Careers in FinTech: Designing great experiences

Author: Shekhar Lele

In the FinTech ecosystem, the end goal is to develop innovative products to help solve customer problems and offer an unparalleled user experience. As there is limited scope to differentiate the core features offered, businesses have now turned their attention towards the creation of a seamless, customised and intuitive workflow that minimises the time and efforts spent on executing a transaction. The role of a user interface (UI)/user experience (UX) designer has thus become pivotal.

What makes this role at FinTechs exciting?

UI/UX designers across the world are expected to adopt the principles of ‘design thinking’, which has evolved into concepts such as product design and business design. This approach assesses the business context and user state of mind to develop innovative solutions which go beyond the traditional mind-set of designing. At a FinTech firm, a UI/UX designer needs to be conscious of certain key dimensions while designing products.

Key considerations for UI UX designers at FinTechs - FinTech careers

Key considerations for designers at FinTechs

Understanding the journey through an illustration

The first step is to grasp the differences between UI and UX. A great experience is not just about an attractive appearance. While a great UI helps make the product aesthetically appealing, the UX ensures a seamless end-to-end customer journey across intuitive screens.

As great design produces a tangible and visually appealing interface. Let’s consider the lifecycle of a hypothetical product to understand the job responsibilities of a UI/UX designer at each stage of development.

Product overview

Consider a FinTech firm that specialises in offering credit facilities to students during their academic journey wants to tap the youth early and tap unconventional data sources to offer attractive educational loans.

Let’s now assess the activities of a UI/UX designer in the entire product journey.

I. Understand business context

The days of a UI/UX designer joining the project task force at a late stage and jumping directly into design are over. The UI/UX person now involves himself/herself at a very early stage in the product development lifecycle. S/he is expected to be a part of initial ‘ideation’ sessions to understand the critical business requirements. As per a PwC point of view, asking the right questions is critical to get meaningful insights.1

Understand business context - Asking the right questions upfront

Asking the right questions upfront

The job of the designer becomes simpler once s/he gets these insights. We illustrate sample inputs in the current example of student loans.

Understand business context - Capturing business requirements

Capturing business requirements


II. Critically analyse user persona

One of the key asks from the UI/UX designer is customer empathy—understanding the end user traits to provide a great transaction experience. The target segment in this case—students—is quite different from other users:

Role of UI/UX designer - Critically analyse user persona

Understanding the end user persona


III. Conduct research

The third step is to conduct primary and secondary research across the market and within the organisation to check for existing offerings. This will serve as the foundation for the next stage of actual designing.

Role of UI/UX designer - Conduct in-depth research to check for existing offerings

Conducting in-depth research


IV. Develop information architecture (IA)

The next step involves creating the IA, which will determine the ingredients of the product. The missing piece in the puzzle will then lead to the final and most critical stage.

Role of UI/UX designer - Develop information architecture (IA) for design

IA for design


V. Actual designing

A typical design undergoes multiple stages before it is finally handed over for development.

The end goal of designing is creating a data-driven story which the user will be ready to be a part of. A design is termed as great if it is able to communicate the idea and offering to end customers through a great storyline.

A great story is not built in one shot, but undergoes multiple phases and iterations. A few of these are shown below:

Role of UI/UX designer - Actual designing

Steps in designing


The final product

The end product must capture the end-to-end journey of the student, spanning multiple stages:

Role of UI/UX designer - Understanding the journey of the end consumer - students

Understanding the journey of the end consumer - students


Exam preparation

XYZ FinTech
From under 19 to a legend
Dream big!
Dream big!
Easy, hassle-free lifetime login

Eliminate student’s pain point by having an easy login process through a simple UI.

XYZ FinTech
From under 19 to a legend
Make your parents proud!
Get started now.
Relieve your parents of the burden of financing your big dreams.

Motivate students by displaying in large font how parents will benefit.

XYZ FinTech
From under 19 to a legend
Give it your best shot!
Enrol now.
Select coaching and avail offers based on scores.

