Shaping the design for Aitekz Finance – UX Planet
Designed a best-in-class pub-tech product, an excellent user experience, and a powerful, modern visual design language.
Aitekz Finance is a specialist financial startup building an AI-powered platform for Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs). They hired me as the Lead UX and UI Designer for their flagship, pre-launch product. My expertise is directly contributing to a large-scale product launch that will help position Aitekz Finance as leaders in the very competitive wealth management industry.
About Aitekz Finance
Aitekz Finance is a startup business that converts financial information and data into actionable knowledge. They are building a best-in-class wealth management platform that provides IFAs with financial market insight, expertise, trends, and learning. The software uses AI to gather, analyse, summarise, and report on information from across multiple sources, including:
- Public and private equity, debt, and currency markets.
- Venture capital, merger, and acquisition data feeds.
- Government and regulatory organisation data.
- Traditional, social media, and curated news sources.
The platform presents data in a dashboard that IFAs can use to help advise their clients and make smarter decisions to reduce risk and increase investment returns. The software also goes beyond financial intelligence and provides automation, communications tools, learning opportunities, and risk management, all delivered in a way that lets IFAs use data in a fast and effective way with their clients.
Why Aitekz Finance hired me as a design consultant
Aitekz Finance did not have in-house design expertise. They needed a designer who could work onsite with their product team, including developers, project management, and a copywriter. I was also able to collaborate remotely with their executive team.
They wanted a designer who could understand the needs of their unique audience — IFAs and brokers, and who could help develop a high-class user experience across all devices and use cases.
It was also vital to get the platform ready for a large-scale product launch that would position Aitekz Finance as wealth management software experts.
Goals for Aitekz Finance
Aitekz Finance had some clear goals for my work on their wealth management platform:
- Help to establish Aitekz Finance as a leading, powerful, knowledgeable, easy-to-use, AI-driven analytics and management platform for IFAs.
- Design an app that gives IFAs an effective way to expand their expertise, help their clients, and drive business growth.
- Deliver an excellent user experience across all devices and use cases.
- Create a modern visual design language to help Aitekz Finance stand out and that could be applied across future product development and marketing collateral.
- Support an important, large-scale product launch for the platform.
- Help to secure additional startup funding for further business and platform development.
My approach to the Aitekz Finance journey
For Aitekz Finance to get the most value out of my services, it was important to combine my strong interest in finance with my design expertise to break down their goals and drive the design process through logical steps.
Development of user flows based on common use cases
When designing a software platform, it is vital to balance information and activities with the right navigation and flow as the user accesses the software.
This meant we needed to develop user flows for the most important tasks, so we could build a simple, intuitive framework for the UX and UI.
- We started to define specific routes that users would follow in the product as they were accessing useful information or trying to achieve a specific outcome.
- This meant focusing on specifics including screens, features, functionality, and how users interact through the interface.
- Due to the complexity of the platform, understanding the most common user flows was the best way to develop appropriate design and user experience principles.
- We prioritised user flows that showed the platform’s strengths, features, and unique selling points.
As a result of this step, we established key functionalities and how users would access the software. This provided a clear vision for the intended design and helped us understand application and design challenges.
A segment of the Aitekz Finance user flow
Refine the design through wireframing and prototyping
It’s important to give business analysts, developers, and testers early sight into what the finished platform may look like, as it’s much easier to comment on a specific design than an idea. We quickly moved to wireframing and prototyping to get specific feedback to refine the platform.
- Wireframing and high-fidelity prototyping helped us validate user flows and to check how they might use the platform.
- We mapped each user flow out in detail to understand the specific screens and interactions they would use.
- Following this, we iterated the designs with various stakeholders to help us refine the platform UI.
We used wireframing and prototyping across several different areas including the onboarding process, the dashboard, article pages, infobots, posts, and newsletters.
Here’s how we approached each one.
