User Flows to Make your Money Work Harder
User flows are a fundamental part of every effective UX design process. They are the paths that users take in order to accomplish a specific goal, be it verifying their ID, making a payment, or anything else. They are crucial not just to great product experience, but also to reputation. Quite simply, they can make or break your product. A good user flow is directly related to greater ROI.
Take newsletters. Unless you are really into the subject or a particular author, or that top-shelf incentive just cannot be ignored, chances are you won’t subscribe. But how about placing a little quiz first to make sure the newsletter is truly a match? Lead your prospects through a discovery journey that addresses their needs smoothly, and you bring them much, much closer to becoming devoted customers.
How about financial applications? What benefits can be obtained and - first and foremost - how do you design an effective user flow? What are the key ingredients here? Can it be done in a limited amount of time? We answer all these questions using the example of a project done with our client, Poplar Money.
Creating a cohesive user flow in two sprints for Poplar
The 6th of July, 2022, saw a bunch of interesting events held in Warsaw. With the enfolding warmth on backup, the “Fairy Tale Fiesta” organized by Teatr Kultureska, the Sculpture Park walk titled “Lines, circles and squares”, or the “Smells and Memories” workshops were all the more captivating. Suffice it to say, the circumstances couldn’t have been more inspiring for us to happily submerge in another ingenious project as it was on that day that we met Poplar’s founders to discuss our support with product discovery options based on their recently revamped product design strategy. How did it pan out?
Poplar is a working capital automation service that allows users to generate a yield from their idlunderutilizede cash automatically.
With Poplar, users can discover how many underuterilized financial resources they have, choose how they want to invest them, and withdraw the profits the idle cash has generated. To us, Summer and passive income come together hand in glove. We were thus on cloud nine (or should we say: ten?) to start working on a project by which companies can reap bonus money: be it for their holiday plans, upgrades, or further investments.
The outcome of our collaboration was to deliver a set of user flows that would allow users to automatically generate a strategy that would influence how their idle cash is invested. Our UX team had two weeks to prepare an intuitive prototype based on information gathered from the client in order to later validate those assumptions - just like our design sprint approach assumes. Additionally, we were also asked to conduct a UX audit of the whole platform and seek where user experience improvements could be made.
Our client had extensive knowledge about the market, had conducted focus group research, was aware of the market competition (which wasn’t significant) and wanted to gather this information into one cohesive concept.
The entire investing strategy building through the application demanded a clear and secure framework with an improved UI that would put the user in control of their funds. Due to time constraints, we decided to make the first sprint all about preparing and conducting workshops in order to consolidate the essential inputs that the client had.
We needed to establish a common understanding about the project's objectives, constraints and context, elicit company’s values, and set goals of the product discovery phase. The second sprint was all about creating the prototype/flow and seeking out the UX recommendations as well as searching for future improvements on the features we have been working on.
Sprint 1. Client workshops
Our collaboration began with 2 day workshop sessions where we focused on collecting as much information about the client's idea and his business goals as well as his motivations and needs. Due to time constraints it was also important to establish efficient ways of daily communication as well as feedback sessions and settle on a set of deliverables.
We specifically wanted to know:
- What is the goal of the application as a whole?
- What is the customer segment?
- Who is our persona?
- What users’ problems does the app solve?
- How do they currently approach solving those problems?
By asking those questions we established that we are looking at tailoring solutions for our audience who are business owners of small to mid-sized businesses.
They want to make their businesses sustainable and scalable and look to expand their businesses by getting more cash via idle cash investments and use it as a safeguard against inflation.
Importantly, we needed to make sure that users should feel in control of their funds at all times and be aware of what is happening in all the screens. So our job was to convey complex solutions and translate them into understandable language to people who are not experts in finance but are conscious about their money.
During our second workshop we applied a brand sprint tool which helped constitute the identity and voice of the company. By doing so, we were able to establish the most important values that Poplar follows and desires to maintain. We also listed traits of the competitive landscape both in terms of features and brand itself in comparison to similar ventures, which helped us establish a couple of good design practices that our client wanted to introduce in their solution. All of that enabled us to go further with the design proposition.
Sprint 2. Working on deliverables
After the workshops, we started to analyze all the inputs we had managed to gather during the first sprint and began to build the prototype in a very lean fashion (fast, experimental and in close contact with the client). During the scheduled feedback rounds we consulted our ideas with the client and in collaboration with the UI team that was also engaged in the project.
The design sprint 2.0 approach proved to be a real empowerment tool. We could take a close look into other core sections which needed improvements. Effects? Tweaked information architecture of the app on the global level, which helped establish an easier-to-navigate solution, and a better way of scanning essential data.
Like in a clockwork mechanism, every decision that was made was evaluated with the previously established goal in mind to make the flows and user actions transparent and easy to understand in order to diminish the stress and anxiety that comes into play with big money investment that the service handles.
On top of that, we introduced solutions such as box information, contextual copy and an FAQ section. This was done in order to provide the user with an informative user interface - an easy to navigate space where they could allocate their money and withdraw the yield.
Our top tips for you
One of the top challenges that we faced during the discovery process was the short time span that we had for delivery. The second challenge was incorporating the UX team’s workshop analysis into the branding that the UI team had worked on.
If you’re embarking on a similar Sprint journey, here are our top tips:
- Devote time to organizing an effective Sprint planning meeting. This is particularly useful if you have a tight deadline and sets clear expectations of what each team member needs to deliver.
- Involve the entire team (and the client’s team) from the outset. It’s essential to make sure that everyone is on the same page, and avoids miscommunication further down the line.
- Clearly define what ‘done’ entails - work together to define what exactly is needed for a sprint to be successful.
In the case of our work with Poplar, the key success factor was in the early days of collaboration: the workshops which set the tone for the entire project, smoothened communication and allowed us to gather all the information that was needed to deliver the end result. We hope you found this write-up useful and we wish you similar success on your journey!