Designing for Financial Enterprise
Investor Management Services (IMS) is a financial tech company that helps commercial real estate (CRE) owners manage their investors, amounting to over $16B in equity. Within a year of joining the company, IMS more than doubled its annual revenue to $2.5M.
UI/UX designer, responsible for the ideation, user experience, and look and feel for several features on our B2B and B2C platforms, on both web and mobile.
(1) Define requirements based on user feedback and stakeholder and subject-matter expert meetings
(2) Design concepts for presentation and usability testing
(3) Refine, handoff to dev, and test with QA.
Defining requirements, stakeholder meetings, design ideating, wireframing, mockups, prototyping, usability testing, documentation, presentation, iteration
Lucidchart, Balsamiq, Sketch, Invision, Atlassian Jira and Confluence
Gave biweekly design inspiration talks, advocated for competitive practices in design, pursued side projects that inspired a refresh of the app UI
Feature Case Study
Tailoring investment data for the summary and detailed view.
As our investment management platform grew, we began to see that our users' definition of an investment was changing. An investment was not a one-time contribution by a single individual, but rather an aggregation of contributions made by multiple individuals over time, dynamic and nuanced. I was tasked with the design for this feature.
Balance of power and flexibility - Users needed to be able to view the aggregate investment, but also be able to dive into the detailed breakdown of contributions and take action if necessary.
Preserving granularity - At the time, the feature was internally called 'consolidation', as a representation of our original solution - consolidating contributions that belonged to a single investment. The trick was consolidating without losing contribution-level details and actions.
Limited screen real estate - This prevented us from significant UI additions, including nested tables or expanding/collapsing panels.
Many entry points - We used business and user feedback to consider several entry points, some as complex as:
What if a sponsor of a development deal (investment with multiple contributions) wants to split the investment between his three children? How would we handle, without true consolidation, the allocation of the investment along with the details that go along with it?
Our solution was to provide a new path for viewing the breakdown of contributions inside an investment, while preserving all actions that were previously possible. Instead of consolidation, we would provide a grouped view of contributions within an investment. We recycled our existing UI components when we could.
Being that we had 9-to-5 users of our platform for years, our design reflected a continuity of the existing platform. We wanted to make the new feature feel like a seamless, natural evolution of the current platform.
The final product was released in Q1 2017 to all of our existing clients. It was met with enthusiasm, especially from those of our clients who could more easily match our platform with their mental model of their investments.
My first steps was to define requirements based on user feedback and meetings with stakeholders and subject matter experts.
Once requirements were defined, I would begin concepting designs, with prototypes to present to the company and iterate from.
After usually several iterations, I would have a finalized design with documentation to handoff to our developers. I would then work with the dev and QA team through implementation, testing alongside them.
Creating a culture for design inspiration
Maintained library of resources for design inspiration
Gave biweekly design talks
Creating onboarding materials to guide users through an application
Owned the design for the first mobile application in commercial real estate technology
A sample of additional features I did at IMS where I was the primary designer.
Context and problem
Duplicate contacts. At IMS, our users would enter in their contacts through a combination of spreadsheet upload, manual upload, 3rd party integration, and they would commonly end up with duplicate contacts.
Tedious data maintenance. Over time, this became a big issue for our customer success team, who would have to comb through and do arduous data entry / maintenance
The executive leadership asked me to create a 1-click solution for merging contacts.
In general, I’m cautious of 1-click anything; what if you had two Ethan Lane’s and they had different primary phone numbers… which would you keep? Would you keep both and then ask which to designate primary?
Identify the most common use cases. Instead of running through endless “what if”s, I began by talking to our customer success teams and figuring out what the most common problems were.
Create a robust set of rules to address >90% of user need. From there, i looked for the best possible default set of rules that would 90% of the time resolve the user need.
I found that our users needed to trust that they wouldn’t make a mistake and lose valuable data.
I created several iterations, including this one (below), which would allow you to row by row, compare any conflicting fields, say for example the primary phone numbers are different, select the one to keep, or override both.
My final iteration follows the use case that there is typically a master profile that has accurate data, but is missing some additional data from a duplicate profile.
Transparency to build trust. For complete system transparency, the rules are displayed in the collapsible dropdown panel. You can designate a master profile, and are given the chance to preview the final profile before merging.
The feature was developed with success, and saved our customer success team hundreds of hours in data maintenance.
The biggest challenge was pushing back on the company asking for ‘one-click’. The final product is still one path, but with increased visibility.
Being in this space made me think about, how might we prevent users from creating duplicate contacts in the first place?