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Zed Run

2022, Website UX

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3 weeks
Client: Virtually Human Studio

Usability Testing
Research Analysis
Stakeholder Report
UI Design Update
Comparative Analysis








About Zed Run 

Zed Run is an NFT digital horse racing game where users can own, breed and race digital racehorses with other players using emerging technologies such as blockchain and cryptocurrency.


This popular horse with high racing performance could cost as much as 1.5 Ethereum (ETH)

= AUD 5250.

  • Conducted usability testing and analysed research findings and recommendations

  • Identified necessary improvement for UI 

  • Demonstrated and Implemented a user-friendly design

  • Further research to a broader view of the product  

Key Takeaways


We need to address the issue of oversupply impacting asset value with an infinitely growing population of horses and provide a mechanism to deal with undesirable horses that still offers users engagement and value.

How can we provide an understandable way to trade undesirable horses for a reward?

Our Approach

In the first week of the 3-week discovery, we selected participants with a mix of game experience and background to join usability testing. After we had analysed the information and came up with the prioritised recommendations that would improve the user experience.


To ensure our design had future relevance we worked closely with the engineering team, discussing our findings, recommendations and what could be in scope across different releases. After landing on a stakeholder report, I began MVP straight away and designed the UI with 2nd testings before handing over the product to the client.




The collaborative research and analysis led to a greater understanding of the user's needs and behaviours. I helped the client to significantly increase the quality of the NFT burning system as well as page UI, which will allow players to easily manage their stables and relinquish ownership of an underperforming horse in exchange for rewards.


Details of the Journey

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So Much Fun!

Illustration by Grant Snider


Step by Step  Research Process

Love This Supportive Community

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we are not sure what users want to receive after horse burning. So we conducted this research to understand expectations around rewards for retiring a horse.

In order to find what users need, we organised community votes and used a recruitment survey to seek potential users who would like to participate. By the end of January, we received over 1200 votes and 175 survey responses. Love it!

Community Votes

Survey Tweet

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What We Tested

  • 9 Participants from around the world with varying ZED RUN experience. 

  • 45-60 minute interviews were conducted

  • 4 Task-based activities 

  • a set of behaviour questions

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Expectations of Horse Retirement


Perceptions of Rewards


Impact on Behaviour


"It'd be nice to get some of those numbers down and up the value!"

  • All were interested or excited at the possibility of being able to retire their horses.

  • Poor race or breeding performance is the number one factor when deciding to retire a horse. 

  • Some thought it would be positive for the horse ecosystem

"I would go and buy a bunch of names that I think are really cool!"

  • Token rewards: all were happy with receiving tokens 
    for retiring a horse. 

  • Naming right: was a strong motivation to retire more horses.

  • Breeding catalyst: most were interested in the idea of a breeding catalyst but they were unsure what it would do. 

"I would probably buy more horses, if that horse didn't work out, I wouldn't be stuck with it. And I'd at least get something for it"

  • Most would retire the same number of horses after understanding the rewards system.

  • Most would buy more horses as it reduced the risk of ending up with an unusable asset. 

  • Most said it would have no impact on how often they raced. 

Recommendation to enhance retirement system

We must ensure the reward system is fully understood by users while considering item rewards as well as tokens.

Communicating Stakeholders 

I created a full stakeholder analysis about the burning feature research and finding and presented it to the design and engineering team. Here is the full report:

Providing Updates
to Zed community 

The marketing team also published the summary of the user testing and gave appreciation to the game community.

Community Update

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Recommendation for Better Experience

Keep it Consistent

I`m always interested in how the user reacts to your prototype during the interview. Some users preferred to visit the learning page to see how to retire a horse before having the first try.


Most users saw the retirement value summary on this page but it changed to a different amount when clicking more details. We shouldn`t provide inconsistent numbers between the pages.


Don`t Make Me Think

Add a Summary

Most users found that the rewards page were difficult to read because they need to calculate and check totals by themselves. So I updated the page and showed only the total amount with no calculation needed.





The initial design didn`t include the overall tokens and items shown and users missed some rewards during the interviews. I refined the page to make all items in order and added the summary box at the end of the page.


Filter it to Find the Horse You Need

Provide View Option

Some users mentioned that they would like to control which information to show in order to easily manage retired horses. Zed Run is happy to provide the filtering tool to encourage users to see the right items and use them!


The previous prototype had a button to see the received item but most users found it was difficult to find. So I updated as per users` preferred method --by clicking to see the items.

People had different opinions about how to make the information easy to read. So I provided the card and list view options to let users choose their own.


Card View


List View

Option to Save and Hide Items

The horse item page is similar to the retired horse page, additionally, some users would like the items they`d like to use to be saved and items they`d not like to use to be hidden


Card View


List View

Full Prototype

Summary of What I Updated for Prototype

  • Ensure the retirement process is easy to understand

  • Reward system: tokens + items

  • Users choose what to show and how to show


Future Zed Run Goals

  • Add in more gamification and rewards system

  • Keep the app simple and easy to understand

  • Users to understand how to use the game quickly

  • Find new ways to bring users back to the product regularly

Increase Gamification and Rewards

Just as easy as introducing a trophy or badge award.

Keeping it Simple

Streamlining a process to make it simpler enables the user to learn the game quicker.

Understanding How to Use the Game

A supportive community and a learning page could help gamers to get started.

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