UX/UI case study : SENTIFI, Unlock the other 90% of Financial Information.

Part 1: Discovery

Traditional financial information sources gives you only 10% of the available information needed to make good investment decisions. The other 90% are scattered among different media sources including social media.

Sentifi

is a company that provides a modern financial decision tool (crowd-based financial intelligence). It collects and ranks relevant financial news from 5+ million sources; including blogs, Twitter, Facebook and also traditional news.

The tool can inform and alert when there is an activity on a specific topic. In order to do so, it listen to all media sources such as tweets, newspaper article, blog article..etc cleaning up all these informations and keeping only the most relevant one.

The Sentifi team then works behind the scenes to verify their credibility and classify them into thematics that can be related to a brand activity, politic news or a natural event (and many more).

They call the result of this process VOICES.

Introduction

At the time Sentifi contacted us, they already had an Android and an iOS app online but the Android one was not performing well enough. As providing a good experience to users was one of Sentifi goal, they decided to pull it off from the store until it was good enough to put it back.

Though the goal may sound simple to reach, it wasn’t. The most important need was to improve the App so users could get valuable information for their investments.

Strategy

In favor of speed to market, we were tasked to improve the old app in less than 6 weeks. The app was not available anymore for their customers so putting it back online was one of the top priority.

Although we already had to design the new Sentifi android app and hand it over to the Sentifi development team in a short period of time, we decided to take it even further and reduce the development time by using the Android material design Kit.

Discovering the needs

Like any other project, the first thing to do was to learn more about their users, their customer profile, understand their jobs, discover their pains and gains. Designing for something you are not familiar with will greatly impact the result.

In order not to miss any aspect of their customers, we interviewed the different stakeholders and conducted a Workshop with the product owner.

The team classifying the customer jobs

Getting to know the customers

STAKEHOLDER INTERVIEWS / CUSTOMER PROFILE WORKSHOP

In a short period of time, it was clear that their customers were exposed to a high level of stress and anxiety, they would spend hours in front of a screen, and would need to check fast and decide fast.

Well, you could easily say “How can you discover what your customers want if you don’t ask the customers directly?”, meeting customers take times and you may not have this time or even the resources to do it.
Knowing how to digest the different informations coming from the stakeholders will allow you to separate proven facts and assumptions.

Who are the customers ?

The customers are between 30–60 years old, wealthy financially. Most of them work in finance as Trader, Finance Analyst, Fund Manager or Bank consultant. Some of them are not working in Finance but got skills in it and already have made their own investment.

Before digging deeper into their profiles, we had to be clear on all the financial terms, it’ll just put some basic information here :

Knowing that, what does their everyday life look like ?

Well basically, they need to ensure a proper yield for the money they invest. They need to expand their portfolio, avoid risk, track their investment and check facts.

What are the roadblocks and risks?

Investing money have risk, it can either go up or down, knowing how to reduce the risk is a big part of the job. Bad decisions will result in a bad yield and some money lost. To avoid that, you need informations… a lot of informations.

What could be the best gains?

If they manage to reduce the risk and increase their yield by investing in the right corporation at the right time, it would mean more money and less stress.

Make use of what you have

UX AUDIT

After mapping out the customer profile and understanding their pains and needs, we decided to take a look at the current iOS Sentifi app that was still online.

The iOS app was not performing extraordinary but was a good starting point to avoid wasting time and not start from scratch.
We decided to conduct an UX audit based on best practices. We also stepped into our customer’s shoes, looking for some stocks to buy by studying a few corporations.

What did we learn ?

Have you ever heard this sentence ?

“Everybody scroll !”

Well, we totally agree…. But it does not mean that scrolling is the appropriate answer to all needs !

We could find a lot of useful informations in the app and all at the same place but it was just too much.
It was clearly not adapted to our needs as we wanted to check specific information, and even if we knew on which page it was, we didn’t know where it was on the page.

Let’s take an example, when you tell a story, you start by the beginning and you finish at the end (Even if you skip a few pages :) ) but when you’re looking at financial information, there’s no specific order.
You may need informations on stocks and commodities or want to maintain the good shape of your portfolio by tracking the risks.

> Let’s take a use case : Let’s imagine that our customer, a trader, wants to see the “Potential Risk” about “JohnDoe Company Stock Price”. Then decide to check what Eva Carter, a very important influencer, says about it. Finally, just before buying this stock, he wants to watch the last 7 hours price fluctuation.

This is what his flow will look like ->

Beside this, common mistakes were made : the general user experience had some flaws such as guideline issues, flow mistakes, missing feedback and more. Here a range of them :

Terminology issues

The terminology is not consistent, for example, the stocks are called “topic” in a page and “Assets” in another one.

Guideline issues

The UI guideline isn’t clear. Would you say that those two screens are from the same app ? Well they were…

Meaning issues

What represents the blue bar? What is its value? Are the arrows related to stock fluctuation? Those indicators are not clear.

Reviewing the iOS app gave us a good starting point to create the Android one with clear objectives and flows we needed to improve.

Il allowed us to notice that what we seemed to be a good idea at first, grouping all the important information on the same page, was actually causing more pain for the users.