Motivate students that test scores bring in more than just admission to a good college. Use innovative data points for credit rating at the back end.


Admission process

XYZ FinTech
From under 19 to a legend
Conquered
Admission process
Apply now.
Based on scores, a loan of 10 lakhs is waiting for you.

Delight students with instant loan provisioning. Customised offerings – no need for students to explicitly apply.

XYZ FinTech
From under 19 to a legend
Conquered
Admission process
Upload documents.
Got admission? Congrats! Tell us a bit more.

Provide easy uploading option to proceed. Emphasise absence of manual work. At the back end, automated checking of college reputation and optical character recognition (OCR) reading of admission letters.

XYZ FinTech
From under 19 to a legend
You are on your way
Admission process
Refer now.
Loan approved. Tell others and claim benefits.

Again, motivate students to recommend the offering to others by visually displaying benefits in terms of lower interest rates, loyalty points, etc., in actual numbers.


College days

XYZ FinTech
From under 19 to a legend
Magic in progress
College days
Upload now.
Performing well at school? Claim benefits.

Motivate users to perform well in academics by rewarding them with incentives. List down areas they can score on.

XYZ FinTech
From under 19 to a legend
Magic in progress
College days
Check out on-campus financing options.
On-campus purchases burning a hole in your pocket? Allow us to help.

Mobile solution to provide an end-to-end solution without the need to navigate to some other app.

XYZ FinTech
From under 19 to a legend
Magic in progress
College days
Set up now.
Instantly set up EMIs and claim instant rewards.

Create a habit of on-time payments among students to boost healthy collections.


Transitioning to corporate life

XYZ FinTech
From under 19 to a legend
Entering the big league
Transitioning to corporate life
Start now.
You have done a great job. The loan to your new firm is approved.

Seamless integration with corporates for transferring loans and for a seamless and smooth transition to the corporate world.

XYZ FinTech
From under 19 to a legend
Entering the big league
Transitioning to corporate life
Link multiple accounts.
Time to relieve your aged parents of all burdens?

Again, cash in on the motivation for users. Provide a complete interactive dashboard on how students can manage their finances.

XYZ FinTech
From under 19 to a legend
Entering the big league
Transitioning to corporate life
Explore home and car loans.
Ready for the next big step?

Show attractive offers in the personal consumer finance space.


Long-term healthy relationship

XYZ FinTech
From under 19 to a legend
We are happy to help!
Initiate a video call.
Book a cab.

Incorporate a map displaying all banking touchpoints and options to interact.

XYZ FinTech
From under 19 to a legend
We are happy to help!
Long-term healthy relationship
Ask our robot.

Students are tech-savvy. Embed chatbots to answer their queries in real-time for a superior experience.

XYZ FinTech
From under 19 to a legend
We are happy to help!
Long-term healthy relationship
Learn, unlearn, relearn.

Leverage a student’s habit of messaging and gamification. Create communities and interactive leader boards to help generate sustained usage of the solution.

End-to-end student journey for educational loan offerings


Thus, a UI/UX designer has to paint the story while addressing the requirements of all stakeholders along the way. Based on customer feedback, s/he needs to make changes quickly to suit their requirements.

To summarise, a successful UI/UX designer will need to ensure that the following checkboxes are ticked.

There are no specific academic or professional criteria for a UI/UX role. The person’s job is create great, sustainable experiences through seamless, smooth, intuitive workflows that are customised for the target audiences. The person needs to be cognisant of changing business needs and the level of customer tech-savviness to help the product remain relevant and contribute to the business growth of the FinTech.

Sources:

  1. Sinha, P. (2018). How imperative is Design Thinking? Forbes India. Retrieved from http://www.forbesindia.com/blog/technology/how-imperative-is-design-thinking/ (last accessed on 07 March 2018)

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Vivek Belgavi
Partner, India FinTech Leader, PwC India
Tel: +91 22 6669 1734
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