Building the challenger platform for domain name transfers.

Dan is the challenger platform for domain name transfers. They are on a mission to make domain name trading available to everyone. Easy, fast and secure. And, most importantly: transparently. Because they believe transparency is the key to a better domain world.

The challenge

Develop an industry-disrupting and scalable platform for domain name owners.

When the founders of Dan first met with me, they had troubles with buyers understanding they were purchasing (second-hand) domain names. How to develop a scalable platform that was able to grow with Dan and support potential new ways to monotize domaining. But also build a design team (Dan had no designers) to develop new opportunities.

I first spent an iteration exploring problems within the domain market. After keying in on the problem statement in the market we were interested in, I decided to explore and hunt for solutions regarding managing domain names. Our solution was specific to the domain investors and considered how Dan could find a way to create a one-stop place to manage and create valuable insights for all their domain names.
Also after exploring why buyers had troubles understanding what they were buying we could conclude it mainly had to do with how Dan presented itself and gave information before, during and after the purchase. At first glance this seemed mainly a communication issue. This led to a simultaneously rebranding project.

While these projects were kicked off, it was also the kick-off to find freelancers to start moving forward as quickly as possible. While at the same time finding new designers and writers to join

Before & after

Research Goals

A full discovery into the business, conducted in a collaborative way.

Our primary research goals were born out of ideation around our main interest of managing domain names towards domain investors. But also gain more insights in the buyers, since this will influence how domain investors will interact with the platform.

  • Firm up chosen industry problem statement

  • Understand the market and assess design strategy in regards to our business goal

  • Determine foundational wins and failures of competitors' product solutions within the intended industry

  • Pinpoint demographic of target audience and psychographic information like values, interests and stories

  • Develop a design strategy to meet the needs of the domain investors

To consider all angles of approach and especially rule out any solutions that would not meet our intended goals, we conducted a full spectrum of research solutions to grasp the problem set, the market, and potential users.

Research goals

  • Target Market Research

  • SWOT Analysis

  • Competitive Analysis

  • User Interviews

Key Takeaways

Main Finding: Because of the lack of bulk editing tools in the domaining industry, it would seem that alternative uses or a unique offering on the market would stir the pot in one way or another. No competitor has developed this so far, nor are there any indications they are doing so.

Other findings include:

  • Throughout the whole journey, buyers and sellers appreciate clear communication, expectation management and explanation from Also a third (33%) would like to have a step to step guide on how to proceed in their next steps.

  • The domainer investors are looking for more automated ways to market their portfolios and communicate with leads and potential buyers, since they generally own between 51-1000+ domain names

  • A reputation check and value estimation were also mentioned in the interviews as important steps in the journey that are currently missing on

  • Buyers are still fairly distrusting towards domain buying platforms

User Research Repository

A wayfinder system to open up a world of opportunity.

By setting op a user research repository it helped us democratize research findings, get stakeholders to engage with insights, and influence the product roadmap. It helped accelerate the process and enabled to find and share relevant highlights from our interviews, usability testing and research.

Connecting the insights

To generate actionable insights we divided the research into themes. Through this people are able to trace back to its source. —for instance, a user interview recording or transcript to understand the context and learn what led to the insight in the first place.
But also when setting up the next interview or testing round we were able to pick from our CRM through the user personas and check how often they previously have been participating.

Architecture & UX Design

A holistic strategy built for big ambitions and the future of domaining.

We proceeded with redefening the architecture of the platform in order to prepare for a scalable system and a centralized place for the domain investors to manage their portfolios. The flowcharts showed us how automations in the platform would be organized. After we defined the flows and thus what screens we needed we proceeded with creating the wireframes to explore the experience in more detail on a screen-by-screen level.

Before & after

Dan bot flow

Visual Exploring

A brand built to support the future of ambitious yet underserved entrepreneurs.

Next we moved to exploring the overall look of the platform. We did create several setups using the same layout but different styles. Taking this route instead of creating mood boards helped communicate different directions we can take more vividly as the stakeholders could clearly see the impact each direction would have. But also to test if this new image domain investors would identify with.

Testing & Handoff

The Dan system reveals a path forward.

After walking through the prototype with various users many times, it became clear that there weren’t any major roadblocks in the workflow, but there was still room for optimization. The development team also learned a lot from watching these sessions, as they were able to identify additional required functionality that was not currently on their radar.

Final UI & Design System

A dynamic and symbolic brand system designed for scale and flexibility.

From research and ideation to UI and implementation, we designed and helped implement a full product suite consisting of an improved interface, bulk options, manage & automate leads to speed up the workflow of the domain investor.

Are you ready to rally around your big idea?

© 2023 Frank Koelewijn
© 2023 Frank Koelewijn
© 2023 Frank Koelewijn