Fintech web app
Senior UX Designer
Business Analyst, Customer Success Manager, Marketing Director, Chief Technology Officer, Senior Back-End Developer, Lead Front-End Developer
🗓️ 4 months
In response to the pandemic, Marble Financial decided to diversify its web platform from selling loans to helping underserved Canadians in the subprime space achieve financial wellness. Over the course of 5 months, Marble added new features onto the platform to support users who needed to improve their credit, manage their debt, and improve their financial literacy.
Understanding the Problem
Due to the company undergoing a shift in branding and services, a study was required before and after the features went into production to understand how well we were addressing our user's problems. The team worked with an external marketing research firm, Emotive, to send out surveys to over 200 Marble customers in the spring and fall of 2021.
The results of the final survey highlighted two major opportunities Marble could improve upon:
Improve how information is surfaced across the application
Offer better support for our persona, Des, who requires further consideration to her emotional and attitudinal beliefs to be empowered
Kicking off a redesign
With this outcome, the team embarked on a new project to explore:
How might we surface information about the user's finances when it comes to monitoring their credit, managing their debt, and improving their financial literacy?
How might we empower Des to improve her emotional state of being overwhelmed to feeling confident about the data presented to her?
Redesigning the Dashboard
To align the cross-functional team on the overarching and departmental objectives of this project, I kicked off a workshop with our Business Analyst, Marketing Director, and Chief Technology Officer to review the research Emotive provided, dive deep into who Des is, highlight key elements, brainstorm ideas and define success metrics.
From the workshop, we identified that we would focus on redesigning the main dashboard and I would conduct further research that would help us address our redesign objective:
Understand how users feel about our dashboard and how effective our key solution elements make information accessible to our persona, Des, to empower her
Key Solution Elements
Due to the breadth of information from Emotive's study and our SMEs, the team wanted to test solutions and how they performed to address our objective.
Guide - Connect tasks to financial goals for users who want a guided approach
Monitoring - Highlight key indicators of success for financial health for credit, debt and literacy
After the project would be pushed to production, we wanted to see the following changes over the following quarter:
The weekly retention rate increased by 50%
The average time spent increased by 15%
The average number of sessions increased by 15%
Wireframing & User Testing
Over the course of two weeks I conducted usability tests with 75 participants to test prototypes that would help me understand and measure how we might better understand three key aspects of the dashboard:
Comparative Usability Study: Emotional Impact
To better understand how we could improve the emotional impact of the data we were presenting to users, I used a comparative usability test to set a benchmark with our existing design and survey how different design iterations affected the results of our user's emotional responses and attitudes.
The emotional goal we wanted our participants to feel were:
L I B E R A T I O N
A S S U R E D N E S S
S U P P O R T
Participants had to live within Canada
Be interested in improving their credit, debt or learn about financial literacy
Domain knowledge could range from novice to expert
Income could not exceed $80K
Participants had to be between the ages of 25-55
Secondary Research (Emotive)
When a design presented simplified data in grouping like a guide, used familiar language that was approachable and moved away from financial jargon, and incorporated a lighter colour palette, a higher number of users would rank the design higher than the control. In vivo, these designs would record participants identifying key themes of the platform such as goals, financial literacy, community and emotions we were looking to illicit: confidence, motivating, supportive.
Comparative Usability Study: Information Architecture
To better understand how we could improve information being surfaced appropriately in improving the learning curve of our platform, my next comparative usability study looked to map what our participants’ mental model of the dashboard looked like and how it would change with a guide. Participants were asked to run through an FTUX of a static dashboard image focusing on findability, usability, comprehension, and behaviour.
The goals of this research were to identify:
C O G N I T I V E M A P P I N G
A F F O R D A N C E S
E A S E O F U S E
When the design applied groupings based on the F-Shape framework, a higher number of participants presented a congitive mapping that aligned with elements that had strong relationships to one another. This presented with a higher number of participants ranking these designs as easier to use and comprehend. The emotional impact defined from the first study was further reinforced by improving navigation, groupings and UI elements that were familiar symbols to correlate relationships between objects.
Prototype Evaluation: Content
To better understand how we could improve our recommendation system to further personalize and support our users who identified the information hard to leverage, the study aimed to evaluate the First Time User Experience of our existing recommendations. I focused on mapping out happy and negative paths of potential data states, task completion, progression modeling, and how reward indicators changed users' sentiment.
The goals of this research were to understand how our recommendations were performing through a:
C O N T E N T A U D I T
P R O T O T Y P E T E S T I N G
Our platform lacked sufficient content to achieve our desired engagement numbers when an audit was conducted. It was evident that a publishing strategy needed to be established with the Marketing team and Business Analyst. Developing smarter recommendations released as actionable tasks that refreshed in a weekly agenda ranked high amongst participants and task flows clarified areas of improvement to clarify first-time users and novices.
As well, including motivational triggers to reward after time-intensive tasks are completed, had users ranking the overall experience higher. In conclusion, the agenda content strategy I proposed to the team was to build a habit loop and ensure loops can be completed in a progression from novice to fluency or time driven.
Sharing Findings & The Feature Roadmap
After processing my findings from the three key areas I tested: Emotional, IA, and Content, I was able to provide the team feedback and clips from the study. This helped the team in finalizing key features to develop for our roadmap to improve information finding, confidence, and engagement. Over the next 4 months, I'd work with the BA and CTO to define the scope for each feature and set a timeline for launch. I also worked with Marketing and Customer Success to review new content and behaviour for our task recommendation engine and finalized all high fidelity designs for Engineering. For every feature release, I worked with the Engineering team to do UAT cases and report bugs to ensure we released a stable product.
While this project is still being monitored, early success has been measured with some of our redesign objectives. As we continue to refine our content and platform, I look forward to developing an assessment of how well our content is performing, speaking to customers about their progress, and diving deeper into task analysis and goal-oriented habits that will define stronger behavioural cohorts for long-term retention.