The Penfold app initially catered to self-employed contributing to their pension, but with the introduction of the Workplace pension proposition, the existing product had to adapt to accommodate new features.
The dashboard of our app showcased the problem - without investing in exploring the overall Information Architecture and navigation, the dashboard became cluttered, complicating the user experience. Furthermore, the app was later adapted to include a desktop version for Workplace users invited to log in via their work email. However, this desktop version proved clunky, resembling little more than a stretched mobile version.
This project aimed to bring foundational changes, allowing personalisation and boosting engagement, aligning with our vision to support everyone saving more for retirement.
Rethinking strategy: A design-driven transformation
When I joined Penfold, the main focus was on pension transfers, and a considerable effort was dedicated to that objective. However, I observed that the product development process was becoming iterative, resulting in incremental changes to a product with an accumulation of small features over time. During my first week, I started putting together some initial thoughts on the issues within the app and its content organisation in an app audit, which I shared with the business, seeking feedback from key teams like Account Managers and Customer Support, who have direct contact with our customers.
In agreement with my manager and Head of Product Barry, I decided to work on two work streams. The first focused on meeting the immediate needs of my product team, particularly regarding pension transfers. Simultaneously, I initiated another work stream, involving our CEO Chris, Barry, and my Product Manager Emi, to establish a long-term design vision for the product.
I structured this piece of discovery work by structuring a research plan and running multiple call customers call, facilitating several vision workshops with key stakeholders, including a design critique and an ideation session, and researching existing financial behavioural change literature.
During these activities, we prompted each other to rethink our business strategy. We decided to shift our focus to customer experience and prioritise bigger initiatives over smaller tactical changes that we had been pursuing before. This strategic shift has allowed us to align our efforts with our broader product vision and make meaningful progress towards our long-term goals while still pursuing transfer-focused initiatives.
Empowering user action: designing for meaningful engagement
During this project, I worked on numerous iterations of the Information Architecture and dashboard design. Starting from my first week, I ventured into the project with a multitude of assumptions about the product.
As I continued working with others on the product's vision, their input helped me get a clearer direction for what I wanted to achieve with the design. As time went by I also gained a better understanding of our design system and identified its gaps, while coincidingly undergoing a brand refresh, providing an excellent opportunity to incorporate the new brand elements into the product.
The designs targeted two essential aspects: improving the workplace customer experience while catering to self-invested users, and presenting relevant information at all times, particularly during empty states, to encourage meaningful user actions. To achieve this, we adopted a modular approach, enabling components to display relevant information when needed, enhancing user engagement and satisfaction.
Validating solutions quickly
To validate our designs thoroughly, we employed a combination of moderated and unmoderated testing, and shared timely the results with our stakeholders.
Seamless Handover: Clearing the Path for Developers
Handling this complex project was quite a challenge, especially when it came to passing it on to the developers. To make things clear, I documented all the different parts and made sure each Figma page was named after each story and ticket to help the developers find their way around the big design file.
A better onboarding experience to boost new customers' engagement
When we revamped the dashboard, we were worried it might affect transfer requests negatively. But the results were surprisingly good. The percentage of customers who submitted a request transfer go from 10% to 36.7%. Additionally, we saw a massive increase in transfer detail, showing that more customers were willing to edit and make rejected transfers successful. We're also in the process of improving our new Active Engagement feature, and the early data looks promising 🚀