Financial Portfolio Viewer

Portfolio Viewer.png

Problem Space

At Pivotal Labs, I worked with a small team to help a financial institution build a successful product and learn how to build software fast. The financial portfolio viewer functioned as a dashboard to help financial advisors make decisions for their clients by staying up-to-date on research and ratings changes. 

There were multiple layers of complexity, because our team needed to think about three user groups: the consultants at the aforementioned financial institution and the clients of the consultants (who fell into two groups: wealth management advisors who invest wealthy individuals’ money and advisors who manage 401k funds for large corporations). Adding to the complexity was that, before coming to us, this financial institution had previously released several failed portals that had caused many clients to lose faith in their digital presence. When they arrived at our doorstep, they were already suffering from losing RFPs due to lack of a platform.

Personas


Design Challenges

BringING Clarity to Critical Information

Due to the previous failed portals, most consultants had resorted to sending information to clients via email with lengthy, attached PDFs. Digging into these PDFs, we discovered that much of the data was superfluous and information was not separated into digestible pieces. We experimented with stripping out icons and data before putting it in front of users. In many instances, the users didn't notice information missing, which brought to light how convoluted the information was. 

The current portal is not easy to access, and information is not up to date. I want a one-stop-shop that’s simple and easy to navigate.
— Client A
I’ve found workarounds [with my consultant]. He sends me emails with the research that used to be on the portal. But I don’t like receiving it piecemeal.
— Client B

Additionally, iconography was confusing and critical information was hidden in text links that led to a glossary. It was important to clean this up and surface information.

We iterated several times on the designs by pruning unnecessary information, perfecting the type of data presented to users, solidifying the visual hierarchy of information, and selecting appropriate iconography/graphical. We then began increasing the visual fidelity of the designs so they were presentable to users. We used the following methods throughout the design process:

  • User interviews

  • Lo and hi-fidelity prototyping

  • Usability testing

  • Problem space prioritization

  • Persona creation

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RecruitING More [CONSULTANT] Users

Consultants at this particular financial institution were anxious about about the idea of showing yet another portfolio viewer to their clients due to the previous failed attempts. Additionally, there was some fear that the technology, if successful, would replace their jobs. Because of this, we faced a lot of challenges up front when it came to securing interviews and user tests with them. It was critical to get their input as we designed and built the product so we could ensure that we were iterating in the right direction. We ended up being successful using grass-roots efforts and creating videos to "market" the technology to them.