Reliance Smart Money: Redefining Investment category
User Experience, Productisation
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 organise 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
The initial days of creating an innovation are always quite daunting; starting points and those “wow” moments are fuzzy and un-discoverable. At Think Design, we always believe in a structured approach to creativity and that’s why, more often than not, we are in a position to discover unique insights that are important… they don’t get rubbished as silly ideas precisely because of this!
Information Architecture is key to success of E-commerce portals. This being a investment platform visualised as a e-commerce portal, required specific attention to IA. While the main menu addressed modules (Stocks, Mutual Funds, Insurance) that would be on top of the mind of users, it also made way for differentiators like Baskets which was the defining feature of this product… at the same time, top position went to search (most critical in this proposition), cart and user menu. IA was consciously made simple to address the needs of a time challenged user.
Investment portals are dime a dozen. We needed to innovate in order to stay above the crowd. As user centred practitioners, our inspiration for innovation would come from the users first. Thus, our creation of user personas, journeys and mental models started… they further helped in identifying the gaps, creating propositions and architect a future with user at the centre. A detailed study of competitors (usual suspects) helped us stay on course, while product definition was the key takeaway. At the end of it all, we looked at making the entire user journey of understanding and using investments absolutely easy and memorable. Reliance Smart Money would be a e-commerce-ization of investments and that formed our foundation.
Another key aspect for success of internet portals is the way we design navigation. Without creating communication clutter, the home page has direct product communication bringing the proposition to the forefront. As user browses the home page section by section, product benefits are revealed to lure the user into buying.
Critical to UX was the way investments are featured/ listed. As you go inside baskets or investment products (stocks, mutual funds), options are shown as cards with filters to the left, much like popular e-commerce portals. It took huge amounts of efforts in iteration, simplification and design visualisation to arrive at something as simple as this.
Our key focus was to onboard new-to-investment users in addition to seasoned investors. Insights module gives much needed knowledge on research calls, reports, news. Apart from this, significant efforts went in defining learning module that feature classroom style content and also becomes a doorway to webinars and events.
Baskets feature was visualised as a pre-packaged investment baskets based on investment products, trends, themes, sectors and categories. By using baskets, users can now intuitively purchase handpicked investment products.
“Meet our Stock Expert” CTA right in the first fold of the home page opens up a conversational interface that would throw open options to the users based on their inputs. While search and browse functionality helps users who are aware or seasoned, Expert adviser caters to those who are seeking inputs based on their context.
Another initiative to making this product successful was to make it accessible through a host of browsers and devices. Visualising and designing for responsive layout has its own set of challenges that we overcome through design approaches. Information visualisation and representation came to the forefront due to this unique need.
Visual branding is key to achieving credibility and reliability, this being a financial product. In our productisation journey, significant energy was dedicated to defining visual elements, styles and interactions that act in coherence to the product proposition and brand ethos. The resultant manifestation is a no-nonsense, clean, uncluttered, pleasant and highly usable product. One important element to this effect was introduction of “recommended” stamp on stocks that Reliance team would recommend to its users. This would also open up monetisation options in the future.
Reliance smart money was launched in October 2017.