Initial onboarding process design
The emphasis here was on creating a fast and simple onboarding process. Since IFAs are often short on time, we needed to make the process quick, while still gathering the necessary information and highlighting key features. We did this through sharing how Infobots can benefit users and gathering key information to help understand and deliver on IFA goals and objectives.
The dashboard is the entry point into the platform. It needs to be attractive, relevant, easy to parse, and provide rapid access to important parts of the app. We focussed on providing real-time, critical information to platform users, personalising those details, and allowing them to take action.
We started by developing a clear visual hierarchy that broke the dashboard down into easily-understandable, manageable sections. These sections give IFAs the most important access and data they need without having to delve deeper into the app. Familiarity and muscle memory are important to a good user experience, as this helps users quickly find and act on relevant content.
We built common actions into the UI including bookmarking, sharing, copying, and content additions. This was combined with a simple fixed left-hand navigation to provide a common point of reference throughout the platform. Finally, we added a “recommended” section at the top of the app that allows for personalised, high-priority, or other relevant information to be shared effortlessly with users.
Article page design
Article pages provide important context and insight to IFAs, so it’s vital to make reading articles as engaging as possible. We based the design on a grid system that reduced line lengths to optimise reading time and ease. We ran through several iterations of font type, size, weight, and spacing for the perfect reading experience, integrated media into articles, and provided clear CTAs for deeper insights.
Adding and creating Infobots design
Infobots are a major feature of the platform and help users to discover and read the best, most relevant new content. We developed predefined infobots that would be relevant to a wide range of users and provided quick and easy access to popular finance topics.
Users can easily create and customise their own infobots depending on IFA and client interests. Infobots can be defined based on certain parameters including interests, keywords, regions, and sources. We broke the infobot creation process down into simple, logical steps to make creating an infobot effortless.
Sharing posts design
IFAs can create and share posts directly from Aitekz Finance to social media platforms. We designed graphs and metrics to show comments, shares, clicks, and likes over time. We provide suggestions on what to share, when, where, and with whom. This helps IFAs build authority, reputation, and expertise.
This is a proof-of-concept function that Aitekz Finance plans to build on in future. We designed the ability to create professional, branded newsletters to further promote the IFA and their expertise. This provides personalised content that clients can share and enables easy creation through a guided step-by-step process.
Aitekz Finance platform testing
We continually tested the platform with stakeholders and others to make sure it would meet user needs, and iterated on the results. This let us refine designs both across the app and in specific use cases to maximise engagement and customer satisfaction. Of course, this is just a starting point — the nature of platform and product improvement involves ongoing design, development, testing, learning, and iterating.
The results for Aitekz Finance
Aitekz Finance were delighted with the design, development, and functionality of their wealth management platform.
- Creation of a wealth management platform that’s simple, easy-to-use, and delivers user- and context-sensitive information in an intuitive way.
- Workflows that minimise time spent while maximising ease-of-use and access to important features and insights.
- Provide value to IFAs no matter how much or how little they interact with the platform.
- Focus on helping IFAs to broaden and deepen their expertise and understanding so they can deliver better services to their clients.
- Development of modern, functional, user-centric interfaces and interactions.
- Design of a powerful visual language and flexible UI pattern library.
Most importantly, the professionalism and utility of the platform helped Aitekz Finance to raise additional funds to grow their startup further and help them launch the platform.
This project also enhanced my understanding and work with Aitekz Finance including:
- Shaping future design for the Aitekz Finance team.
- The need to inspire IFAs to use their time more wisely in the workplace.
- The satisfaction of working with a client who completely trusted my knowledge and expertise.
- The appreciation of my approach, commitment, and understanding of the design process, and translating this into a powerful platform design.
- Aitekz Finance likely taking me on for future projects.
If you’re building or enhancing a software platform, I can help. I bring truly user-centric design thinking, work effortlessly with your team, and help you realize the results you want.
Originally published at www.simonmccade.com.