On April 12th, KingsCrowd released an updated navigation experience. So we thought we’d walk you through the strategy and thinking behind the changes.
How We Got Here
Over the last three years, KingsCrowd has continuously increased its coverage of the online private markets. As more funding platforms and campaigns launched, KingsCrowd added more companies and more detailed information to the site.
KingsCrowd doesn’t just collect third party data though. We produce original content and leverage the data we collect to provide analytical tools and insights. And we wanted to make sure KingsCrowd members can discover it all. So, we added Analyst Reports as a navigation option to make sure members could find and easily access our growing list of in-depth company reports. We added Ratings as a navigation option during the Merlin beta to make sure members got to experience the power of our new data-driven ratings system. You see where this is heading. By the start of 2021, we had a navigation problem.
It wasn’t just that there were too many navigation options. Our terminology had become difficult — almost technical. It was challenging to figure out where to start or how to find the information you were looking for. We saw the problem through customer usage and experienced it ourselves. So we started over.
We asked ourselves a few simple questions like, what are KingsCrowd members coming here to do? What are they looking for? Once they find what they are looking for, what do they want to do with it? We also looked at all the data, analysis, content, and capabilities we provide.
We concluded (and in hindsights it’s embarrassingly obvious) that the most common reason KingsCrowd members come to the site is to discover companies that are raising money online. They are looking for the information they need to make a confident investment decision. Luckily we were focused on that need. We just needed to improve how we organized the site. So that’s what we did.
The New Navigation
With this navigation update, we reorganized our content, simplified our navigation terminology, and set the site up for future user experience improvements. I’ll walk through the changes below.
Under Companies, you will find all of our company-related information and research tools. We expect the majority of members to start here.
- Search or browse for companies and view their profile and raise analytics.
- Find Trending Companies whose campaigns have high momentum, may sell out quickly, or are closing soon.
- Identify companies with an Analyst Report or a Founder Profile.
- View the Merlin ratings of the latest companies.
While looking for specific companies is the most common use case, that is partly because there was no other way to discover companies — until recently. KingsCrowd has been working in the background to aggregate company-level data, and in late 2020 we launched the first market-level analysis tools for investors.
- Get a top-down view of the online private market.
- View total market valuation of active campaigns and average company valuation trends.
- View total number of raises and total and average raise amounts.
- Filter the data by industry, tech sector, funding platform, geography, and security type.
In the future, we plan to link a filtered market view to a list of relevant companies, connecting Markets to Companies.
Previously, we posted news-related articles and content in a couple different places and used a couple different names. Going forward, we will organize news content as:
- Industry News – News about crowdfunding and the online investing industry itself.
- Market Analysis – Insights and trends related to online private equity market activity.
- Commentary – KingsCrowd’s editorial content on topics that we think are of interest to members.
Investing can be complicated as it is. Online private investing has its own set of terminology and regulations that themselves are subject to change as the industry grows and evolves. So, we wanted to highlight our educational content and other helpful materials. There’s no such thing as a dumb questions, especially when you’re about to put your money in a high-risk startup.
Every investor needs a place to manage the companies they invest in and track the companies they are considering. In mid-2020, we created a Portfolio tool that is available to all membership tiers — but we didn’t give it a lot of visibility. We think this is an invaluable investor tool. So we moved it into the main navigation. With a KingsCrowd portfolio, you can:
- Create one or more portfolios
- Add any Regulation Crowdfunding company from any funding platform to your portfolio(s)
- Follow companies that you are considering
We plan to make improvements to Portfolios, Follows, and other tools that will help members better manage the investment process.
There you have it — and we hope you like it! We are pretty excited about the six simple words and new content organization that make up the new navigation. We are equally excited about using this as a first step toward making more improvements to KingsCrowd’s user experience. We hope to share more product updates in the near future.