Back in 2021…

I joined Notarize because the company vision was at an exciting inflection point. The company was beginning to rebrand to "Proof", with the intent to offer identity verification tools beyond just Notarizations and eSigns.


This project covers the end-to-end process for an identity verification transaction and meeting experience.

4 months end-to-end

I was the sole lead designer on 2 teams, coordinating design work across 4 teams. I drove forward the whole design & discovery process, involving designers on 2 cross-functional teams. Our stakeholders provided feedback and requirements through the process.

Identity team

🙋🏻‍♂️ Lead Designer 

1 PM 

1 Tech lead 

1 Front end engineer

4 Back end engineers

1 Engineering manager

Notary team

🙋🏻‍♂️ Lead Designer 

🫥 No PM 

1 Tech lead 

1 Front end engineer

4 Back end engineers 

1 Engineering manager

Cross-functional teams

Signer team

Business team

Our stakeholders

Legal & Compliance

Customer Support

Notary Operations 

External Auditors 

Third Party Vendors

Notarization meeting today

Notarization meeting today

Notarization meeting today

Problem

1) New industry identity verification standards

Some government documents were shifting from requiring notarization to requiring Identity Assurance Level 2 (NIST IAL2) e-signatures. We had no customer solution to capture this shift in demand.


2) Fraud was becoming top-of-mind for customers

At the same time, consumer fraud was happening and posed a liability for Notarize. For example, Zelle has an estimated <1% of fraud, or $725 million in fraud that consumers largely covered in 2023. Deepfake and AI technology became readily available, potentially crippling for our business if we're not able to rely on what we see on video.


3) Customers needed more identity tools

One instance of fraud will sink our SMB customers. Customers needed a lower-friction but reliable way to verify an identity ahead of (or separate from) signings.

Customers wanted a more secure version of e-Sign, but something lower friction than a notarization

Customers wanted a more secure version of e-Sign, but something lower friction than a notarization

Customers wanted a more secure version of e-Sign, but something lower friction than a notarization

Goals

1) Launch a new suite of identity products

We needed to launch an Identity verification transaction, launch an audio-video identity verification meeting experience, and launch new fraud monitoring signals. All of this would expand our TAM and identity verification use-cases.


2) Get our product to pass audits

In order to differentiate ourselves and be the best-in-class fraud product, our product needed to pass an audit and receive NIST IAL2 Kantara Certification.


3) Grow revenue with customers 

We wanted to expand existing enterprise accounts by X% and provide more opportunities for our notaries to make money.

Where did we start?

One of the biggest challenges was working with legal to ensure our solution met NIST IAL2 requirements. I worked closely with a PM to translate legal requirements into UI. I started with a Post-up exercise, followed by affinity diagraming during the workshop.


After this, I put together an app-flow and shopped it around to Engineering, Product, Legal compliance, and Operations / Support to make sure we were aligned on the overall flow. I designed with 4 user types in mind: Signers, Notaries, Customers, and Proof employees.

Full app flow validated with internal teams

Full app flow validated with internal teams

Full app flow validated with internal teams

Sketching for feedback

I began with a sketch and collected feedback from teammates as soon as possible. I facilitated 3 stakeholder design reviews to collect feedback from Legal compliance and Operations on the wireframes. Separately, I used Design crits, 1-on-1's, and Team lead meetings to collect feedback from Designers, PMs, and Engineers on my team. At this point I involved a mid-level designer on the Signer team to drive forward the meeting UX from the consumer side.

Sketch of the trusted referee meeting with feedback from internal team

Sketch of the trusted referee meeting with feedback from internal team

Sketch of the trusted referee meeting with feedback from internal team

How did we validate?

UX Research

We have 1 UX researcher on our team. She helps us drive forward our own research at times, and other times she takes on the research based on the complexity.


We collaborated and she ran…

  • Moderated usability testing: 2 wireframe concepts with 4 notaries

  • Unmoderated usability testing: 1 concept for multiple signers


The feedback we collected and chose 1 wireframe option that resonated better with our notaries.

Early wireframe iteration, tested with notaries

Early wireframe iteration, tested with notaries

Early wireframe iteration, tested with notaries

The product

Here are a few shots of the MVP. The meeting consists of the credential viewer, identity attributes, identity profile, and the timeline. Agents verify the identity attributes with the provided credentials and evidence in order to complete the verification process of the identity. They are compensated for verifying an identity. Signers can complete their transaction once verified.

Upon joining, agents will verify the identity

Upon joining, agents will verify the identity

Upon joining, agents will verify the identity

Agents can initiate retakes, and view error alerts for trouble shooting.

Agents can initiate retakes, and view error alerts for trouble shooting.

Agents can initiate retakes, and view error alerts for trouble shooting.

Working with devs

I work closely with front end engineers to document all interactions and pieces of UI. For this project, we had dozens of errors and timeline events that I designed and ensured they were properly developed. I do this with documentation, async communication, and design QA.

The results

We went GA after an initial beta in 2023

We gained initial learnings with a test group of notaries and launched a few months later.


We gained NIST IAL2 certification on our product

I worked with auditors personally, and demoed our product end-to-end and ensured legal requirements were baked into the flow. We had low resourcing with PMs so I acted as a PM at some points in this process.


We are seeing 2x growth month-over-month of identity transactions sent

We established a baseline fail-over rate, an initial panel of trusted agents, and sent over 2000 transactions in the first 2 months. We're only beginning to scale while continuing to build out our product offerings.


This was the first step in transforming Notarize into a new identity company. We're continuing to expand identity and fraud monitoring products for notaries, signers, and our customers. More to come!

Thanks for reading