Collaboration without borders

Mockup of the Aragon upgrade website shown on a tablet device

Aragon is an open source software project built on Ethereum technology to empower the creation and management of decentralized organizations, the project empowers users to freely organize and collaborate without borders or intermediaries, creating global and bureaucracy-free organizations and communities.

Senior UI Engineer
May 2020 – Jan 2021
  • React
  • TypeScript
  • Ethers.js
  • Web3.js
  • Next.js
  • React Spring
  • Styled Components
  • Jest & Testing Library


I joined the Aragon One team in 2020 as a Senior Engineer to help further their mission of revolutionising governance. From the very start it was clear that high quality, responsive and delightful user interfaces were a crucial element of the project and that the team values technically competent engineers equally versed in design.

The utility of a Decentralized Autonomous Organisation (DAO) is well understood within the Ethereum community, but for the uninitiated there is a lot to unpack. The team knew that onboarding an entire class of first-time crypto users to the decentralized governance concept couldn't be achieved overnight and Aragons messaging has taken multiple iterations over the years with this in mind.

As part of the front-end engineering team I heavily contributed to the initial prototype of the Aragon Network Dashboard, launched a highly praised ANT Upgrade Portal, furthered the adoption of TypeScript in front-end code, improved and maintained a variety of open source packages, pushed for a bigger emphasis on Agile development and mentored junior team members.

Multiple tablet devices showing screens of Aragon user interfaces

Delivering on the Aragon promise

The project is well known in the DAO space for executing to a very high standard, the exceptional quality of their brand design and user experience stand out in an industry that is not known for being particularly user friendly.

I was lucky enough to work with two amazing design talents, Patricia Davila and Adrián García, user experience, and brand respectively. They are some of the most talented designers I've worked with and deserve high praise for the visual fidelity and intuitive experience offered within Aragons products.

An important component of a high performing product team is a strong relationship between engineers and designers. Catching every edge case, accounting for all possible UI states and fine tuning a flow to fit within technological limitations requires smooth communication between disciplines and engineers who understand all sides of the coin – technology, design, users and business. My biggest impact in this regard was an ability to execute on this vision, ensuring every detail and interaction was of the highest quality.

A large array of Aragon user interface components arranged in an offset grid

Exceptional quality and predictable delivery

Quality is often considered diametrically opposed to delivery speed, and in a lot of circumstances this can be the case, however, my take on this is to ask the question of why? why are we building this now? what's the simplest feature we can ship today that adds value for users? These are important questions to ask, a mutual understanding of expectations within the team and a tight scope can unlock a team to push the quality of what is delivered while fostering an iterative development culture that empowers a team to rapidly evolve at a predictable cadance.

From a technology perspective I'm a believer in the use of static type systems such as TypeScript for improving velocity over time, the confidence that type systems provide when refactoring, and the implicit documentation provided by strict typings go a long way to battling code entropy (and make it a whole lot easier to onboard new hires)

By following these principles we were able to deliver high impact initiatives beyond expectation and ahead of schedule. The launch of the ANT Upgrade Portal was a great example of this and proved the benefits to the team.

Dashboard screen showing a list of open proposals in a grid
Dashboard screen showing details about a single proposal
Dashboard screen showing details about an agreement
Upgrade portal home screen showing options for upgrading ANT tokens
Upgrade portal converter screen showing the conversion rate and a user input for specifying an amount
Upgrade portal transaction signing screen showing the steps needed to complete the process

I have seldom met an individual who personifies the senior UI/UX engineer as well as Andy. He not only drives to personally deliver to the highest of standards, but goes the distance to improve the work of everyone around him. He produces well-crafted, precise, and polished interfaces, but more importantly as a senior engineer, demonstrates a strong ability to pass on his own strengths to others to help them mature in their own right.

Brett Sun

Chief Technology Officer
Aragon One