Designing investment at Naranja

Case study and Product (UX) design exercise at the candidate selection process of Tarjeta Naranja, January 2019.

Gabriel Yesuron
Aug 25 · 11 min read

Hi! My name is Gabriel Yesuron and I’ll be guiding you through how I executed the design challenge in the candidate selection process of Naranja, a well-established Argentine bank.

But first let me introduce myself: I have a degree in industrial product design. Currently, I am working as a user experience designer at San Cristóbal Seguros, one of the largest insurance companies in Argentina.

In the past, I worked as an industrial designer in the IoT industry, developing smart-home appliances. Also, I co-created an urban backpack brand call Unfold. Before San Cristobal, I worked at Moka.tv as product designer for Boligmesse.no and Hudya.no, a multi-service supplier with a wide range of products such as telecommunication, banking, electricity, and insurance.

If you’d like, you can see my linkedin or mi webpage Yesuron.com.
Let’s get into the case study:

1 — Introduction

Problem statement

The design challenge brings up this problematic:

According to a survey, 6 out of 10 Argentines buy dollars or term deposits. But these options depreciated in the last year. The Stock Exchange performed better, but only 8% chose it. One of the problems detected is the lack of financial education in the population.

At first sight there were key points that caught my attention:

  • “ 6 out of 10 Argentines” → Refers to the whole population.
  • “buy dollars or term deposit” → 60% of Argentines do either one of these forms of investment.
  • “Stock Exchange performed better” → relatively compares with buying foreign exchange or term deposits in the last year.
  • “but only 8% chose it” → 8% of argentines operates Stocks Exchange.
  • “Lack of financial education” → The reason why people do not invest in stocks that have a better performance.

Formal request

Based on the problem, the design challenge states:

“Design an experience for a person’s financial education. It may include investment advice, expense control and what you think is convenient to maximize incomes.”

Therefore, in order to solve the aforementioned problem, it was requested to design an experience for financial education.

Thus, it is assumed that for clients to make profitable investments, it is necessary to provide educational experiences that allow them to make more informed decisions regarding the management of their capital.

2 — Research

Product context

To work on the problem, I considered necessary to execute a research on investments and the business context of banking products to reach solutions that adapt to clients and the business’ needs.

  1. Deepen on users and their behaviors:
    What market segment is it? What profiles do customers have? What banking products do they consume? How often do they operate / enter home banking? What income do they have? What proportion do they allocate to investments? How is their family formed? How old are they? What do they do?
  2. Deepen regarding investments and capital management:
    What types of investment exist? How do they perform? What do they depend on? What risk do they have? By what means are they made? What is their liquidity?
    Inquiry on: term deposit, currency exchange, bonds and shares (The Stock Exchange)

Deepening on investments

To understand more about investments and banking products I met with two experts: Maxi and Juli. They are accountants who work in San Cristóbal within the Young Talent program. When I received this design challenge I knew they were the ones to help me because of their profiles and interests.

Juli, Maxi and I.

We got together for lunch and I asked them the questions that seemed relevant to the problem and thus generate a conversation.

The talk started very technical but shortly after we managed to understand what was the scope on which we had to work.

They told me that the banks’ businesses are mainly cash flowing, but giving clients investment options generates a plus in fees, commissions and other concepts that end up being even more profitable. Also, they have to comply with the competitiveness of banking market products.

They made me understand that people who invest their capital using an app offered by a bank probably is not an expert investor. And, in order to explain to this non-expert people that may want to invest leftover money, it is better to reduce investment options to 4:

  • Term deposits
  • Currency exchange
  • Mutual funds of investment
  • Stocks and Bonds

They told me that these tools have certain variables that could be of interest to decide which one was right for each investor:

  • Yield / Interest rate / Amortization
  • Investment horizon
  • Rescue term
  • Currency
  • Implicit risk
  • Subscription type

Deepening on users

If I were working in a context of financial products I would have consulted with different areas to get a glimpse of the kind of users that consume banking products, how they use them, what types of investment operations are the most executed and how they link to customer profiles, among other things.

Interview insights

As I did not have that possibility, I decided to run rapid semi-exploratory ethnographic interviews of approximately 15 minutes following the topics of the conversation with the experts. I wrote a script to support me during interviews.

After 11 interviews, in which I learned about personal finances, I was able to identify some patterns, needs, pain points and insights that suggested me 4 archetypes:

  • Non-investor
  • Small investor
  • Medium investor
  • Great investor

Among the relevant Insights, were the low saving capacity, the need to offset the loss of capital due to inflation, ignorance and distrust of the Mutual funds of investment and the stock market, the tendency to make real estate investments, which were the usual interactions with banks, Argentina’s politics and economy impact on people’s pocket and their attitude towards financial matters.

Archetypes

Archetypes are fictitious people that represent the different hypothetical types of users a service has. It is a useful tool when designing interfaces as they give a human face to the whole User Experience, also it serves as a reference for product and design decisions.

When we define archetype we describe:

  • Their goals— What are they trying to accomplish?
  • Their motivations — Why are they trying to accomplish that?
  • Their expectations— Which are the desired outcomes? how should the experience be in order to achieve their goals?
Archetypes of non, small, medium and great investor.

User journey Home banking

After the interviews, I was able to identify the most common uses and journeys of banking digital products:

Selected user: Small and medium investors

In order to provide a customer-centric experience, I choose two archetypes to be the intended users of the solution for the problematic.

