Lenme Enterprise

An easy to use web-based dashboard system for enterprise investors.

since 2019

Lenme dashboard

Role

 

Timeline

 

Team  

 

Tools  

Product Design, Visual Design
 

Nov 018 - Aug 2019 - Stealth mode

Sep 2019 - First release

Sep 2019 - present - Developing/optimizing the product

 

Lenme Product Desing team, Develop team, Marketing team

 

Sketch, Figma, Adobe illustrator, Invision

The Lenme Enterprise product provides a digital end-to-end solution for financial institutions and leading businesses looking to invest in the small-dollar loan market.

 

I have been creating and developing the company’s web lending product. As project lead, I had the opportunity to get acquainted with all aspects of Lenme’s business since I needed to start the application from scratch. We developed the ideation, worked through the design implementation, and finalized the product for release.

 

Currently, I am working on adding new features and corresponding with engineers to improve/continuously optimize the app.

Project background

01

First, understanding the product

Taking my first steps in the fintech industry, I took time to gain a foundational understanding of Lenme and Lenme Enterprise and how their services and business models differed. I believe it is always paramount to build a thorough understanding of a product before initiating a project.

 

What is Lenme? How does it work?


Lenme is a peer-to-peer lending mobile application. Investors use it to lend money and make extra profits through the app by customizing interest rates, while borrowers use it to get money conveniently and pay it back later. The mobile application makes lending and borrowing money easier, as it allows anyone to invest without a fee or any professional experience/background, and it lets borrowers access the money instantly/and it gives borrowers instant access to the money. 

On the mobile platform, individual users can be either investors or borrowers. As a borrower, users can borrow from $50 up to $5,000. When borrowers set the loan amount and pay period, investors then assign a customized interest rate to each loan, depending on the borrower’s credit rating and other information known about the borrower, and then send an offer.

What is Lenme enterprise?

Lenme Enterprise is an exclusive service to Enterprise users. It provides a digital end-to-end solution for financial institutions and lending businesses looking to invest in the small amount loan market.

Why Enterprise?

A year after publishing the mobile application, the Lenme team decided to expand its scope from everyday users to enterprise investors. Seeing possibilities of growth via the mobile application, they wanted to take their users’ borrowing and investing behavior to the next level by providing a wider platform and larger loans. They came to the conclusion that Lenme needed another special platform for enterprise investors.

Why web-based service?

The team observed a pattern in user behavior that illustrated the superior use of laptops over mobile devices for larger transactions due to data security concerns. Taking this inclination into consideration, the team decided to create a web application, while making it responsive for other smaller screens.

How does the enterprise platform work?

On the Enterprise platform, the system’s the same as the mobile application. Borrowers can request from $50 up to $5,000. The difference is that on the Enterprise platform, the investors can be either/both an individual investor as a sole company owner or a team who shares the stake, based on the investor’s business type. The investors can offer multiple loans like the Lenme mobile application.

Challenges & goals

02

Putting down the foundation

Armed with an understanding of Lenme and Lenme Enterprise, I began the project but I was soon faced with several challenges. We approached each challenge in an organized manner, planning out a strategy to tackle these concerns while also ensuring successful project completion.

 

Challenges

As any project that needs to be started from scratch, there were some expected hurdles that I had to face. By localizing the problems, I could pinpoint which aspects I should focus on during the project.

Starting the project from scratch

Narrowing down possible key pain points and foundational goals and problems on a blank canvas, which was the biggest challenge for this project.

Converting complex numbers into a simple solution

Converting complex numbers and calculations, for example, loan amount, interest rate and informative financial information into an easy-to-digest visual.

Different perspectives on the same design

Creating specified designs for the enterprise users while maintaining Lenme brand guidelines which were based on the mobile application.

Responsive design

Designing the visual elements to be responsive across multiple screen sizes & platforms.

Finalizing goals

After we got the idea of ‘a web-based service for enterprise investors’ we set the goals of the business and the product itself.

 

The goals of the business are basically to attract enterprise investors who characteristically make larger investments than individual lenders. By providing flexible lending services for both everyday users and enterprise investors, Lenme would stand out among lending companies.

 

The goals of the product were to make the platform easy to understand and use for the average user, reducing the need for further study of our system and how to carry out investments. All they need to do is create their account and start investing.

