Design saved a company

NOTE: First published on the Fjord #Slush14 minisite as a part of our #livefromslush campaign.

Re-designing personal banking and financial services has been an on-going trend for a few years now. One of the newcomers on the field is Tink, a personal finance app that reminds me a bit of services like Mint or iGaranti. I cannot comment on the app itself, but what really struck me was Daniel Kjellen’s presentation at Slush was the role of design in turning a good business idea into a viable one.

Daniel told a compelling story about their relatively new company that was on a mission — like others — to transform the personal finance space. They wanted to make personal finance planning and tracking less boring. As he pointed out, banking services have very often been designed by industry experts as tools they could use themselves. So they are not that user-friendly for the rest of us.

Kjellen said Tink was getting 10 or so users a week with a small percentage of returning users when they launched. They realized they had to do something. Fast. They hired a designer. They infused their R&D with design thinking. They went mobile because that was where their users were.

That decision saved them: they went from 10% percent retention to topping the charts at a whopping 56% of returning users — All because of design, understudying the user needs and reflecting that back to their product. They became a design driven company that creates products that are meaningful to the end user.

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