Finmo

Finmo is a web app designed for mortgage brokers to process deals online.

Finmo is an off the shelf solution that allows mortgage brokers to be able to offer digital applications. Through it they can request, review and process applications, documents, insurance and credit checks. I thoroughly reviewed and reworked their existing prototype, then drove it towards a v1 release.

The Finmo team hadn’t engaged with a designer prior to my involvement, so as well as the challenge of working on the project, there was the added task of selling the benefits of having a designer involved, and building a design culture within the wider group.

By involving them in the process; getting to see Invision prototypes, seeing how the design developed, discussing user feedback and so on, the Finmo team weren’t just excited to get the evolution of the app, they had been excited by the entire process, and, had faith in the results.

One of the drawbacks of their previous approach, essentially the first version of Finmo was cobbled together from various other sources, so, for example, when they’d needed to build navigation, they had taken inspiration from Intercom, for the document management section, Trello, and so on. This led to a rather disjointed user experience, and, created odd pressures within their team. Essentially, what had been used as inspiration was what had been deemed ‘cool’ at the time it was needed. I noted this meant that whenever anything ‘cooler’ was found, there was immediate pressure in the company’s comms channels to adopt the new thing. In short, because no real process had been followed, there was no faith in the product. When the inspiration was no longer the coolest navigation or the coolest contact form, they wanted rid of it. Happily, this behaviour has completely disappeared from the company’s culture.

I’ve also helped to introduce proper user research, while limited by being on a different continent, I’ve given advice on how to conduct user interviews, encouraged use of A/B testing and other work to help ensure product decisions are being made with as much evidence as possible.

The original version of Finmo. It suffered from a number of issues, primarily a navigation that made it very difficult to move between tasks, and a method of interaction that relied heavily on numerous, often very large, modals. With user research at this stage already pointing towards a demand for a mobile friendly version, it was not in a state where this would be achievable.

What has followed since my arrival was first, a review of the existing work, secondly, redesigning as much as possible within the scope of the MVP, which I helped to encourage, in order to get the app towards it’s full public release in January 2019.

Since then, working in an agile fashion, my goal has been to steadily improve the UI and UX of Finmo, both in terms of adding additional features, and enhancing the elements that were essentially reskins of what the team had. For example, features that previous utilised modals are being replaced with new variants that will be more easily adapted into a fully responsive layout in future.

Moving forward, the goal will be to complete the steady move away from the original design style, heavily based on cards and modals, towards one that is more flexible and more user friendly. For example, the introduction of onscreen instructions and Intercom clickable Help tours have markedly reduced support calls. Additionally, more advanced features are in development; automated document requests, more advanced admin tools to manage multiple teams etc.

Agency

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When

Q3 '18 -

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