Business goals

  • Attract more investors

  • Increase the size of investments

  • Strengthen the company’s unique features in the lending industry

Product/project goals

  • Make the platform easy to understand & use

  • Generate a simple UI/UX

  • Create specific designs for the enterprise

Research

03

Analyse the users and competitors

At the research stage, I have studied the users and competitors. By analyzing them I could map out a clearer direction for the project.

User research and persona

I built user personas with the team. We verified which elements would be essential in making three standardized personas. So we have built 3 types of personas who encompassed the factors significant to typical Lenme users.

 

After identifying three personas I tried to extract insights from each persona. The insights will help to build the service’s core functions as well as designs.

Checking out the competition

For competitive research, I have looked into fin-tech companies that have similar services.

The purposes of this research are

1)understand how they solved their design challenges with complex numbers and calculations,

2) if there were certain patterns within those fin-tech companies’ website designs and structures,

3) what components/ information they have added for the users and

4) how they made differentiations and maintained consistency at the same time between their web and mobile versions.

Overall insights from the competitors

This process was really interesting because I can compare to the competitors’ website and mobile application designs at the same time. Although I have listed the four companies above, I have also researched banks and other rising fin-tech companies briefly. Through this research, I could draw a rough sketch of the design in my mind. The big takeaways for this research were:

 

1) multiple column design could show more information at a glance,

2) widgets or divide sections based on certain category could make the information more organizable,

3) simple with bigger typography would make the service more accessible and 4) how to make the consistency between the two different mediums

 

Website structure

04

Necessary homepage building blocks

To structure the website and the homepage, I made a list of essential items that would be required to ensure balance and sleekness. To tackle the challenge of mapping out their locations on the page meant that I needed to think about user flow and user journey.

 

Key elements: from the mobile application to web platform

Since the enterprise website is based on the mobile application’s investor service, I listed key items from the mobile app and then categorized which items should go where. This was one of the essential steps because mobile and web platforms have different screen sizes so some hidden menus from the mobile application can be presented on the web platform’s homepage without restrictions.

 

Certain information such as the user information or borrowers’ requests is always on the homepage. However, elements are hidden in the hamburger menu and bottom menus can be put front and center on the website’s homepage because of the additional room. So we discussed which hidden menus or functions should be or could be on the homepage.

Building product structure

After identifying the key elements, we structured the overall website menus and layout. The main menus were Homepage, Investment, Bank Transfer, Invite Friends, Settings, Support, Profile, and Notification. After we listed the menus we also discussed if we could reduce, remove or merge some items to make the platform simpler and easier to understand. 

Structuring information architecture

& key user flow

To see the user flow and journey, I established the fundamentals of the user path. When we created this, we focused on how we can make the user flow less complicated and more straightforward. Given the complexity of the investment itself, making a friendly interface was paramount.

 

Based on the user flow, we identified four items should be presented on the homepage: User financial information, Loan request cards, Feed, and Filter. These four items are directly related to the key user flow/ key functions of the website/ the company’s business. 

We also paid to attend the golden path/ the key user flow. Since the golden path’s entry point is the homepage, identifying the golden path helps to build the more appropriate homepage. 

Design inspiration

I researched design references through various channels, for example, Dribbble, Behance, Pinterest, and other great UI/UX portfolios. In this stage, I figured out the importance of organizing the numbers in a clean and appropriate way since it enhanced and optimized user experience.

Hand and digital sketch iterations 

Based on the design references, I sketched the homepage in hand drawings and digital drawings. I initially mapped out several options and transited it to the screen and shared them with the team. The team gave me feedback and I applied it to the design and presented the developed version at the next meeting. We repeated this process several times and got the result of the dashboard format for the homepage. This was the most significant result in this process.

Final touch with different colors/ UIs

At the end of the UI/UX exploration, we finalized four different options for colors and UI designs.

  1. The first option color is based on the mobile app investor's theme color which is green and white. Since we needed to keep the consistency, I applied the same color theme on the enterprise platform. In terms of the UI design, I separated the user's financial information, loan requests, and filter and laid them out based on the grid system.

