[OIP-DRAFT] Ethos Unification Proposal

Ethos Unified App Development

Network: N/A

Type: OATH Improvement Proposal (OIP)

Proposal Author: Everett Holcomb

Date: November 27th, 2023
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Executive Summary

The Oath ecosystem is falling behind in capturing market share. I propose a budget to fund the restructuring of all Byte Mason/Oath Ecosystem domains in order to remedy this. The objective is to give users (new & current) a more defined and intuitive way to interact with/discover the ecosystem, reduce user-facing complexity, and bring light to the value of the Oath token.
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Proposal Motivation

The current products/services suffer from severe fragmentation and lack features of a modern web app. New users aren’t presented with an intuitive product, nor do they have a funnel that guides them through their desired feature/function.

All of the following domains are required to understand & use the Oath ecosystem.

Landing Page: oath.eco (no product on this domain)

Ecosystem Docs: oath.eco/documentation

Oath Token Information: oath.eco/documentation/#tokenomics

Governance Discourse: forum.oath.eco

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Governance Voting: https://snapshot.org/#/oatheco.eth

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Loan Landing Page: ethos.finance

Loan Docs: ethos.finance/documentation

Loan App: app.ethos.finance

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Yield Landing Page: digit.xyz

Yield App: app.digit.xyz

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2nd Yield App: reaper.farm (no landing page)

2nd Yield App Documentation: docs.reaper.farm

At first glance this may seem (somewhat) organized. As soon as you experience this funnel, the user journey becomes disorientating.

OATH has no clear value when interacting with anything besides Ethos Reserve, nor is it clear that these products are within the same ecosystem.

Managing that many domains is both expensive and inefficient. The complexity of each product is not high enough to justify separation.
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The goal of this proposal is as follows:

  • Consolidate all products/services into one domain and rebrand it as Ethos (ethos.fi)
  • Create a new landing page that highlights the various use cases of the app
  • Design a new user journey that is both exciting and easy to digest
  • Deliver market leading UI/UX
  • Add critical features such as notifications (can be forwarded to TG and Discord)
  • Provide an intuitive dashboard that allows the user to quickly see their positions and manage them with ease
  • Create a dedicated page within the app for interacting with OATH (ethos.fi/oath)

Potential Conflicts of Interest

None identified at this point. Continuous disclosure will be discussed with the community should any arise in the future.
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Proposal Specifics

As an outside party, this initiative can be very complicated to execute due to the unknown technical challenges that may present themselves. The following is an outline on how this problem would be approached.

Part I: Testing the Waters

The initial phase would be to overhaul a single product, such as borrowing. This speeds up development and reduces the initial cost significantly. A temporary domain would be set up (reserve.ethos.fi) to act as a standalone service while all features/products are being built. As a complete app, the domain would become (ethos.fi/reserve). This allows each product to be focused on individually. During this process, the design and execution will be evaluated. If all parties are happy, an extension to this proposal (new governance vote) can be added to continue development.

Part II & Beyond: Full Overhaul

Now that the infrastructure for a new app design is in place, each product would be rebuilt and deployed following the same process (earn.ethos.fi, trade.ethos.fi, etc.). A lot of heavy lifting will be done during phase one, making development of additional products much faster. Once all products are deployed and fine-tuned, they would be consolidated to a single domain (ethos.fi/…), completing the unification process.

Once obligations are met, the front-end would become the responsibility of the Byte Masons to maintain. This is mainly a formality, we’re always happy to help with any issues.
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Team Experience

Devoux is a new initiative started in 2023 by my brother and I. He is a senior front-end developer while I am a brand designer & strategist. Each of us have 10+ years of experience creating unique products and concepts. We operate very lean, but also have a network of talent that we can bring on when timeframes are short.

Our responsibilities entail:

  • Getting to know a brand from the inside-out. This includes dissecting the audience, understanding company goals, and defining values.
  • Creating a foundation and approach based on this research to position the product within its market.
  • Carefully planning visuals, language, tone, and voice to deliver a product that is both visually stunning, and easy to use.
  • Developing a lightweight component library with clear documentation on its flexibility and use cases.
  • Creating the code that produces these assets: Source code, build scripts, images, etc.
  • Provide developer tooling: dev environment, docs, mocks, and tests.

Notable Companies we’ve done work for: Nike, Under Armour, Puma, Vuori, Linksoul

A demo has been created to showcase the general approach we’d take to create this web app. It’s pretty basic in its current form, and most of the interactions are disabled, but hopefully it can get you excited for the future of Byte Masons products. Click around and see what you can find!

