The Client

Curtsy is a Y Combinator graduate that pivoted from peer-to-peer renting dresses to buying and selling cute clothes.

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The Challenge

For the past few months, they’ve had significant decrease in monthly active users. According to their mixpanel, 20% of users dropped off during registration. While they ran promotional events on college campuses that temporarily spiked user registration, it was costly. Curtsy sought to increase traffic organically through improving UX. They wanted a flow that was engaging to create more active users.


The Goal

Our objective was to redesign the onboarding flow to better communicate value proposition. We wanted to improve completion rate of each onboard step. Our measurement of success was to increase user registration and retention while avoiding use of dark patterns.

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Design Process

We worked directly with William, Curtsy’s CEO, to create a strategy document as well as define the scope and timeline for this project. I was the primary stakeholder for the final Hifi design deliverables and prototyping. I also created new components for their design system.

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User Research

People of all different demographic and socioeconomic backgrounds used Curtsy, though its main demographic of users were women. For this reason, it was important to test usability with all users. We found new users for each round of guerrilla testing.


User Testing

During our user testing interviews, we discovered pain points in the onboarding flow and noted them after our session. The red dots show where users experienced the most frustrations.

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After prioritizing existing pain points and the synthesis of discoveries into a product audit, we began exploring solutions. This stage of the project was lean, with three rounds of experimentation, testing, and adaptation. 

Once the tests validated navigability, usability, and comprehension, we organized final design deliverables and presented a research deck to explain our findings and decisions. The final prototype was also presented.

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These are screens from the final prototype that solved major pain points for users. We stopped when the majority (over 80%) of pain points were solved.


We clarified users’ uncertainty on whether the app is tailored only sellers or buyers or both. This communicated a value proposition for both parties.


We provided phone verification so users knew the code would be sent to their phone number, even with any delays. Also, email was clarified as optional, as some users were confused why it asked for email in a phone number sign up.


Users were confused why brands were separated into sections, and disliked the horizental scrolling and loading with an awkward cut off. With a vertical alignment, all brands were displayed clearly and easier to “thumb” through with one hand.


Users were unclear on size selection. The new design fulfilled the client’s request for a more engaging interface for better retention. It also took more advantage of the real estate for touch radius in selection.


Users were unclear why they needed to select brands and sizes when they just wanted to get to marketplace. By adding polite design, we informed users how the marketplace curated content, then acknowledged and thanked them for their valuable work. Personally relevant content increases users’ purchase intent; we assumed when users knew this was curated content, they would be more inclined to purchase.

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Users were able to have guidance on how to sell an item when they clicked camera for the first time. This solved their pain point of confused and unclear about the selling process.



Working closely with the CEO as a team has also been a valuable learning experience. Because of this project, I'm getting better at asking the right questions, surfacing and resolving design decisions, and understanding how to bridge design solutions that address user and business needs. I was able to introduce new components that lived within their design system. It is essential that copy is tested along design in prototypes, as they can be equally as important in conveying emotional sensitivity and brand voice.