Investment portals are dime a dozen. While most of them are highly transactional in nature allowing users to manage and transact, a few others provide very little value to online users allowing them to only view their portfolios online while managing the whole process offline.
Reliance Smart Money was conceptualized as a groundbreaking, innovative and completely online solution that consumerizes complex investment decisions. With this as our mission, we set out for an exciting journey.
A project of a very different nature calls for an approach of a different nature. Whenever we set out to create something groundbreaking, we start our journey by redefining how we organize ourselves first. The starting point for this assignment could be broadly defined as consulting, but it entailed much more. Stakeholders at Reliance and Think Design spent several weeks on workshop, research, analysis, synthesis and documentation that led to a high level strategy document that would define tangible elements of Reliance’s vision.
In order to make our beginning successful, we involved cross functional teams from the very beginning. They included: Product owners, Business owners, Tech vendor, Marketing agency & Design agency. Our very first goal was to lay a set of design principles. Based on those design principles, we would align our initiatives, methodologies, design process and design execution. We arrived at three key design principles:
Straight forward, easy to understand, quick to use, easy to decide… self service that’s unassuming. A platform that does what’s promised.
A platform that would help users make smarter decisions; and that learns from users’ behavior and circle back with relevant choices.
Not just another investment destination… valuable insights, recommendations and metrics. All converging to make users’ time valuable while here.
Based on our core design principles as foundation, we arrived at design methodology that would help us align to the project objectives. At Think Design, we abstract our Methodology as Insight, Strategy and Design. However, how we organize our thinking within these is contextual to the project we work on. In this assignment, our Design principles paved way to identification of those elements that would help us achieve our goals… our thinking was guided by our principles.
A comprehensive research, workshop, ideation and exploration of concepts helped us arrive at key insights… the learnings from these key insights helped us refine our directions and find a way forward. Few of those key insights are explained below:
1. User Profiles
Understanding the users for whom we were building this product was central to our approach. At our core, we were targeting digitally savvy users who would prefer digital media significantly over personal interactions to accomplish their needs.
2. User Journeys
As we delved deeper into User Journeys, we discovered many areas that needed service interventions. This became a basis for aligning our initiatives to user needs.
3. Competitive Landscape
On deep diving competitive landscape, we discovered many gaps that were not seen before. This helped us arrive at product proposition and later, features that differentiated our product vs. others.
4. Ecosystem understanding
Gaining insight into organizational dynamics go a long way in making design intentions penetrate well. As a starting point, we understood and mapped organizational entities and how they relate to each other (or don’t).
STRATEGY & DESIGN
Based on the key insights gathered, our teams worked simultaneously on design strategy and design execution to progressively build a product that users would love.
Looking at the user profile and the product proposition, we considered four alternative approaches to positioning. Through consensus, we arrived at a direction that was in between friendly and precise.
2. Information Architecture
As we were re-inventing the wheel, it is important to make the navigation intuitive enough for the users to understand the product and use it easily. Information Architecture played a key role in achieving this objective.
3. Visual Language & Visual System
Thoughtful iterations went into detailing elements that form the core of our product in its look, feel and interaction. As a result, a consistent behaviour and visual language evolved that is also scalable.
Stakeholder workshop, Competitive research, Product Definition, Design Principles, UI UX Design, Visual System, Front-end Prototyping, Front-end Development, Product Development coordination.
Reliance Smart Money web application was launched to its audience in November 2017. After the success of the web application, mobile apps made the way into the app stores the following year.