Improving onboarding in an API Key world

Zsolt Kacso Product Designer

Tuned is a non-custody solution.This means we integrate directly with leading exchanges you already know and love using API keys.

Our analytics are very clear about the fact that connecting an exchange to Tuned is a major hurdle for most people. Unfortunately, there isn’t a viable alternative to using API keys just yet, so our focus is on making this process as straightforward as possible.

Let’s break down our latest API connection experience and highlight some of the improvements we made.

There are a few different ways we can improve the existing experience:

  • Staying in context
  • Breaking the process down into steps
  • Contextual support and guidance

Let’s dive into more detail on these.

Staying in context

A small but significant change we introduced is moving the exchange connection flow to a modal.


The reason for this is to minimize interruption to whatever goal people are trying to achieve.

We allow people to try as much of our platform as possible without connecting to an exchange or signing up in order to showcase capabilities and create value before asking people to commit.

At the point where they do need an exchange connection to continue, we have to let them create a connection without losing all their progress made so far.

Using a modal allows us to do just that, with the added benefit that people are much more motivated to go through with connecting an exchange if the background still shows the progress they made so far on their goal.

Breaking the process down into steps

Connecting an exchange is a relatively complex process that is split across the exchange itself and Tuned.

To make this less daunting, breaking it up into steps makes perfect sense for new or more novice users.


We wanted to avoid adding too much overhead for experienced traders, keeping in mind that even for them connecting an exchange is not something that they’ll need to do every other day or week.

Contextual support

From the early days, we maintain a collection of detailed connection guides with screenshots for every supported exchange on our support portal.

These guides are great but only a small percentage of people actually open them. It’s easy to understand why. When someone already has two tabs opened up to accomplish a task, opening up the third one with instructions is really not all that convenient.

We had to think of a way to make these more accessible.

To solve this challenge we wanted to bring contextual references into the UI, in a way that doesn’t make the whole process look more daunting than it already is.

Contextual help

The screenshots were perfect for this, because they quickly convey where someone needs to go on the exchange and they can also be shown on demand when someone wants to find out more about a particular step.

This solution has the disadvantage of not being mobile-friendly, however, in our case, this is less of a factor because we direct people to our iOS and Android app if they use a mobile.

Offering different ways of getting support

Giving people options when they get stuck is important. Not everyone will read through a page of instructions, but they might watch a video.

Diversifying support channels means that people can get help in a way they’re comfortable with.

With this in mind we added more prominent access to our detailed guides, a video guide and live chat support in case things go wrong.

Measuring success

The primary way of gauging if the changes are making a difference is looking at the exchange connection steps as a funnel and measuring drop-off at each step, as well as overall successful connection rate.

Comparing these to our baseline established with the old way of connecting an exchange can tell us if we’re on the right track.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any specific security or investment product. You should never invest money that you cannot afford to lose. Before trading using complex financial products, please ensure to understand the risks involved. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of all the money you invest, and past performance does not guarantee future performance. Historical returns expected returns, and probability projections are provided for informational and illustrative purposes, and may not reflect actual future performance.

Tuned is not a broker-dealer, exchange, custodian, wallet provider, or counterparty. Investing is highly speculative and volatile. Tuned is only suitable for investors who fully understand the risk of loss and may experience large drawdowns. Investors should never invest more than they can afford to lose.