Fidelity International provides investment solutions and retirement expertise to institutions, individuals and their advisers around the world. Bringing together savings and pensions expertise with world-class investment choices to help build better futures for their clients.
The project was to review Fidelity’s, Workplace Investment (WI) website, specifically the ‘Flat site’ (before login). The goal was to deliver the most effective and engaging experience for the target audience whilst providing them with guidance and support, helping them become financially smarter.
The project was split into two stages (discovery and design) allowing progress to be shared easily with Fidelity and clear deadlines to be agreed. It was my responsibility to decide the approach over these stages and to complete the work needed. I used UX theories and methodologies to guide my decision making and explain the work I was producing.This included, but was not limited to:
During the agreement of the project it was explained that Fidelity had already completed research and they were confident that there was no need to repeat this process. This meant the only interaction I would have with the target audience would be one round of usability testing near the end of the project.
I was to fill this gap with the knowledge of key stakeholders, analytical data and previous research. It wasn’t until the project had started and I reviewed the analytics, I discovered the data was up to 3.5 years old and was mixed from two different sites, meaning that not all the analytics were relevant and could lead me in the wrong direction if followed.
Within the list of deliverables previously agreed, there was a mention of a content strategy but the project had no content designer or UX writer assigned to work on this. As I undertook a review of the current WI site, a competitors analysis and researched the industry, it was very obvious that the complexity and scale of the content was vast. The questions were not only how and where to display content but what journey would the content that take the audience on and what did it need to say.
The first stage of the project was discovery. This gave me the opportunity to understand Fidelity as a company, the industry, products, stakeholders individual perspective and the goals of the project.
The approach I took started with planning for a kick off meeting. I then undertook desk research, exploring the industry and looking into Fidelity’s product line, which included pensions, savings and investing.
The kick off meeting was a gathering of 15 key stakeholders. Using a kick off canvas to capture the session I was able to understand key aspects of the project (audience, needs, challenges and constraints etc) plus the stakeholders expectations and goals. Facilitating the meeting was a challenge. Not only were there some very strong characters in the room but I was using The Unit’s pre-made canvas which required a different approach from what I had used in the past. However, by completing the canvas I came away feeling that the required details needed to progress were captured.
Following on from the kick off, I wanted to have individual time with the key stakeholders, making sure that they felt comfortable sharing their knowledge and expressing personal opinions, desires and concerns around the project. This was completed over a mixture of face to face and phone interviews, covering a predetermined list of questions and allowing them some time to express anything they wanted to share.
As well as the desk research (competitors audit, data analysis and product research) I wanted to understand the current site in more depth. I create an IA map of the live site. By mapping out current state of play and combining it with the analytics data I was able to gather a holistic view and build journey flows and highlight pain points along these journeys.
To conclude the discovery stage of the project I held a playback session where I presented my findings to the stakeholders. This included stating the current state of play, where and who does it well (in and out of industry) and using ‘how might we’ to explain our approach to the design stage.
The discovery playback helped keep stakeholders engage and give them another chance to express ideas or concerns. I also wanted to get everyone on the same page as individual interviews had exposed different options about what was expect. At the end of the session stakeholders had understood the work I had completed and agreed the how I would approach the challenges ahead.
The next stage (design) was the chance to tackle the ‘elephant in the room’ content. With this being the key to the project but with no content specialist I would need the expertise of the stakeholders to untangle the vast amount of content and to define what was actually needed and why.
To tackle this I planned a content workshop and created design assets to help drive conversations and demonstrate the problems in a clear simple state. I used low fidelity wireframes and a high level IA to convey this. With stakeholders time limited the goal was to capture descriptive section titles enabling me to create tasks and make hypotheses around participants’ interaction during usability testing.
After the workshop I update the wireframes, adding titles. Then I built a clickable prototype using the Global Design System (GDS). I wrote a test script and planned the tasks ready for the usability sessions.
The usability sessions ran smoothly. I had five participants each going through multiple tasks. After the test day, I ran an affinity diagramming session to organise findings and look for patterns of behaviour, pain points and potential quick wins.
Fidelity were provided with a strong foundation to make the suggested next steps in the journey of improving the WI website. Combining a strong IA with a strategy for embedding content, the Fidelity team were confident that they could move forward and provide the target audience with guidance and support helping them become financially smarter.
The site was designed with the ability to expand as the product set grew and with clear directions to help reduce the possibility of the site becoming a large repository for employees rather than a supporting target audience.
If I could have changed anything about the approach of the project, I would have invested more time in demonstrating the need to have earlier access to target audience rather than using employer’s expertise and analytics as the base for solutions. I believe that this would have given us the ability to offer a bench mark that we could have used to compare against the usability testing and to enhanced the content strategy using the mental model of the audience.
With the ability to undergo usability testing, we were able to test our hypotheses with the target audience enabling us to share the work that needed to be completed with the key stakeholders so the 2nd phase of the project could be completed.
For handover, Fidelity were provided with; a playback deck explaining all decisions made throughout the project, a clear content strategy, a full IA map, wireframes, clickable prototype and two high fidelity designs.
“Quite simply, Dickon is one of the best Product Designers I’ve worked with. His repertoire is extensive and he has all the skills and experience you would expect from someone at this level.”
Michael Allan, Senior product designer