Interact is a range of products for the financial service industry. Intelligent Environments sells these as white-label products which are then customised for clients from a range of financial service providers such as Toyota, Sainsbury's Bank and Think Money. I was asked to head up the strategy for a year long piece of work to improve the user experience across the products.

To start with, I looked at our current products and came up with some core values. There were values that would help us decide where to focus our efforts and also what qualities we would hold any future work up to.  After some brainstorming, the three values I decided on were Fresh, Tailored, and Human. 

This was all about making our product fit for today's market. We got some designers and product people in a room and brainstormed some keywords onto a whiteboard to help us decide on the visual direction for the product. They included words like SIMPLE, BRIGHT and CLEAN.
One of the challenges we faced was the current corporate brand wasn't flexible enough to really cope with the way we wanted to demo our products. After some discussion with Sales and Marketing teams we felt creating a new 'demo' brand would help us achieve this better. That's when 'Effortless Finance' was born. We could use the name in a variety of ways for the different products we had, or the different industry sectors e.g. 'Effortless Motor Finance'.

Every customer is different and their financial situation is different. Therefore I wanted to take this into account in various places in our products. One such area was when showing a summary for an account. Different types of accounts need to be presented in different ways. Furthermore, each account will be in different states depending on various factors like time of the month. Take for example a credit card which has billing cycles. Sometimes a bill will be available, and other times it will just be analysis of spending for the current month.

It was really important for me that we truly understand our customers. That we put ourselves in the minds of our customers to provide the very best experience for them. Our Collections product is about collecting money from people who have built up debt with their financial provider. Understanding how someone from deep amounts of debt problems feels and behaves is vital to providing an experience that helps them out of that situation. We spoke to a number of debt charities and visited call centres. This helped inform a more conversational approach and a tone of voice which matched the compassion and urgency we needed to show at different times in the experience.

Current site analysis
We mapped each of the values above into a spreadsheet to help inform which products, and which areas of each product we were more behind in and which would benefit from some investment. We also did this in parallel with key stakeholders from across the business to get a priority of which areas we wanted to focus on.

User Testing
At various stages in the designs we ran split tests to help decide on layouts, flows, and wording of key elements. We also did internal guerilla tests once we progressed the designs. This helped us to iterate things early and make sure we were aligned with our vision.

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