Dungeon Master by Raid Guild
One tool to rule them all
Design + Testing + Polish
Raid Guild is a DAO – a loosely organized collective of freelancers that runs on cryptocurrency. Everyone at the Guild has their own ways of working and communicating, and that's a strength. But it can get a little tricky when trying to present to clients as a professional institution. I worked with a team of Guild designers to create Dungeon Master, a tool replacing their database to organize projects into a single, easy-to-use flow.
Balancing flexibility and structure
Designing for a decentralized organization is a little like designing for volunteers. Too much structure is stifling, too little is disorienting. We made a few key decisions to define this balance:
A user should be able to pick up and use Dungeon Master without being trained on it. Structure should be provided in the form of informative copy, tutorial elements, and tooltips.
Raid Guild values agility over durability. Giving the user greater control over the database opens it up to human error, but also allows it to be useful in more situations. Dungeon Master should provide as much flexibility as possible to users to encourage broad adoption.
With a small team and limited budget, we did not expect to compete with the host of project management apps already out there. Instead, Dungeon Master should allow the user to link to their preferred project management tool.
Dungeon Master trusts the user
Dungeon Master is self-evident
Dungeon Master is not a project management tool
We created an interactive prototype to allow users to explore the entire flow, from finding an unclaimed project to shipping it. The biggest friction point we ran into was unclear words. The Guild already uses a lot of jargon, and we were trying to build on it. We opted for now to be as clear as possible, even if that means losing some of Raid Guild's signature feel.
Clear terminology is key
Expanding the style guide
I had also just finished a project helping Raid Guild build the style guide for their website. I took that work and applied it to a Dungeon Master screen. This app has a lot of repetition the style guide wasn't meant for, so I had to walk back Raid Guild's vibrant colors when creating this. Dark mode designs also present challenges with contrast. Secondary elements like tags can disappear very easily into the background. My design retains key information even if the tag outline itself is lost.
Faced with one of Raid Guild's most ambitious internal projects, we delivered a thorough and tested prototype on a tight timeline. Other teams on projects which will integrate with Dungeon Master look to our design for direction about how users will see and interact with their own tools. While the planned app is much larger than this one section, the prototype establishes a standard other designers will be able to follow as the project expands.
Links keep data nimble
Key Links are another example. Rather than predefine every useful field on a project, users can pin links to external pages, including contracts, style guides, or Github repositories. Some Key Links are generated by the system automatically as the project enters new stages, to guide new users through the flow.
Automation supports manual updates
An example of this is the Update Feed. Project managers need a way to quickly check the status and history of a project. Dungeon Master isn't as granular as a full project management app, so most updates are input manually, as free text. But to reduce busywork and increase readability, certain actions trigger an automatic update, based on triggers and templates that admin users can edit.