MIP39c2-SP18: Adding Development & UX Core Unit - DUX-001

MIP39c2-SP18 - Adding Development & UX Core Unit - DUX-001


MIP39c2-SP#: 18
Author(s): @rafinskipg, @tiago, @adamgoth, @tyler, @philip, @0xdeniz
Contributors: @wouter, @juanjuan,
Status: Formal Submission
Date Applied: 2021-08-11
Date Ratified: YYYY-MM-DD

Sentence Summary

MIP adds Core Unit DUX-001: Development and UX Core Unit


Core Unit ID


Core Unit Name

Development & UX

Core Unit Facilitator

Philip Bain

Core Unit Mandate


Enabling the best-in-class decentralized decision making for the Maker Protocol by providing a meaningful user experience for all governance participants.


Our vision is to provide the best governance user experience following key governing principles such as accessibility, neutrality, and transparency. We want to do so by:

  • Facilitating an optimal decision-making process, allowing routine decisions to be executed in a fast and frictionless manner, while complex or controversial decisions are thoughtfully deliberated.
    • Providing easy access to information for governance users by helping them find what they need, when they need it by creating informative data analytics, uncovering insights, and highlighting the impact of voter’s decisions.
    • Surfacing the available options by facilitating discussion and collaboration.
    • Creating a frictionless user experience with simple, fast, available, and intuitive user interfaces.
  • Ensuring security not just for the user and their assets, but most importantly, security for the protocol, avoiding governance manipulation and attacks.
    • Ensuring availability of the governance UIs and the required blockchain data.
    • Real-time monitoring of the health and safety of the system.
    • Encouraging safe behavior through the user experience.
    • Encouraging participation to secure the majority of MKR tokens.
  • Bringing governance within the industry forward by nurturing a community of Maker enthusiasts and inspiring the broader DeFi space.


DUX is a product design & development team that builds and maintains products and tools for the Maker ecosystem, with a focus on governance. Users and builders alike use our tools, such as the Governance Portal, to participate in the governance process of Maker.

As an agile product team, our process is based on design thinking and agile methodologies. Through a continuous iterative looping process, putting the community at the heart of what we do, we will work through five stages:

  1. Discover
  2. Define
  3. Design & Develop
  4. Deliver
  5. Analyse & Reflect

This process allows us to diverge when uncovering problems to solve and discovering new opportunities, and to converge when implementing a possible solution.

1. Discover

The core unit will pro-actively research, ideate, and continuously gather insights from different internal and external sources such as:

Internal Sources:

Quantitative Research

  • Analyzing user metrics data
  • Running surveys

Qualitative Research

  • Internal meetings with a focus on feature discovery
  • 1:1 interviews with MKR Holders

External Sources:

  • Trends and developments happening in the DeFi space at large
  • Feedback from MakerDAO’s forum
  • Direct input from governance facilitators and other core unit members
  • Feedback collected through public communication channels such as our Discord or Maker’s Rocketchat.
  • Input from other existing governance solutions both within and outside of the crypto industry


  • Internal & External Ideation workshops using FigJam
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Visual explorations

Ideas, requests, and features will be publicly maintained on our Idea Board, which can be reached here. Our Idea Board allows for anyone to submit ideas, report bugs and vote on existing initiatives. It serves as one of the inputs for prioritizing our development backlog.

2. Define


The research output, ideas generated, and insights collected will be used to create product backlog items. Higher-priority items will be split up and detailed for inclusion in a sprint. More abstract features will be represented in a roadmap as epics.

Analysis of tasks will require studying the state of the art of other governance UIs, understanding different tools and systems that are standard of the web3 technology or that are emerging, drafting technical diagrams, and high-fidelity UI/UX prototypes.

These high-fidelity prototypes will allow us to validate our assumptions with the community. Progress will be shared on our Discord accordingly.

Pivot or persevere

Solutions will be discarded or tested at this stage.

Once validated by the community and the team is confident with the available solutions at our disposal we will draft the technical specs and the respective user experience flows.


We will prioritize tasks that contribute to our mission and vision.

The various factors that determine this may include:

  • Impact on the users and user experience
  • Feedback from the community & governance facilitators
  • Alignment with principles of decentralization

3. Design & Develop

As a part of our efforts to deliver best-in-class governance applications, the team will design interfaces and develop software using the industry best practices such as:

  • Working in a cadence that leverages agile methodologies
  • Collaborative, real-time, and online design tools such as Figma
  • Following web3 standards for dApps development
  • Peer-reviewed code
  • Unit and integration testing

4. Deliver

New releases will be announced on our #announcements channel in Discord, the #governance-and-risk channel in Maker Rocketchat, and a dedicated update on our releases page in Notion.

New releases will be composed of:

  • UX & Design improvements
  • New features
  • Bug fixes
  • Documentation

Automated delivery with continuous integration systems

In our day-to-day, we introduce unit and integration tests that are automated in our continuous integration pipeline. This includes maintaining and upgrading the automated test suite on the governance portal and tools, ensuring they keep working seamlessly, and providing high uptime and availability of the application.

User Testing & QA

The team will use various staging environments for performing QA on new features and running targeted user tests.

Additionally, the team will keep a list of unresolved bugs visible on a dedicated section of our Idea Board.

Open Source

The code will be released as open-source, hosted in the repositories that are already maintained by this core unit. These repositories include but are not limited to:


The team will commit itself to creating and continually improving technical documentation related to Maker governance.

As an example, the team recently created a new diagram to help illustrate how the vote delegation feature works: View diagram

5. Analyse & Reflect

After delivering a new product or feature, we will perform usage analytics, run A/B tests, and collect feedback from the users, ensuring that our solutions are in line with our mission and vision.


The team is composed of 6 permanent members:

  • 4 Senior Software Engineers
  • 1 Senior UX/UI Designer
  • 1 Product Manager

These team members have a wide range of experience across many different software projects, including frontend, backend, web3, and mobile applications. The majority of the team members have previously worked for the Maker Foundation on various projects including the governance portal, liquidations portal, migration portal, and more.

Current Efforts

Since joining the SES Incubation Program in June, the team has already delivered a number of new features and functionality for the governance portal and other projects related to it.

Most recently, the team launched the Vote Delegation UI.

Other deliveries also include:

  • Polling & Executive creator UIs
  • Dark mode
  • Dai.js package updates
  • Testchain package updates
  • ENS name resolver
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes

Future Enhancements

As part of our current work, we have identified several areas of improvement for the current governance portal. These are ideas that still need to be further iterated on according to the framework described above.

  • Increasing the availability of the portal and services providing information to it
  • Including analytics and meaningful data visualizations in the current governance portal facilitating transparency and information gathering
  • Allowing for more interactions between users, proposals, and opinions
  • Improving the accessibility of the governance portal
  • Upgrading the testing infrastructure which will enhance the security and resilience of the portal

All of this will be available on our public Idea Board.

Related Documents



In light of the RFC freeze date looming tomorrow, we have made some minor edits to our MIP to make it flow a little better and make it more readable. None of the major points and processes were changed in a meaningful way. The biggest update was to links for our improved Idea Board, courtesy of the new DUX PM @0xdeniz!

A summary of edits is below:

  • the intro paragraph to the Strategy section was expanded to define our team processes more clearly
  • the Ideation sub-section of the Define section was updated to include new links to the idea board
  • the User Testing & QA section was reworded to be more clear and point to the new idea board
  • multiple grammatical improvements

On behalf of the DUX team, I’d like to formally submit each of the DUX-001 proposals! @juan @blimpa