Fincompare is an online B2B platform that allows small to medium businesses (SME) to request a financial loan directly from banks and other financial institutes without waiting more than a few days, and without going through complex bureaucracy.
The design team's main challenge at was to convert a dusty backstage admin tool into a user friendly SaaS platform, which will be used by different user groups. Having part of the users in-house allowed us to adapt the new platform to the users needs, preforming various user research methodologies.
The platform, released as an MVP in 2017, suffered from lack of functionality, inconsistent UI which made the users relay more and more on the backstage tools, their notebooks and scattered information which made its way in team emails.
While the flow of internal users was long, complicated and involved an unreasonable amount of manual interference, external users would get completely lost, and data showed that processes were abandoned after a short amount of time.
Working in a fast-growing startup brought in additional challenges such communicating the importance of research to the management and establishing feedback-seeking relationship with internal users. It required managing stakeholders in a different way to the one they were used to, management team and users alike.
While the latter was solved by delivering user experience workshops and learning sessions, my relationship with the internal users of the platform was built via feedback sessions that were held on a weekly basis. The main conclusion became clear pretty quickly: users are encouraged to use the Fincompare tailored platform, yet are constantly drawn back to the backstage tool because it provided them with a clearer workflow.
"You will not believe the time I spend inside salesforce, Gmail, my personal notebook, my personal whatsapp and the admin tool. We possibly have a platform but to be honest it only serves 30% of my workbench".
"Working with the current tools combined, my biggest challenge is to onboard new colleagues. Without a proper workbench, it is impossible to project confidence. New starters see this and get the wrong impression of the company".
1. Feature request: the matching engine
A matching engine, like Tinder but for SME and Financial institutes;
Just as easy as being matched in a dating app,the financial advisors will use this feature to match SMEs with potential financing institutes; using this tool, the advisor is able to inspect the probability of a pairing an SME with a compatible FI, based on individual rules and criteria which will be fed to the engine's database.
Shorten sale cycle = increase closed deals = grow revenue
Reduce communication with financial institutes = we give better service to our partners
Reduce manual actions = increase employee's happiness
A place where we can see accurate matching probability between an client and a financial institute, relying on pre filled information.
All rules and criteria are ideally taken under consideration.
Data/KPI - (per sale cycle)
Monthly revenue: [NDA]
Communication touch-points with FI: 5 mnts
Time on Task (matching action only): 40 mnts
Monthly revenue: [NDA]
Communication touch-points with FI: 2 mnts
Time on Task (matching action only): 0 mnts
The first mockup and it's problems
This legacy design prototype was made without a designer. It gathered the basic requirements but was not at all suitable for our users.
I was happy to have a basic model to jump start the research for this product, and after holding a few usability tests and interviews, I came down to these pain points:
The prototype is only showing one single match result for one single request, we need to see multiple requests along with their matching results in order to give the SME high-quality service.
In production, the dialogue box will be loaded with information, maybe 10 times as much, therefore this component does not make any sense.
It is missing critical information which the user needs to know right away, before beginning to analyse the screen.
We must have an option for bulk options.
So many colours! It is hard on the eyes.
User centered MVP
This design tackles the users’ main pain points and offers a flexible viewing mode;
The collapse panels contain the most relevant information which the user needs to see right away.
There is a designated section for notes, an option for batch selection in order to send multiple inquiries.
The panel to the left provides the option to generate a demo and see what results will be given if the financing amount is higher or lower, the same with a payment duration or other criteria that might be flexible.
2. Feature request: view historical data
The more we know - the more we sell;
Having an overview of the company's financial history will provide Fincompare's financial advisors with more information that could be utilised to closing a deal and will also save time and hassle for both sides in collecting this information.
The challenge was a conceptual one as well as a technical one: the input fields we were using were too clumsy to be used side by side as rows or columns, and there was a demand from the user side to have both “Balance” historical data and “PNL” historical data.
Each of those two has time frames that need to be adjusted, and the more requirements I gathered - the more complicated this task appeared to be.
In this feature, the majority of research time was spent on figuring out, along with the developer, what sort of table would meet the user's needs, as the needs were many:
Inline editing, option to add adjust criteria for information types, option to view selected or expanded the amount of data, option to add data.
And the toughest constraint: each object must have its own time frame moderated in a modal. The models change according to unique data sets.
Because of business constraint and a shift in the company's roadmap, the MVP we thought of remains the final version for this feature
3. Syncing salesforce to the platform, starting with lead qualification
One of the goals the company set for 2019 was to slowly reduce the use of external providers such as Salesforce and slowly integrate the features they offer into the platform.
The incoming leads were the first object we integrated; leads were handled in salesforce, whereas the rest of the communication was done on the platform.
Interviewing Jacob, the pre-sales manager, I was facing a critical request from his side: The checklist which appears on the salesforce platform must move with us to the new design.
Filling it is important to make sure the pre-salespeople insert all the information which is required to qualify a lead and thus generate a request.
This action contributes to the mundane practice of the pre salesperson and brings with it many errors, so it will be nice if there was anything rewarding on that screen.
The checklist in Salesforce: items are randomly grouped, and the mundane actions are discouraging.
In order to group the items in a way that would make sense to the users, I gathered the pre-sales team for a card sorting session, which resulted in three groups of items:
Company Details request details and user details.
Each checkmark filled is followed by progress in the progress bar. Mandatory fields would be a blocker and will not allow the qualification button to be active.
Once the lead is qualified, a pop up will request confirmation for this irreversible action of lead qualification.