Brokerage Mobile Site
An accessible mobile brokerage site intended to serve as the foundation for a new, more customer-centric primary trading platform
A brokerage firm approached Pivotal Labs looking both to change the way it built software and create an excellent product in their mobile web space. Rarely updated and lightly used, they identified this corner of their crowded digital ecosystem as an opportunity given that (a) the existing experience was dated and difficult to use, (b) most supporting APIs already existed, and (c) improving it could help them sunset their native tablet app. Notably, the mobile web site was the most ADA compliant and needed to remain that way.
With our stakeholders, we decided to focus on the following goals:
A foundational platform that will evolve to simplify the prospect and client experiences behind a single, unified browser platform
Adopt agile methodologies to deploy fast, subtle, and iterative enhancements instead of big bang changes
Extend our digital reach by enhancing the mobile web experience
Enhance portfolio & market monitoring
Offer basic research and trade validation
Support transactions (e.g. trades)
Remove barriers to engagement (incl. accessibility)
The team consisted of 2 Product Managers (client & Pivotal); 2 Product Designers (client & me); and 4 Developers (2 client & 2 Pivotal). My role ranged from research and UX to visual design and design system refinement.
We conducted interviews with eight mobile users over the course of two days to discover insights and problems associated with their investment and mobile habits, prioritizing the following few:
I don't get notifications from [client] about key info or events
I want to learn more about investing but I'm not sure how
I don't have time to find information because there's too much
I look at basic market info about securities
I like visual information (e.g. charts)
I'm less interested in the day-to-day trading and more into long term positions
I'm also listening for market trends
I invest in what I know
Converting the findings above into "How might we...?" statements allowed us to identify as many solution ideas as we thought possible. Helpfully, we settled on a single key scenario to encompass what a seamless experience would feel like to our user; this helped limit the scope our ideas.
We synthesized our design studio outputs on the whiteboard to align on a design approach and focus on the user flow and its key features.
The best way to understand whether a design is working is to put it in front of people and have them try to use it—even if it's just a simple, click-through prototype. We put our designs in front of five customers to determine what was working and what was amiss with our consolidated solution. This feedback helped us improve our initial thinking and de-risk our eventual development.
All told, on this project, we conducted 5-7 rounds of testing to cover such feature sets as viewing positions, searching for companies, accessing news about a company, creating & managing watch lists, and buying/selling equities. Screenshots of our beta site are below.
This project ran for approximately 5-6 months. At the end of the project, the Pivotal team went back to the client's headquarters for 2 weeks to help get them set-up and learn how to amend the process to best fit their home context.
The MVP Beta site launched to the public several months after we completed the engagement, and went live in February 2018. In the first year of operation, it earned over $10M in trading revenue. It's been deemed a great success, and in the intervening years has become the base of its next generation web experience intended to sunset its main web application. As of this writing it is still under active development.