Even though small and medium investors have different incomes and behaviors, they way they interact with banking products, home banking, and investments in general is pretty similar.

As for the non-investor the lack of resources dismisses them as the user of an investment financial education experience. In other words, they have other issues to worry about.

Regarding great investors, their broad investment and financial knowledge would take too much effort in order to be upgraded. Surely they have read Karl Marx or Adam Smith.

Opportunities:

  • Provide basic and advanced investment information.
  • Give tangible insights about economic variables.
  • Instruct with the practical, relying on the theoretical
  • Generate triggers with insights within the usual operation flows

3 — Strategy and Key Results

Key Results

Having understood the commercial context and the current user experience, and before starting to devise, I will establish some key results.

What do I mean with key results? Key results are part of a product strategy framework created by Google called OKR (objectives and key results), the idea is that once a goal is established, and paraphrasing the design challenge:

Design an experience for a person’s financial education. It may include investment advice, expense control and what you think is convenient to maximize incomes.”

Some key results should be set, so when the solution is designed and delivered the team would measure its impact in order to know if they have meet business and user experience success criteria

Possible key results:

  1. Increment investment tools conversion rate by 10% of home banking users that have never invest.
  2. Increment successful investment operations of new clients by 3%.
  3. Channel 5% of regular home banking operations into investments flows of user with x behavior.
  4. Channel 5% of users that recently invested on term deposits or foreign currency to mutual investment fund or stock exchanges.
  5. Increase by 10% the invested amount on [controllable segment] in [measurable time period]
  6. Score a C-SAT or CES of 4 points on mutual fund investment or stock exchange flow on [controllable segment]

4 — Ideation

How might we…

In order to start the ideation process I reframed , insights, needs and pain-points into a series of ‘How might we…’ wich would allow me to set them as challenges. Then, with a red dot I chose the challenges that seem to me that will have more impact on the OKR.

I did a fast-paced ideation of the possible solutions to those challenges.

Selección de iniciativa

Using a matrix I selected the initiatives to cover, understanding which actions were simple to execute and would bring the greatest impact on the business and experience.

Storyboarding

Time is short and, sometimes, it is difficult to agree on a vision. Telling a story always helps to propose a hypothetical scenario in which we can all visualize the impact of our ideas. In the post-it you can see the needs and OKRs that this solution impacts.

5 — Ejecución

User Flow

To begin with, it is necessary to think about the steps by which the user will navigate in order to achieve his goal, in this case: compare and make an investment.

The Flow starts from a banking product where the user has a balance, a banner introduces him to how his returns would be by investing in a mutual fund of investment.The user then enters the functionality that, in an agile way, allows him to change the values knowing how his yields and interests would have been to have invested in x past period. By choosing one, he would be redirected to the flow by selecting “operate investment”.

6 — Validación

User testing

I organized a user testing session to see how well the proposal performed.

I gave them as context that they had been deposited their salary in their bank accounts and that they wanted to see the account balance, once there everyone chose to interact with the simulator.

In the user testing session I captured some insights on what wasn’t clear and had to be improved. Users also had concerns and made suggestions on how the proposal could be improved.

introducing to Stakeholders

On the other hand, the stakeholders (Do you remember Maxi and Juli?) Made me some technical corrections and proposals for improvements so that the product is clearer and more concise at a business level.

7 — Iteration

Stakeholders’ feedback

While all types of investment can be settled in pesos, not all share the concept of “bailout” Each type of investment has its form of liquidation.

In my initial proposal the various types of term deposits were not considered: they exist in Argentine pesos, in US dollars and, in some banks, with some type of return on benefits system as, for example, airline millage.

Insights recompiled at user testing session

#1 What is “Investment Horizon”?
Some users do not understand the terms of the variables. I incorporated an access to a brief explanation of the term.

#2 what is this? this result plus this result?
The initial proposal under “resultado al dia de hoy” the solution showed the initial investment plus interest but was not clear. The amount of the initial investment was added.

#3 mmm… what does this mean?
The users of the test had many doubts about the terminology, so I extended labels such as “intereses”(interest) and “operar inversión” (operate investment) for “intereses obtenidos”(interest earned) and “realizar inversión” (invest)

The most interesting insight that emerged from the user testion session was that, although they liked being able to raise hypothetical situations of the past and see the results, what interested them most was the possibility of simply comparing those results and, also, being able to see how those investments evolved in that time period.

This new proposal includes the ability to select various types of investments and compare their results, returns, variables and evolution over time.

8 — Takeaways

We are coming to the end and I would like to express some ideas and lessons that personally led me from this design challenge

  • The entire process took me 3 weeks at an estimated average of 6 hours per week
  • When I started the challenge I had no idea about investments and had only bought dollars, today 4 weeks later I have several active financial investments!
  • In my experience, having an interdisciplinary team with different perspectives to execute these types of excersises is essential to obtain good results
  • I would love to know how this proposal had an impact on the Key Results
  • I’ve wanted to do a storyboarding for a long time, it’s like adding empathy to a flow chart, I loved it!
  • I would love to design and show high fidelity prototypes and interactions, but I decided not to do so to give the whole protagonist to the process.
Full process on my apartment wall.

Well, that’s all! I hope you liked this case study.
I invite you to see my whole portfolio at my webpage:
Yesuron.com

If you liked it, don’t forget to clap 👏 and leave a comment!

Gabriel Yesuron

Written by

Totally nerd UX and service designer @ Grupo San Cristobal

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