Through a 2-month project, a Southeast Asian cash loan application wanted to gather insights on how to improve their current customer experience while also improving the look and flow of their application based on UX data. *Based on NDA agreement, I am free to share my contribution to the project but I am not allowed to mention the company, their investor or their affiliates.
As the sole researcher and designer, I wore many hats. Without a budget for user research, I looked into other sources of user experience information--through their in-app analytics. I became responsible for interpreting the quantitative metrics and coming up with user flows and designs that will support the improvements I recommend for their customer experience.
What is the product?
The product is an investor-backed, loan application that's used in Cambodia. It's the first in the market there and it is already connected to an e-wallet provider. However, the KYC until the validation is not only tedious but also inefficient. The product was designed taking into account many "good case practices" from so many applications that it became a Frankenstein product, one that did not cater to the needs of their specific users.
What is the problem?
The product team lacked sufficient knowledge in how app-based loans worked and how app-based loans worked and how people interacted. Things needed to be improved but it had to be clear as to what needed to be improved and how. It was my job to come up with competitive analysis, comparative analysis and user experience recommendations.
Jobs to be Done
PRIORITY 1 - Achieve clarity on what works, what needs to be improved and what has to be changed. (2 weeks, 3 different UX Analysis)
The first priority was to understand what worked and did not work in other countries with a similar economy and product. It was important to ground competitive and comparative analysis into applications that were similar to the product. Heuristic analysis also helped me look into the industry standards that they had and had to improve on.
PRIORITY 2 - Product's Specific Users (2.5 weeks inclusive of 3 rounds of research,
Designing based on good case practices leaves out a crucial aspect of UX Design—the “U”! The users! Through user research I was able to understand that the current design did not seem familiar thus it was intimidating, and it seemed too tedious and lengthy to go complete.
This opened the floor for conversation. I came up with 4 distinct persona types each with their own motivations for using the loan app. This directed the design process.
PRIORITY 3 - Designing for the Users based on Data (3 weeks inclusive of feedback from concept, to content and then visual design)
There were so many business bottlenecks experienced because the design did not help them “cross check” or complete the process in an error-free manner. There were many inefficiencies and the overall process was not smooth.
The my engagement with Product Team concluded with
- Metrics - Progress is hard to define if you don’t have the metrics to show. By taking note of the metrics and having hard evidence to show that the drop offs were concerning, this paved way to a better strategic focus.
- Strategy based on Data - Instead of focusing on “increasing sign-ups” it helped redefine the goals to focus on ensuring that the captured market actually convert into customers. There was no point to increase sign-ups when they did not complete the process nor avail of the product.
- Defined User Personas - A loan app that is accessible to everyone still has a focus market. In this case, they had 4 identified personas with specific needs, motivations and ways of being engaged. They had to make sure that these personas were getting the value they need from the app.
- Redesigned Application - From a trendy but inappropriate chatbot interface to a seamless sign-up. The new sign-up flow had a way of categorising and grouping the information required that remedied previous pains experienced, shortening the process but capturing all relevant data.