How we created an Event-driven Conditional Donations Platform. DIVA Donate — A case study

Sk. Ayaz
8 min readAug 2, 2023

DIVA Donate is a decentralized donation platform built on a smart-contract-based operating system to create and settle real-life linked financial derivative assets called DIVA Protocol.

After launching DIVA Protocol’s testnet, our team immediately focused on refining the DIVA Application, the first implementation of the protocol. This application empowers users to create, trade, and settle derivative assets through a user-friendly interface. The testnet’s release received an overwhelming response from our rapidly growing community.

While continuing to explore ways to expand the DIVA ecosystem, we had an inspired idea about how the protocol could offer affordable insurance solutions for farmers.

Fortunately, we were able to secure partnerships that helped transform this idea into a reality. So, we decided to build a transparent and event-driven donation platform, assuring donors that their contributions would be used effectively and responsibly.

For further details about the project’s inception, please find the official announcement provided here.

Before we start with the inception of the project, let me explain to you a bit more about why DIVA Protocol was a great platform to build this type of project.

Why DIVA Protocol?

DIVA Protocol is a smart contract that acts as an operating system for derivative applications. More precisely, it allows its users to create and settle derivative products in a permissionless and trustless way. As conditional donations derive their payout based on the outcome of an underlying event, they are considered derivative products and can be implemented using DIVA Protocol.

The Inception

The idea to create a solution for farmers using the protocol started in July 2022. By December 2022, our team had secured several partners to turn this idea into reality, and we were fully prepared to conduct the first pilot program on the platform. More information about this milestone can be found in the official announcement here.

Subsequently, we embarked on the design and development phase of the project. Initially, we aimed to keep the platform simple, focusing on creating an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) with features that aligned with our goals.

As the sole designer on the team, I took charge of all design-related aspects of the project, just as I had done for the DIVA Application. This marked the beginning of my next journey, crafting the second ecosystem product for DIVA Protocol.

I was excited!

The Process

Having gained insights into the technology, potential, and possibilities of the DIVA Protocol while working on the DIVA Application, I initiated the project by engaging in discussions with the co-founder. We delved into the features and user journeys, setting the foundation for our design direction.

Given that the platform was unique, and we wanted to ensure a compelling user experience, I opted for the Double Diamond design thinking process. This approach enabled us to tackle problem-solving and innovation in a structured and iterative manner.

Double Diamond design thinking adoption for DIVA Donate

Problem Definition (Discover)

In the Discover phase, we identified several key problems:

  • Inefficiencies and trust issues in the traditional donation process.
  • Lack of transparency and high transaction fees.
  • Absence of a similar platform in the donation space.

With a deep understanding of blockchain technology and smart contracts from our work on the DIVA Application, the team recognized the potential to revolutionize the donation landscape. By leveraging these technologies, we aimed to create a transparent, secure, and permissionless platform for donors and recipients alike.

Scope and Constraints (Define)

In the Define phase, we established the project’s scope and constraints with the following key considerations:

  • Building on a blockchain platform: To ensure transparency and immutability, the platform would be developed on a blockchain infrastructure.
  • Implementing smart contracts: We planned to incorporate smart contracts to enable automated and trustless conditional donations, enhancing the platform’s reliability.
  • User-friendly interface: Our goal was to create a user-friendly platform accessible to both tech-savvy and non-tech-savvy donors, promoting inclusivity.
  • Security measures: To safeguard against vulnerabilities and potential exploits, strict adherence to security best practices was paramount.
  • Sustainable economic model: We aimed to design a sustainable economic model that incentivized users and ensured the platform’s long-term viability.
Mood Board for DIVA Donate design
User flow for DIVA Donate App
How donation works through DIVA Smart Contract

Design and Prototype (Develop)

The Develop phase involved designing and prototyping the DIVA Donate platform. Key steps in this phase were:

  • I created low-fidelity designs for initial feedback and iterate on different design concepts.
  • Took feedback from the team members and other key stakeholders (also the pilot program partners).
  • Once tested and approved, I created and defined a small set of design guidelines like color, typography, and some custom components for the application.
  • Next, I created a high-fidelity design based on the guidelines and components.
  • Sent the designs for review and feedback, some minor adjustments were also made to finalize the plans.
  • Parallelly, the developers were getting the technical aspects of the project ready like smart contract structures, wallet functionalities, etc.

