An interview with our Digital Designer – The importance of user design experience

Created by
Laura Hillhouse
November 25, 2019

Soar’s technology is not only designed with the experience of our credit union customers in mind but also their end-member experience too. We spoke with our Digital Designer who has explained to us why the user journey is so important for both our customers and their members. She also fills us in on why our team work so hard to make our design as responsive and as user friendly as possible. When asked what is most important when designing the member journey, Alex told us:

 “Defining the user persona.

To be able to create a bespoke product, we need to set the goal for three macro interactions: the journey into the app, through the app and after the app. What is our goal? What are the user’s issues with the existing process? How do we want the users to behave? How intricate can it be? How achievable is our goal? What will the response time be?

The only way we can find out these answers is by creating a user persona. In the design world, a persona is a fictional character created based on extensive research on the type of potential users.

I would definitely say this is the most important step when designing for the member journey since it can help us find the user’s pain points, empathise with the situation and get into the correct mindset before starting the project.”

The effect that the app will have on the user is something that we strongly consider in the design process. We need to think about how the useris going to react when they see our platform. Alex said:

“I really think that design has a huge impact on the experience of our users.

Although this is quite a new term in the industry, I think user experience has been around as soon as we started inventing ways to make our life easier.

The kettle you’re using? It was ergonomically designed through the years to heat water as fast and effective as possible. Your office chair? It was built to guarantee comfort and a healthy posture. We are surrounded by design and user experience. We all know there are good chairs and not-so-great chairs, and it’s the same when it comes to the app industry.

The more time, effort and research we put into our app, the easier the process gets for our customers. Personally, I am a big advocate of the quote “less is more”. At the moment, we are surrounded by intricate, poorly functional and old systems that desperately need a refresh. That’s why we’re here – to make it simple for everyone.”

Alex works very closely with our development team to make sure our app and platform look great as well as remaining functional and consistent. We asked Alex what she considered important for a user experience perspective when working with our developers:

“A few of the key components of UI/UX design are consistency, familiarity and simplicity. We had to keep them in mind all the time, so we can create an engaging and intuitive app. Consistency brings our brand together and separates us from our competitors, while also working on the current accessibility and legibility issues.

Familiarity reduces the learning curve of the client and makes some of the actions intuitive, which is a good thing especially in this industry – we want our clients to focus on the process itself rather than dedicating too much time to it. The simplicity factor is also crucial when the users need to fill in intricate forms; that’s why we planned to design the app based on functional minimalism, which is critical on mobile devices especially. We don’t want to overwhelm our users, so they can navigate our app in a simple and time-efficient manner.”

Encouraging engagement on the app is also key. So, how did we make this possible?

“We made some changes that impacted the user-friendliness of the app.

One of the things I wanted to pay attention to was making people comfortable with our app and inevitably with our brand. A lot of apps have a clean and responsive product. But in this day and age, this is not enough – we worked on displaying helpful and friendly micro-interactions, like icon animations and tutorial screens. Recognising and embracing the human element in this industry is definitely one of the key factors to win and keep our users happy.”

Design for user experience is not just important for our platform, it’s important to any app. We think about this a lot at Soar as we want our app to look just as good and provide as great an experience as some of the rest of the top apps on your smartphone. Alex told us why design is so important in any app or industry:

“Although sometimes overlooked, good design can polish an app and bring it to the next level.

When setting a project’s priorities, most of the time we think about it from a technological standpoint. But more and more people started to realise that design and technology are linked to each other, they’re like the peanut butter and jelly of the industry.

Design doesn’t only mean art nowadays, it’s not always bold and bright. It’s all in the ability to portray our message in the best way possible. Our goal is to make the financial industry simpler and our app needs an image that can reflect that.”

You should never be in doubt that the Soar team have done the research and work to make sure our app and platform have an amazing and seamless user experience. If you’ve seen a demo of the Soar product, you’ll know that we have put a big focus on this. If you’ve not, now’s the time to see what we have to offer your members!

Arrange a time to talk with us and we’ll tell you how your members can get the best out of their online experience with your credit union. Contact us, here.

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