In January 2015 I was approached by the first social lending platform in Spain to design their product. The goal of the project was to design an easy to use, consistent and reliable website that users felt they could trust and were happy to use for investing their money.
This was my first freelance project as a visual and interaction designer after completing the Vostok program, one of the most reputable interaction programs in Spain.
Until then I had worked as an Art Director for advertisement agencies, as a Graphic Designer for branding consultancies, as a Motion Designer for broadcasting companies, and of course, as a Visual and Interaction Designer.
This experience gave me the tools to use to achieve the project goals, as I will demonstrate.
On the other hand, I had no experience with financial products, so I had to take the time to understand the needs of those using the products and to acquire basic notions about general finances.
For the client, despite their experience with other financial products, this project was their first involvement with a digital product. That’s why one important part of my work was “didactic” in the sense of helping them to start considering design as added value.
Their lack of experience with this kind of project made it difficult for them to conceptualize from wireframes and established our future workflow. In the first phase we defined the content and functionalities of each screen together, using just a pen and paper, and in the second phase I created hi-res wireframes which were very close to the final design.
When I started the project there was no investment but the famous FFF (friends, family & fools) so we needed to develop a minimum viable product, which meant: no time for responsiveness, either for design or development, there was a need to focus on the core functionalities and the added value, and a very fast execution time.
On the other hand, there was the possibility to be funded, so the design had to be ready to grow fast and easily in terms of functionalities and features, and with not much effort it should be capable of being responsive.
- To build a brand and a website able to retain the feeling of security and reliability, putting distance between the perception crisis that affects “traditional banking” and adding new values such as honesty, freshness, sociability, etc.
- To build a system that allows us to answer present needs but also contemplates the possibility to grow quickly and that can be adapted to all kinds of devices.
- To build a transparent, easy to use and aesthetically pleasing financial tool.
In order to rise to the challenge I used the following elements:
- A simple and fresh brand that is even playful: the first letter of the name reminds you of a percentage symbol, which links with the loans, profitability, etc… You can check more uses of the brand here.
- From the elements of the logo I created an iconographic language that will help to communicate certain concepts in a simple and quick manner.
- Color as information, not as decoration. The color range used keeps the interface harmonic so we can contrast important elements easily and use the color to provide certain information.
- Friendly tone of voice that engages with the user.
- Clear messages and a typographic hierarchy that helps the user to identify the main messages and actions.
- Descriptive “Call to Action”
- Modular system that anticipates the possibility to grow and provides a clear way to build new elements.
- Progressive discovery, initially there are just a few options and once you start using the tool you discover new features.
- Micro interactions are used to engage users but also to provide feedback about your actions.
- Photographic style. Focus on the social side of the product.
The project has been in development longer than expected, so not having seen it online makes it difficult to come to any kind of business or use conclusions. However, there is something I can tell you: personally, this has been a great opportunity to work on a project with a lot of challenges: starting with the need to acquire basic (sometimes not that basic) knowledge about finances and concluding with delivering a consistent final product that is flexible enough to continue growing.
I hope it will be online soon, but until then, you can view the nearly complete site here.
Thank you for your time.