To make the demo experience better, I suggest going into the options bar in the top right of the interface and unchecking “Show Figma UI”

Screenshot 2023-11-29 at 1.47.29 PM

Key Objectives & Success Metrics

The objective is to create software that presents a clear value of the product to the user. Additionally, we want it to be an enjoyable and repeatable experience. It’s paramount to deliver a product that allows users to accomplish their goals with as little friction as possible.

Success would be measured by new user retention, increased user interaction, and growth in total OATH participants.
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Length of Engagement & Budget Breakdown

Phase One scope of work is estimated at 3 months, with a budget of 10,000 USDC and $5,000 in OATH, per month. Phase Two would be discussed upon completion of Phase One.
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Risk Assessment

The risk involved is that this effort becomes ineffective. Both time and money are being used to restructure user-facing products. If done incorrectly, this could yield no ROI.

I agree with the need to revamp the UI/UXs and make them more unified. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the current UI/UXs (except maybe ethos), but I see the value of making it clearer for people that all these products fall under one ecosystem.

I really like the Figma demo, looks smooth and professional. Would the whole ecosystem be cooked in the mint, leverage, earn, portfolio and oath hub tabs seen in the demo?

I have to say I’m by no means an expert at front end development nor do I have any idea what it costs. Because of that reason the 45k budget for part 1 TBD budget for part 2 sound steep for me personally. And it might be totally reasonable, I just have no idea. Also, what would happen if the part 1 is unfinished at the end of the 3-month period?

Another thing that has me a bit concerned is that I don’t think we, the governors have any idea about the true financial situation of the foundation, which I feel like would be critical knowledge when considering some of these proposals. I don’t need the exact numbers I would just like to hear Bebis for example saying the foundation can comfortably afford this, if that’s the case.

I support the ethos of this proposal but given the lack of knowledge I have I’d like to hear more discussion about the proposal from people that know more than me about this stuff before making my mind fully, but at the current state the proposal has my careful support.

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One annoying thing to consider, there is an existing crypto website ‘ethos.io

Agree with mpo here, if these funds are a drop in the bucket, I would be all for it. Maybe the current front end devs can have a say as well.

Bebis has explicitly told me that the cost is an issue, which is why he asked me to make a proposal. As far as price, 15k per month is significant, but it’s also what a single senior software engineer costs at most tech companies. My services are very comprehensive (system engineering, product structure, risk profiling, preemptive feature iteration).

It’s poor timing as the 16k/mo. for marketing just went through.

The goal here is to showcase a future iteration that is capable of gaining significantly more market share. The tech is good, but most people (even crypto degens) aren’t interested in the current offering. The hard truth is that most outsiders don’t trust the site. I’ve showed it to dozens of non-crypto individuals and they all have the same response. I’ve then showed them https://superbridge.app/ and https://app.uniswap.org/ and their interest jumped significantly. They felt far more comfortable with trusting those apps with their money.

As individuals who are already invested in The Byte Masons, we don’t need convincing to use their products. If we ever want to grow our small (but dope as hell) community, a top tier web app is a great handshake to help people get to know us.

Would it be possible to get rid of Phase I and just opt for Phase II?

If you give me a desired completion date, I can gather the required talent and quote the cost.

I mean I would leave that up to you.

Not entirely sure what the cost would be but it looks like it would be a lot

Building the app becomes more efficient with time. This is due to the reusability of the code, design system, and tests. Phase One is specifically designed to handle the heavy lifting without burdening the team with a huge upfront cost. It also allows for proof of concept which can help direct future decisions. Each additional product would most likely take half the time and cost to implement.

Okay using that estimate what does Phase II look like cost wise? Im going to have a hard time supporting this proposal without the Phase II cost (estimate). I would hate to have Phase I cost $45k and Phase II cost $200k without knowing the second part.

As of now it looks like loans, yield, dashboard, and a dedicated “Oath” page are the current offerings. Along with that would be quality of life features such as push notifications, single-sign, etc. which would be developed during Phase One. Total cost of the app is projected around ~$110k total over 9 months.

This effort can be cancelled at any time due to the structure of the approach. You’d be left with the same product separation, but each overhauled app would be much more feature rich. This proposal is strictly for the initial $45k. All future development would be assessed and negotiated accordingly.

is the $110k inclusive of Phase I or in addition to Phase I?

Inclusive

Much still to digest but here are my initial thoughts. The completion of the OATH product roadmap, a journey that began in 2021/2022, marks a significant milestone. The next step is to synergize these elements under the OATH brand, a task that warrants greater focus. I appreciate the efforts made towards enriching the OATH ecosystem and the initiative shown in this regard.

I’m particularly impressed with the Ethos mockups; they’re striking in their design and execution. For those unaware Sober contributed to the initial design stage for Ethos Reserve, giving him an intimacy with the brand that is evident. I’m excited about the prospect of harnessing your talents further, aligned with CryptoNorth and co’s direction.

