Designing a Financial Wellbeing platform
Figma, Typeform, User Interview, Maze, Dovetail, Miro, Adobe Analytics
Aviva MyWorkplace was designed to allow customers to see and manage their employee benefits. With a growing focus on increasing value and engagement, a financial well-being experience has been introduced.
However, there is currently no mechanism in place to identify what the user is worried about or needs help with, in order to navigate them to the relevant financial content and tools.
The starting point
Existing data shows a low engagement with the current wellbeing content library. Research suggests that users were overwhelmed and didn't know where to start
Even though Aviva offers a vast array of useful contents and tools, such as Budgeting with Open banking, finding the right ones is time consuming, complex and confusing
A personalised experience for the mobile app that will recommend and suggest more relevant content based on what the user needs help with
Providing a valuable financial resources for corporates
Choosing Aviva as the pension provider means corporates can offer their employees a trusted and free resource of guidances and tools to help them managing their money.
Helping to leverage the OneAviva reputation and trust
Aviva will build trust over time and therefore, customers are more likely to consider Aviva for their consideration in other products, such as insurance, mortgage and investment
Phase 01 - Discovery
Identify & validate user needs
Validate our initial assumptions around jobs to be done, pains and gains
- 15 interviews across different segments
- 2 surveys (293 responses in total)
Phase 02 - Execution
Test, learn, iterate, repeat
Validate the solutions with usability testings
- 4 rounds moderated tests (6 participants each)
- 10 moderated interviews (290 responses in total)
Phase 01 - Discovery
Common themes from user interviews
Qual research key findings
In order to validate the findings from user interviews and mitigate any potential biases that may have arisen in the initial stages, I conducted a survey targeting users who currently have a digital workplace pension app. The key takeaway from this survey is that 92% of participants expressed a positive response towards the concept of a single app that allows them to track and manage their pensions, access helpful tips and guidance, and utilise budgeting tools to enhance their finances.
Focused users for MVP
Shifting from segmentations to user needs
I collaborated with the researcher, Scott Elder, to synthesise the data provided from Aviva, with three different segments: Hectic Homes, Stepping Up and Restless Ambition. However, after conducting the first round of qualitative interviews with 15 users across different segments, we decided to simplify the user groups into two categories based on their pain points, needs, goals, and motivations. This decision subsequently enabled us to challenge Aviva to shift their perspective from a features-first mindset to a users-first mindset.
Primary users, who lack financial confidence
By targeting the MVP to users that are less confident about their financial situation, Aviva is offering support to those customers who need it most. This group also makes up the largest proportion of Aviva Myworkplace users.
Goal: To feel in control of their own financial situation and be less worried about money
Needs: To be directed to where to start, with very clear, tangible instructions on how to improve the current situation
Must: To be guided with small steps at a time
Value: Security, relevancy and empathy
Secondary users, who are more confident with their financial situation
Being generally more comfortable with their finances, these users are looking for tips and advises to make the most of their money. To them, financial wellbeing means that they can maintain a desired life-style, prepare for unfortunate events and still be able to make their money go further.
Goal: To have the control over finances and being able to plan for the future
Needs: To gain more knowledge and always be in the known with the news when it comes to finances
Must: To be encouraged to learn more with in-depth information
Value: Privacy, content variety and trusted content
As a part of the product strategy, I conducted a competitor analysis to uncover the potential opportunities to help our product to stand out and the technology requirements.
Based on the analysis of our competitors on their Financial Wellbeing space, it is clear that they offer little to no sentiment capturing in their user flows. While indirect competitors like Monzo, Money Saving Experts, and Emma have a more conversational tone with less jargon than our direct competitors, there are still very little to none empathy offered within the journey. Therefore, helpful content are still discovered more implicitly. This presents a significant opportunity for our product to delight and empathise with users.
By establishing experience pillars in advance, the sprint kick-off becomes smoother and setting objectives becomes easier. This approach assists in managing stakeholder expectations and ensures that efforts are not spread too thin while striving to achieve all the established goals. For this Financial Wellbeing experience, there are three pillars that I identified and brought them into sprint planning, which are shown below:
Phase 02 - Execution
Known design challenges
While Action Planning remains the dominant feature within the app, as it offers higher level of personalisation for users, the Financial Wellbeing can only deliver a higher value by providing a unified flow where all other features are centralised, that means users should be able to effortlessly switch between tasks or delve deeper into topics that are matter to them. This approach not only encourages user engagement but also entices them to revisit the app.
Based on the insights gained from the initial content audits, and user interviews, I redefined the sitemap for the app to provide more entry points and connections between different features.
Usability tests showed that topic keywords had different interpretations for different people. Therefore, I tested various versions of the keywords to identify the most intuitive option. Subsequently, I conducted card sorting workshop and testing to categorise them into a logical structure. This process ensures the creation of an effective and user-centric topic hierarchy.
