Company /

Lendhaus

Year /

2020

Type /

Web Platform 

Case Study 

Credits /

Jieun Mok (UX Designer) 

Melissa Yang (UX Designer) 

Uma Wickramaratne (UX Designer) 

commercial lending comparison 

platform

Lendhaus is using advanced technology and data management to bring borrowers, lenders, and service providers from around the globe to the same digital table, so they can easily choose, negotiate and manage.
MY ROLE

As a designer for the Lendhaus team, my responsibilities ranged from being the lead communicator with the client, recruited and scheduled participants, and workshops. We collaborated on the quantitative and qualitative data research, conducted tests, compiled new insights, and iterated new concepts for the second round of user tests.

BACKGROUND
Project - 
A person who is seeking finance for a commercial property feels frustrated about getting a better loan with lower costs and needs to find the right lender to negotiate better loan conditions but faces challenges with different lenders, along with a lack of transparency about the overall process.

Design Process 

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Desktop Research

User Interviews 

Personas

Journey Maps 

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Problem Definition 

How Might We 

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Solutions 

Wireframes 

Prototypes

Usability Testing

UI Design 

Final Design 

Next Steps

THE CHALLENGE

There were no real users or metrics to work from. The general feedback from the stakeholders was the process; Commercial Lending was "too confusing and time-consuming". The aim was to simplify the core experience. A simple visual way to review, compare and rank loan proposals from multiple lenders. To also enable Communications on the Platform including chat, video, audio – Available at all stages and phases. 


The previous designs:

 

 

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The key stakeholder asked our team to make "significant improvements" and redesign/ test the beta product. Up to this point, product decisions were based on what "features" advisors had suggested, with minimal consideration given to the experience of an end-user.

It was clear we needed to shift focus to the user if we wanted to achieve strong results. We started with discovering the needs and wants of a user.

DISCOVER

Real People

We wanted to validate our own thoughts along with our desktop research, therefore we did two days of user interviews with our target clients. Mostly everyone spoke about the process of Commercial Lending, within its technical, hindering, and unserviceable realms. 

 

A few Advisors remarked that they could see a huge potential for Lendhaus was trying to accomplish, not just in Australia but worldwide.

Our biggest takeaways were that we had to simplify the process and focus on the key features of what lenders and borrowers need to make navigating more intuitive.

INSIGHTS

2 out of 3 users compared different banks with best rates and fees

2 out of 3 user suggeseted to negotiate and price match with the banks for better deal. 

3 out of 3 users valued a strong relationship between clients and service providers. 

2 out of 3 users suggeseted to compare different markets and prices in banks

2 out of 3 users expressed their interest to see more engagement

and a seamless journey for the borrower on the platform.

3 out of 3 users wanted to see the different terms and conditions individual banks had.

 
Tim - Journey Map.jpg

Based on our user research, two personas were adapted. Each persona had a scenario that identified realistic traits, the user might have been working with. 

Even though we were given a brief with deliverables, we found we needed to define a problem. Therefore we validated our research and defined our problem statement As you can see we emphasize with the borrower's perspective and the journey they undertake to compare loans.

DEFINE

How Might We

How might we reduce the waiting period for Tim, until he receives a response from the lender?
How might we guide Tim, through an end-to-end process without friction?
 
DEVELOP

Concepts

Okay, How did we get there? We conducted a Facilitation workshop with our stakeholders to understand the priority and thought process behind their solutions. Following on, we drilled into each attribute with specific ways it could manifest in the user experience. This really clicked with the team and helped everyone understand what the strategy meant and what we needed to do next.

PROGRESS BAR

help chat section

videos

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arranging workshops

push notifications

 
DEVELOP

User Flows

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To understand how each solution would look, we developed an MVP Map, which allowed us to focus on the most effective and efficient methods. The User Flows above were a clear and effective way to navigate through the user experience. We started to clearly see how the experience was unfolding. It did take time to understand the clearest way forward, although we wanted to start wireframing and use user testing to influence our thoughts. Metrics was our answer. 

DEVELOP

UX | UI Elements

To assist the process, we looked at precedent UI elements and frameworks. The Design exploration helped us navigate through the visual elements. As a team, we selected elements that fit our design principles to further test with wireframing.  

