Lead Product Designer

for Mediated Customer Experiences

Design Principles

As the lead designer for advisor experiences, I was acutely aware of the results of an ad-hoc approach to creating these experiences. To raise awareness of how we could improve them and the benefit to the business as well as our customers, I created design principles and evangelized them internally.

  • Confidence in the tool: Are advisors confident that the tool won't betray them, give them inaccurate information or set them up to fail in some other way? When the advisor seems hesitant, or even expresses doubts, perceived confidence plummets.

  • Personalization: Does the system give generic answers, or are they specific to the customer's circumstances?

  • Relevance and timeliness: Is the information that the system serves up relevant and timely in the context of the customer's concern? E.g. if someone calls with questions about a 401(k) loan, that's probably not the right time to discuss increasing their contribution. 

  • Speed: Does the system respond quickly enough, so that advisors can reply to the customer's questions in a timely manner? If not, they may have to put the customer on hold or talk about the weather to avoid awkward pauses.

Concept: Perceived Competence

The concept of perceived competence helps people understand how advisors' experience affects customers' experience. From that point, it wasn't hard to infer that improving the advisors' experience, would also improve how customers perceive the company.

Perceived competence is obviously influenced by how knowledgeable advisors are about finances. But apart from that, it's also influenced by design and development. Here's how:

  • Flow: Do advisors have to work against the system to satisfy the customer's social expectations? E.g. we can put the form field for a person's name before the field for date of birth, because that's what most people expect.