Onboarding with personalisation
One of the most important challenges is to design an onboarding process that addresses the support users need when accessing the Financial Wellbeing tab. Since users have already gone through an onboarding process to use the Workplace app initially, introducing another onboarding can easily become a pain point. Therefore, this onboarding needs to be quick and efficient while still capturing their needs and providing guidance on what to do next.
Capturing user's situation for action planning suggestions
In order to assist users in creating an action plan with incremental steps, additional information is needed from them. However, it could potentially be a pain point if users have to go through the questions again.
Nevertheless, during the initial ideation workshop, I came up with the concept of incorporating a swiping left and right mechanism to provide relevant "fun fact" statements based on recent financial reports instead of multiple choice questions.
The new execution has received highly positive feedback and showed significant user engagement during usability testing.
An example of how the new statement structure looks like for "Pension & Retirement"
Topic keyword evolution
When talking to users, I realised that the most important aspect to topic wording is that customers understand what content sits behind each topic, as keywords meant different things to different people.
I have collaborated with Douglas, the product manager to run four rounds of unmoderated tests on Maze with a number of varieties of topic keywords to land on on wording that worked across the board.
One of an important key take takeaways is that some topics are time-sensitive e.g. Cost of Living. It also has a strong overlap with Household Bills, but users resonated stronger with Cost of Living at this specific time.
Prototyping & usability testing
Clickable low-fi prototypes
During the early states of process, I created low-fidelity prototypes with all branding removed. This was done to ensure that we shifted the user's focus onto the journey rather than getting distracted by visuals. Due to the fast-paced nature of the sprint structure, prototyping had to be done quickly in order to launch the test with the researcher as early as possible. This allowed us to allocate more time for iterative improvements for the remainder of the sprint.
For moderated tests, I took notes during each session to collect feedback instantly, analyze it, and plan an appropriate design approach. Most of the time, I found the iterative to be more desired than incremental approach, as it would reduce later development effort.
Clickable hi-fi prototypes
Once , I started to focus on developing a more defined UI that aligned with Aviva's branding style. Specific questions were asked during the tests around illustration styles, the usage of emoji icons and the look and feel in general.
As the journeys has got much more complex towards the end, I started to see more limitations from Figma in generating a realistic prototype. This led me to contemplate alternative prototype tools, such as ProtoPie or Azure, for future projects. Below is an example of the amount of effort required to create a part of the user story on action plans.
Refining visual design
Once the final sprint was done, I took two weeks to refine everything. I went through all the design components to make sure they were consistent and connected to the design system. Since I had planned for this process from the start and regularly tidied up the UI after each sprint, it didn't turn out to be a major effort in the end.
Below are some UI examples of the user journey:
As part of the deliverables, I structured all new components and UI elements in accordance with the established OneAviva existing system. This ensures that each component, along with its variants and interactions, consists with the required guidelines. Additionally, I created comprehensive sticker style sheets to provide clear explanations of how the components function for the developer handoff.
Tone of voice
Tone of messaging needs to match user's financial situation and how they feel when using the app. Being overly cheerful doesn't work for someone who is struggling financially, and being too sympathetic can come across as patronising. It's all about striking the right balance.
Making users think
Walking users through financial statements makes them to think. It guides them and makes them reflect on what they truly need. It's a big step forward for users because it empowers them to be more involved in the process and make informed decisions.
Reassurance can help users to feel better about their current situation and encourage them to work on it. Also, many users don't track their total income ands expenses. Understanding these key points and addressing them is vital.
Providing immediate benefits like personalised insights or real-time savings tracking is essential to keep users engaged and prevent drop-offs. Meeting this need for instant value is important for the app's long-term success and user satisfaction.
Providing a loose structure can help offering multiple approaches for users to choose from. This allows users to find the method and types of content that suit them best so that they learn as they go.
The whole 14-week sprint was intense for me, but it was such an amazing opportunity to work on something that can really make a difference in people's financial wellbeing. It's the most rewarding feeling. And getting positive feedback from the stakeholders just shows that the journey was worth it.
When designing, it's essential to have a future-oriented mindset. Financial wellbeing serves as the initial pillar of overall wellbeing, with the possibility of additional pillars to follow. By considering the broader context and anticipating future needs, we can create designs that can adapt and accommodate future developments. This proactive approach ensures that our design solutions remain relevant and effective as the concept of wellbeing continues to evolve.
Every stage of the design development process needs to be validated with customers. By involving customers in the validation process, we can gather valuable feedback and make improvements along the way. Ultimately, this helps us create a design that resonates with our target audience and delivers a better user experience.
Above all, it's important to build trust and empathy with users. Establishing a genuine connection helps create a positive user experience.