Implementation and Testing (Deliver)

During the Deliver phase, the team proceeded with the development of the DIVA Donate platform, incorporating the finalized designs and implementing smart contracts to make the application fully functional.

To facilitate the smooth hand-off of designs to the developers, I prepared feature specification documentation through GitHub issues. These issues served as a clear explanation of the designs, making it easier for developers to understand and implement the features accordingly. Additionally, utilizing GitHub issues allowed us to efficiently manage the overall development progress of the project, streamlining project management efforts. This approach ensured effective collaboration between the design and development teams, ultimately leading to a successful implementation of the platform.

Release and Monitor (Deploy)

During the Deploy phase, before making the application available to the public we thoroughly tested the application in the testnet to make sure everything was in place and working as expected.

The first pilot program was also ready to go live along with the launch of the application for people to make their donations and for us to test the application in scale and gather feedback.

Key activities and goals for this phase were:

  • An Official announcement and AMA with the community members.
  • Monitor user engagement and the donation flow into the pilot campaign.
  • Collect or address feedback received from the users and fix any bugs that may come.
  • Monitoring the platform’s growth and adoption, identifying areas for expansion and enhancement.

The Design

Component & Page wireframes
DIVA Donate Theme & Branding System

While we used most of the components from the material design system, I also developed a small design guideline along with some custom components which were specially designed for this application.

DIVA Donate App Landing Page

Simple landing page with some information on the application features and its working. The user can view the campaign from the same page and connect their wallet to interact with the application. With the help of a simple illustration, we also explain to users how the application interacts with DIVA Smart Contract to make this process fully automated & transparent.

Campaign & Donation Pages

The donation component is the main element of this screen which needs to be on the main focus, so I decided to keep it on the top of the page. Based on the campaign it will show the name, some details, and the overall campaign progress. The component helps users to get all important information and select the type of token to make their donation easily. On Scrolling down they can see all the other details, targets, and payout for that campaign.

Mobile responsive designs

To make sure the application is accessible from all types of devices we also made it completely responsive so that users can access the app from any device directly from their browser.

Successful Pilot Program

The first campaign was focused on providing financial assistance to pastoralists in Kenya, a region that faces regular droughts caused by climate change and extreme weather events, resulting in reduced agricultural production, destroyed crops, and severe livestock losses.

The goal of the campaign was to raise $15,000 to provide 100 pastoralists with financial support of up to $150 per pastoralist, equivalent to the value of one livestock, in the event of a drought.

All the required conditions fit into the smart-contract derivative pool, if the conditions matched with the report from the oracle the donation will be triggered and the funds will be transferred automatically to the beneficiaries.

On June 11, the successful completion of the first pilot program was announced. Due to sufficient rainfall levels, no donation was triggered this time, allowing donors to reclaim their contributions so that they can use those funds in the upcoming future campaigns. More details can be found in the official announcement here.

Metrics:

Total number of unique donors participated — 28

Total amount raised — $5934

Campaign duration — 3 months (Mar — June, 2023)

To incentivize donors we also distributed POAPs which will also act as a unique digital certificate in the form of an NFT to commemorate their contribution and showcase their social responsibility to others.

DIVA Donate Pilot Campaign POAP

Learnings & Retrospect

It was an incredible experience working on this innovative project within a tight timeline. I am delighted that our team worked diligently and achieved our goal, culminating in a successful pilot campaign that yielded excellent results. Through this project, I gained valuable insights into handling the end-to-end design process, discovering innovative solutions, and efficiently implementing ideas within a stipulated timeframe. Collaborating actively with team members ensured that we were all on the same page.

Moving forward, our team is dedicated to continuously monitoring the project’s performance and planning further improvements. We aim to incorporate more usable features to ensure its continued growth and effectiveness in reshaping the landscape of charitable giving.

Above all, the most rewarding aspect of this endeavor is creating a platform that empowers people with ownership over their finances, allowing them to choose how they want to make donations while ensuring transparency throughout the process. It embodies the ultimate goal of decentralization!

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