That said, I think there are some presumptions in the proposal that overlook key strategic benefits inherent in our current application framework. I’d like to bring these to light:

  1. The Essential Nature of Individual Applications: In our OATH ecosystem, each application is more than a mere component; it is a fundamental support structure. Their unique goals and target audiences are vital, each contributing in a unique way to the strength of our ecosystem. You don’t need the whole to enjoy a part.
  2. Versatility in Offerings: Our array of applications offers the flexibility to be marketed both independently and as part of a comprehensive ecosystem. This versatility enables us to meet a wide range of customer needs and preferences.
  3. Identifying a Missing Link: I recognize a gap in our ecosystem – the lack of a tool for seamless integration of our applications. This gap presents us with the opportunity to create a new ‘Ecosystem App’. This app would unify our applications into a coherent whole, while preserving their unique characteristics.
  4. Upholding Strategic Benefits: It is crucial to acknowledge that our operational model is still more cost-effective than industry-standard models. This efficiency gives us a strategic edge that we must continue to exploit to gain network adoption. What other ecosystem has the capability to deploy such a wide variety of cutting-edge software that are fundamental to decentralized system economics?

Considering these points, I suggest a balanced approach. We should prioritize the development of a new Ecosystem App which would live under app.oath.eco to serve as a unifying element, while simultaneously continuing to nurture the distinct value of each individual application. I would expect app.oath.eco to exist to give convenience to OATH. This dual approach will not only maintain but also amplify our competitive advantage in the market.

Thanks again for the positive energy and looking forward to more discussion on this proposal.

I appreciate the kind words Scamson : )

As much as we all love a good-looking interface, my ideas for this app go far beyond just that. I’m currently engineering systems that create positive feedback loops, testing behavior networks, and abstracting technical functions while remaining transparent. This is all done to ensure every user feels both comfortable and excited to use every feature (loans, yield, trade, oath participant, etc.)

The Oath Ecosystem offers financial products. More specifically, blockchain-based financial products. We are in an incredibly niche field. On top of that, your products can complement each other. It’s not a divide caused by the product’s fundamental approach (RAI vs LUSD).

Isolating each product into its own app is really only warranted for three reasons, and even then, there are ways to leverage the brand to be beneficial.

  1. The product is extremely complex (think Premia, the options platform)
  2. The target demo has a lower than 25% overlap.
  3. The products are similar but have different key value propositions (divide and conquer)

You may not use every feature that Venmo has to offer, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to offer them. They have an app that offers a ton of value to 70 million users while remaining incredibly easy to use.

I understand you guys have a different approach, but it’s kind of irrational to argue with system frameworks deployed by mainstream applications. Even leaders in the crypto space follow these same principles. We all know the tech is good, but the market seems to not care. I hope to change that, because there’s nothing more I want to see than all of you succeed.

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Main issue here is your problem statement is great but your solution doesn’t really address the core issues, both in technical and business terms. Figma is beautiful but focusing these efforts on Ethos will have little impact to the ecosystem at large, complicate things further, and prove exceedingly difficult to implement.

Issues with current proposal:

  1. Introduces a new architecture to the ecosystem. We currently operate on a unified architecture which is how we keep costs low and scalability high.

  1. It’s expensive. Our frontends are designed to be easy to modify and maintain & replicating a design like the one provided would be fast and simple. I think the proposal is headed in the right direction but you should sit down with team members so a holistic approach can be considered.

  2. It attempts to solve a problem with the core value proposition of OATH using a new app when the ideal solution would be to improve the value proposition (which we’re doing right now) and refine the user acquisition funnel. Having 4 apps doesn’t really fix the issues stemming from having 3 apps.

So let’s boil down the problem statement:

  1. Demand for OATH is not significant & does not correlate with demand for core product offering (OATH Chapters, $ERN, Yield products).
  2. Existing clientele doesn’t have incentive to buy into the OATH ecosystem.
  3. Current ecosystem site does not communicate what we need it to.

And the current solution we’re working on:

  1. Re-engineer tokenomics to improve the value proposition of OATH (almost done).
  2. Redesign communication strategy to attract more top-level attention (in progress with great results)
  3. Redesign conversion funnel (needed big time, high on the priority list)
  4. Improve community engagement & management (just starting)

You are proposing to tackle #3 which is hugely valuable and very much needed, but your solution doesn’t align with the strategy. If you could help us turn OATH.eco into the perfect conversion funnel while we master our Discord and community engagement and continue our Twitter optimization, I believe we will conquer the problems you’ve described in your proposal with less cost and greater impact.

I think there’s also room to evaluate and improve UI/UX across the board - we can make Phase 2 all about building cohesion between the redesigned OATH UI with the rest of the ecosystem.

