Today, we welcome the product design consultancy Gravy as the newest member of the Blockdaemon family. This addition comes by way of acquisition, as Gravy joins the ranks of Blockdaemon’s growing portfolio of innovative companies.
At its helm, Gravy founder and CEO Ari Zilnik is a veteran product designer with over ten years of experience designing for leading brands including Goldman Sachs, Gradle, Jet.com, and Walmart. Ari has already used his wealth of experience to lead a cutting-edge UI refresh of the Blockdaemon web app.
Following the successful roll out of this refresh, his sights are firmly set on taking Blockdaemon’s protocol access and crypto finance offerings to the next level.
In this post, we’ll break down what this exciting acquisition means for our company and our customers. This includes how it further enhances Blockdaemon’s products, and the role design plays in customer success.
Blockdaemon & Gravy: Designing great user experiences
For Ari Zilnik, design is made up of a set of principles that shape a customer’s journey. The ease or difficulty of this journey is greatly influenced by design. It is deeper than pure aesthetics.
According to Ari, “Design is about seeing how users work, understanding their mental models and first and foremost, taking a customer-centric approach.”
Ultimately, Ari believes, the role of design is understanding how Blockdaemon’s customers interact with our products to solve a problem, and then helping them solve this problem more efficiently going forward.
At Blockdaemon, we focus on what customers need. We reflect these needs through the design of our products. At the heart of this process lies a positive feedback loop. Design shapes the customer experience, and customer feedback ultimately shapes the product’s design.
With the acquisition of Gravy, Ari is focused on further spearheading this customer-focused ethos across all aspects of Blockdaemon’s offerings.
Leveraging Gravy’s design ethos
With Gravy’s acquisition, design becomes the focus of Blockdaemon’s product development process at all stages. The success of Blockdaemon’s web app UI refresh is testament to this fact. At the heart of this lies three pillars which Ari will build out:
1. A World-Class Design Team
With this acquisition, Ari is committed to further building out Blockdaemon’s already excellent design team. Just as the set of principles that comprise great design differ, so too do the tools and skills that put these into practice.
A great team is to Blockdaemon as the brushes, paints and canvas are to a painter. For Ari, this means onboarding more members across a wide breadth of experiences.
Part of this includes onboarding a researcher, a micro-copy / UX writer and other product centric design strategists. Ari believes Blockdaemon’s products will benefit hugely by having all of these skill-sets in one centralized team. Unification—creating cohesion and consistency through a central hub for all things design—is a central tenant that Ari brings with this acquisition.
2. Close Collaboration With the Product and Engineering Teams
According to Ari, “Blockdaemon always puts the user first in a way I have yet to see in a Software-as-a-service company. This is the case for design, product, and engineering.”
Blockdaemon’s product team—spearheaded by Jordan Bibla, the Director of Product—has always played a pivotal role in recognizing the value of design.
“We have always recognized the importance of great design in delivering an effective customer experience. With the acquisition of Gravy, delivering on this customer promise will reach the next level. Ari will work cross-functionally with the product team to craft an end-to-end customer experience”, Jordan Bibla, Director of Product
For Blockdaemon and its customers, this means working with and using a product that sits at the intersection of bleeding-edge blockchain technology, customer centricity and modern design.
3. Humanizing Blockchain Tech
Blockchain technology can be abstract and technical. This creates a compelling challenge for design: how do you address specific customer needs, while stripping away the layers of complexity? The answer, for Ari, involves “Humanizing blockchain technology.”
For the technical user base that Blockdaemon caters to, this means designing products that help them scale up seamlessly and easily. Whether that be our Ubiquity HA offering or node services, design plays an important role in making our offerings easy to use.
Gravy’s acquisition enhances our in-house roster of design talent.
Blockdaemon’s VP of Marketing, Katie DiMento, shares that “Blockdaemon views design as an essential ingredient to customer satisfaction, rather than as an afterthought. Ever since Gravy’s work with Blockdaemon started several months ago, significant strides have been made towards crafting a better user experience.”
Gravy’s acquisition is a significant step-forward in shaping an even better user journey. Ari is joining the Blockdaemon team as the Director of Design, and with that, Blockdaemon strides towards a customer focused future.