereas poor investors slowly see their investment opportunities shrink due to a weak reputation.

See the prototype
See the MVPSee the prototype

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03
03

Objectives

📈 Outperform Competitors

RateMyInvestor's largest competitor, KnowYourVC, lacks usability, needs optimization and the review collection process is not automated, which hinders the platform's scalability. Designing RMI with all these factors in mind is vital.

📝 Gather Reviews

By optimizing the user flow to minimize friction in the rating process, we hope to increase review collection. Users input their review at the start of the process, ensuring that they're sufficiently invested to follow through and provide more data on their interaction.

🗣️ Remain Neutral

It's crucial for the product to maintain a neutral tone. RateMyInvestor is only moderating the interaction between parties — we don't want to influence people.
The messaging, language and copy must help inform users instead of encourage behavior.

🔍  Leverage Visuals

Building trust with our users is incredibly important. We chose blue and purple to reinforce this idea, along with a friendly typeface. Occasional illustrations and rounded shapes were used to humanize our product and further detach ourselves from a robotic feel.

📊 Collect Data

Data is crucial to growth. By requiring users to complete additional steps while rating investors, we can gather data to help inform product decisions and get a better understanding of the founder-investor relationship, allowing us to better serve our users.

✅ Build Community

Building a community around our product is a crucial step to becoming both relevant and credible to both parties. Once a community is established, RateMyInvestor can become more than a mere rating platform, offering advice, resources and fundraising tips.

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04
04

User Research

We used a combination of surveys, one-on-one interviews and small focus groups to understand how our users interacted with our product. Users were assigned with the task of leaving a review.

Accessibility

We first believed that the more white, the better. As it turns out, having too much white created a lack of focus which slowed down users trying to leave reviews. To fix this, we revised our contrast ratios to be more clear (with at least 4.5:1), we increased our font size by 1pt and implemented color in more buttons. These changes improved our clickthrough speed by 42%.

Data Collection

Most people didn't bother leaving reviews if confronted with questions. Instead, we chose to let users review the investor first, then answer questions about their interaction. This way, users were already committed to leaving a review once the questions came up. The review completion rate increased by 18%. Plus, having the rating feature in sight made for stronger CTAs.

Software

In addition to doing in-person testing, we wanted to collect a variety of data to help inform our design decisions with as little bias as possible. We used Google Analytics and Autopilot to track usage on our first online prototype, Hotjar to measure clickthrough and conversion rates, and LaunchDarkly to understand what features people cared about most.

Investor Profile
Breakdown

1 Designing the interface to be both scalable and modular was important. The layout is consistent to facilitate engineering and establish a pattern in users' minds, keeping information clear at all times.

2 Easily rating investors is crucial. The most vital elements of the rating process are prominently displayed on every investor's profile, ensuring users can't miss the platform's core feature.

3 We included the Tips feature to A/B test what people were most interested in seeing: just reviews or quick tips for a better pitch?

4 The pre-determined tags help us quantify ratings and give users a quick understanding of the investor's behavior without having to read a full review.

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Investor Profile
Breakdown

1 Designing the interface to be both scalable and modular was important. The layout is consistent to facilitate engineering and establish a pattern in users' minds, keeping information clear at all times.

2 Easily rating investors is crucial. The most vital elements of the rating process are prominently displayed on every investor's profile, ensuring users can't miss the platform's core feature.

3 We included the Tips feature to A/B test what people were most interested in seeing: just reviews or quick tips for a better pitch?

4 The pre-determined tags help us quantify ratings and give users a quick understanding of the investor's behavior without having to read a full review.

5 When browsing investors, our focus was on making the ratings prominent. Most elements were made larger to increase legibility and add a sense of playfulness, adding to the platform's friendly tone.

6 Rating investors is the core of this platform: making sure we had sufficient call-to-actions was vital to convert visitors into reviews.

7 Illustrations were spread throughout the UI to further emphasize the friendly atmosphere and detach the product from a robot aesthetic.

8 The filters were designed to be scalable, ensuring that if and when more filters needed to be added, they could be implemented by simply extending the container downwards.

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Search Results
Breakdown

5 When browsing investors, our focus was on making the ratings prominent. Most elements were made larger to increase legibility and add a sense of playfulness, adding to the platform's friendly tone.

6 Rating investors is the core of this platform: making sure we had sufficient call-to-actions was vital to convert visitors into reviews.

7 Illustrations were spread throughout the UI to further emphasize the friendly atmosphere and detach the product from a robot aesthetic.

8 The filters were designed to be scalable, ensuring that if and when more filters needed to be added, they can be implemented by simply extending the container downwards.

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05
04

Upcoming Challenges

Investing has always been personal, and quantifying personal interactions is difficult, sometimes uncomfortable for users. Designing to encompass these intricacies is important to guarantee valid, meaningful reviews.

Optimizing feedback loops to ensure we gather insightful data, allowing us to understand if people are using this platform as intended — and if not, how to pivot most effectively.

Improving accessibility by rethinking contrast ratios, color palettes and information design to optimize for a variety of impairements.

Generate recurring users. Fundraising is a 4-8 month process on average, but once completed people don't have a reason to return to RateMyInvestor.

Expanding features to offer more than one core function to the platform, and consequently encourage people to return to it on a regular basis.

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Looking for more?

See my graphic design & animation work.