My solution does address the core issue from a technical standpoint. It will also have an unbelievable impact on growth and sentiment. Your fear of taking on this presumed “complicated difficulty” is the only issue. Have a chat with me and I’ll gladly clarify the details.

To address your points:

  1. Your "unified’ architecture isn’t something to be proud of. It’s ostracized most of the defi community. It may be simple for the team, but it’s borderline unusable for most Defi users.

I’m not introducing any standards. You have web interfaces and smart contracts. I am proposing to keep the smart contracts and reduce the interfaces to 1 domain. Simple.

  1. My proposed front end is built on incredibly lean and well-documented code. There’s an adjustment period, but it’s nothing a competent team can’t handle.

  2. You can try to acquire users with whatever funnel you want, but they won’t stick because your apps are unintuitive and clunky. Why would an average Joe use Ethos over Summer.fi? Why would someone looking for immutability use Ethos over any of the hundreds of Liquity forks?

My problem statement is that you are failing to deliver value to users. Increased interest in OATH is a consequence of becoming a value driver. Users realize value primarily via interactions, and in this case, it’s app interactions. You don’t need to educate more people. You don’t need a higher APR. You don’t need to add layers of annoying gamification. All you need is something people are excited to use (because it’s useful).

Separating value across multiple apps is asinine. These are all defi users, all looking to utilize tools in this space. Sending them to different bottom-tier apps is a huge reason why no one sticks around and OATH will never have a clear value prop.

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Sober can you comment specifically on the idea of an app.oath.eco as opposed to a reconfiguration of Ethos Reserve to Ethos.Fi

Why should it be Ethos and not an ‘OATH’ application specifically?

It is an Oath application. My mockups are just an example of a rebrand. Ethos.fi is my choice, but call it what you please. The focus wasn’t meant to be on the naming or even the look.

I have two main focuses:

  1. Consolidating the current domains (you could keep the front ends and make them private for your institutional clients if they demand) and driving retail to a single web app with all the tools you want to offer (loans, yield, investing strategies, RWA).
  2. Make the web app both visually appealing and frictionless.

Token = app to most users. (exclude memecoins and network tokens) If people can start referencing a single app, and one that delivers real value, Oath will naturally become more desirable and understood.

You technically can go the Kujira route (individual products all under the same umbrella), but your current products don’t warrant it. Kujira structured their products this way because it’s their own chain and they offer a diverse range of services. From a UX perspective, it’s honestly pretty annoying opening a new webpage for every product. It’s an added step that should be avoided if possible.

The more steps you can remove, the broader the audience you’ll serve. If at some point you offer a product that is very complex, housing it under a different domain could be warranted. As for now, it’s only harming growth.

Okay this was a lot to take but here are my thoughts.

While i agree that the whole Oath ecosystem needs to be consolidated, i don’t think it’s currently a serious issue that is hindering growth, at least not yet.

Perhaps it’s best to have a ‘visual’ picture on how Sober proposition would look like. Below is how I understood it (keep in mind I’m not a dev):

The oath.eco should be the landing page where new users can go and get all the info about the Oath ecosystem. At the top of the page should be a ‘Products’ section where users can see Ethos, Digit, Reaper and Chapters. A ‘Service’ section can also be there for Reliquary and Oath’s OP stack tech.

On the ‘Product’ section, when users click on one of the products, say Ethos, it leads, within the same domain, a new page where it outlines everything about it. Basically all the info and front-end that is on the ethos.finance website should be under the oath.eco website. This includes the documentation. Should a user wishes to use ethos, he/she clicks on a link or button and immediately direct him/her to the ethos app.

This process should be the same for all other Oath products. So, no product should have its own domain. Just the app, which can be found on the oath.eco landing page.

The Chapters product is a different matter because if the way the protocol, in this case Aurelius Finance, is merely utilizing Oath’s tech, but is otherwise doing its own thing. Hence, if a user wants to know more about Chaptwr they move their cursor and a subsection pops up with the same of all protocols Chapters. When they click on Aurelius Finance, we can do two things. Either it brings them to Aurelius’s own website domain where users can navigate around it on their own, OR, there can be a page under the oath.eco website that outlines what Aurelius Fi is about with a link or button that takes them to the Aurelius website. The latter would require more work on the team’s part to update the page, hence why i choose the former.

As for Samson’s comment on having the flexibility to market each app independently or as a while, i don’t Sober’s idea would hinder that. Oath will still be able to market them as it needs to. For example, each app can still have their own Twitter X account, but the link on each account would take them to the Oath.eco landing page. But each X account can market their respective app and/or support each other.It would just be easier for users to go to one website instead of several. The only except would be protocol Chapters like Aurelius Finance.

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