The PROBLEM(S):

Fragmented experience with a paradox of choice 

information overload, causing confusion

lack of support and transparency

The SOLUTION(s):

A simplistic and intuitive way to request a quote.

Comparison for Lenders with key metrics, inclusive of fee calculator

Internal Chat system not only for in house support but lenders and service providers

We created a set of design principles to unite our design team as we moved into execution mode. These principles were extremely helpful for aligning with stakeholders and justifying the reasoning behind design decisions.

DEVELOP

Wireframes 

"wasn't straightforward as a first time user"

"not sure where to start off, lots going on"

"I think I need help. can I have an assistant?"

"need more guidance to understand which step I'm at."

"want to be contacted by them every week for checking progress"

"not a clear process, want to see each status from the card list"

As you can see, our first round of Low Fidelity testing was more cautious about loans. They felt they needed more education & more information about the service. As well as a consistent guide if it is complicated and  time bound. Users also wanted to see a intuitaivevisual experience, as well as labelling of headings, sub headings etc.. 

DEVELOP

Prototypes

Keeping the user's needs and pain points in mind, we came up with a medium fidelity version, and created a prototype to do another round of testing. This prototype addressed our users comments from our wireframe. 

DEVELOP

Usability Testing

I recruited 5 people to test the prototype. The participants were aged 45 years +

The objective of the test was :

 

  • How easily users were able to request a quote for their property

  • How easily users are able to find the best lender for their property

  • How easily users are able to find an external service provider and quote associated with their fees

  • How does the overall experience feel like

  • What improvements need to be made

INSIGHTS

  • "can't find start button"

  • "that's too small writing"

  • "I wear glasses, I think the colours are too light"

  • "Giving information to my competitors, my business would be damaged."

  • "I want to see them personally for confidential agreement."

  • "Need a signed document rather getting confirmation on the online system"

  • "I can't imagine people using this as self-service"

  • "I don't think this is a realistic process"

  • "Borrower doesn't instruct lawyers, bank will use their panels"

accessibility for

non-digital

generation / seniors

how to streamline on/offline activity

in one space

how to build trust

in online platform

DELIVER

UI Kit 

LOGO 

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TYPOGRAPHY 

COLOUR PALETTE 

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#DEE3E6

#394160

#FEF0EE

BUTTONS

 
DELIVER

Final Design 

Chat Room

Users can now be guided through various Lenders and in-house support, to assist them with the best advice. The in-house chat room is on-demand, allows convenience for users. 

Lender Proposals

Users can receive Lender Proposals in a simplistic view, with Lendhaus recommending what Proposal is best suited. Showcasing key metrics, inclusive of fee calculator while not over-complicating the user experience.  

Debt Tender Quote 

A simplistic and intuitive way to request a quote.

lendhuas .png
DELIVER

Next Steps 

A strategy, a list of tactics, and knowing how to execute them are integral in the attainment of your company goals.

 

1. Test Real People.

Test the long-term features with users, to understand their usage on a daily basis, but most importantly within time restraints.

2. Refinement 

Further, refine the app in regards to the social side- to ensure that it is in line with the goals of the brand and business. Also to further refine the app to ensure a prototype fit for user.

Live Cash Flow Integration

Key decision point for Lenders perspective

 

Borrowers Dashboard

Widgets indicate a positive outcome

 

Further research into creating trust and the following security

eg. document upload, chatroom

 

Follow through guide

eg. Library of selected templates

 

Onboarding

Set the expectations for users, clear and not misleading

 

Forecasting

Users were curious to what this platform would look like

DELIVER

Conclusion 

Our redesigned comparison and request to quote page had 3 out of 3 users stating 'a more intuitive and systematic workflow'. We also received fewer comments about how the platform works, which shows the new design is easier to understand.

This was an extremely challenging project, due to its industry. Within a period of 2 weeks, our challenge was to simplify the jargon within a traditional industry and introduce a simplistic way for future growth. While I was challenged throughout the project, due to a lack of understanding of the industry, the end was successful and very rewarding. 

This project validated the value of user experience design around comparison platforms, and I look forward to applying the same approach to other projects.