SWBC Investment Advisory Services

BESPOKE FINANCIAL TOOLS + BRAND UPDATE

THE WORK

This project is a hybrid of UX/UI design and art direction, encompassing re-design and feature additions for existing materials and financial tools, as well as designing and building totally new reports and tools.

The goal of this project was to update the look, feel, and function of an existing sophisticated suite of bespoke financial tools for financial professionals and retirement plan clients. This also included development of new tools to fill previously identified gaps in SWBC’s suite of report offerings and in response to client feedback. A secondary emphasis was placed on improving the efficiency of internal data gathering and entry and eliminating redundant tasks and information between tools.

Because these tools had previously undergone all phases of the UX process, the initial Phase I research was still valid and did not need to be revisited apart from soliciting feedback and new ideas from primary users. My role was to oversee, direct, and design the project through all phases.

This project illustrates my process in relation to how feature work and new reports can be integrated into a suite of existing financial tools.


Phase I: Discovery + Ideation

  • Previous research gathered in the initial Phase I provided the basis for understanding and working through phases II and III.
  • Three years of ongoing client surveys and internal and external feedback identified specific areas for improvement in existing tools as well as requests for improved reporting metrics, particularly by long-term clients. 
  • As clients became more financially aware and retirement savvy, they began requesting more sophisticated tools, particularly for participant education purposes.

Phase II: Interaction Design

Create workflows

  • Based on data from previous Phase I research as well as ongoing client feedback, we took a critical eye to existing processes in order to functionally and visually streamline the entire suite of SWBC's financial tools and client-facing materials.
  • Reports needed to be comprehensive enough for financial professionals to use and to satisfy significant legal requirements for fulfilling annual due diligence measures, but appealing enough to be easily understood and appreciated by users across all types of industries and levels of retirement savviness.
  • This obviated a need to integrate comprehensive financial data with an appealing color scheme, intuitively organized information, simple graphs and white space to break up dense blocks of data, and periodic text blocks to explain key themes and concepts.
  • All tools had to integrate seamlessly with existing automatic data feeds, including quarterly fund information updates from Morningstar Direct and client plan data from their respective recordkeepers.

Designs were created in Excel, Publisher, and Morningstar Direct (with select tools built out into web applications)

  • Build wireframes and hi-fi prototypes for new reports.
  • Re-design of existing reports.
  • Strategy and design of participant education materials.
  • Strategy and design for new sales decks.
 

Phase III: Implementation

Design changes rolled out to all client reports and tools

Client reporting tools tested by final users

  • Internal investment advisors reviewed all client reports; weaknesses and reporting errors were tweaked and re-tested.
  • Developed a plan to continuously test integration of new designs with existing data feeds over time.
  • Comprehensive check to maintain that complex formulas and commands were maintained.
  • User training provided for investment advisors to understand enhanced features and learn new tools.

Final products released for use and integrated into all presentation decks