  2. The second option has the same color as the first option for the same reason. Regarding the interface design, I added the user information on the top and added a filter right above the loan requests.

  3. The third option has a totally different color. We thought we could use a totally different color from the mobile app because there are other elements that we can keep for brand consistency. By using the darker and heavier color, we wanted to emphasize that this service is for the enterprise users. For the interface layout, it’s not very different from the 1st and 2nd option but I tried to use a different widget layout. Also, loan request cards are separated from each other and it will be amplified when the user hovers over the card.

  4. The last option has a darker color theme. From the third option, we thought that maybe a heavier color could work and be more appropriate because users can focus more on the other elements such as the borrowers’ financial score which are indicated by the avatar colors and the users’ financial information. In terms of the UI design, I categorized each element and added them into boxes so it’s more manageable when we want to remove or add other items in the future.

Option #1
Option #2
Option #3
Option #4

After several meetings and feedback, we decided to go with the last option. We liked that the darker color could help differentiate from the mobile version while harmonizing with the existing colors. So we can keep brand consistency as well.

 

For the UI aspect, as I mentioned, using different widgets is very customizable so we are free to add, remove, or merge items in the long term.

Grid system

To make the homepage more clean-cut, I built the grid system for desktop, tablet, and mobile versions.

 

For the desktop version, the side navigation is fixed and the rest of the screen is responsive. Under the 768px width of the screen size, the side navigation will shrink to a hamburger menu and the user’s financial information will go to the navy top area.

Prototyping

After I created the homepage and all the screens, I made the prototype to see the overall user flow by using the Figma platform. This helped me to figure out the best practises for user experience while also fine tuning the way I communicate with developers.

Design process

05

Play with lots of options

To structure the website and the homepage, I made a list of essential items that would be required to ensure balance and sleekness. To tackle the challenge of mapping out their locations on the page meant that I needed to think about user flow and user journey.

 

The solution

06

Dashboard for efficient data visualization

Understanding values and calculations at a moment's notice is quite challenging. Lenme combats this issue by organizing the dashboard system in such a way that investors can take in the most important information at a glance. This was done by making the financial status, offer requests and potential earnings stand out on the screen.

 

Dashboard breakdown

The dashboard is divided into four parts: Top bar, left menu bar, the screen which has the user's financial information, filter, and the requests, and feed. 

① Header

It consists of the company logo, notification, and profile buttons. I kept it clean and simple to avoid a busy look to the side navigation given that all the menus are placed there.

② Side navigation

It has all menus including the Log out option. Since it has more space available we could add more menus in the future.

③ Filter

The Filter will help the users sort loan requests based on the individuals’ purpose. It has four items but we will add more to help the users to effectively search for what they need.

④ User information

The center of the screen displays the user information widget. It shows essential elements that the users can see regarding their investment status such as how many loans are processing, how much they’ve invested and how much they’ve earned. When I created this I needed to consider the length of the numbers. The use of the spaces should be flexible so that this design can apply for all cases whether the number’s length is long or short.

⑤ Feed

On the mobile application, the Feed was included in a hidden menu. The desktop platform allowed for more space so I added the Feed on the right side of the screen. This feature lets investors see how much others have spent on investments and the interest rates that were most successful. They can access the amount earned from those loans as well. The significance of the Feed is also seen when Borrowers have multiple offers to choose from. By setting up an appropriate interest rate Investors can increase the probability of being chosen.

⑥ Loan request list:

This plays an important role as the entry point for the golden path. To encourage investment, the loan request card should be simple and straightforward. So I first added how much the borrower needs and the payback period followed by the borrower’s credit score and Lemme score which give some idea of what the loan would look like.

Dashboard: Entry point of the golden path

Making an offer with a customized interest rate is the key function of the product. This starts from the homepage. After the user logs in he/she gets to the homepage and has an idea of the direction of the investment based on their Lenme financial information and others’ investment. Then they see the requests and pick the one that they are interested in and see the borrower’s information. If the investor doesn’t like it they can simply close the pop up. If the investor found a request that they want to invest in they set the interest rate themselves and send an offer. This is the simple and seamless process of how the investor goes about their investment.

Responsive design

The product is flexible as it is available on different sizes of screens. To make the product responsive, I created grid systems for each screen size and worked with the developers closely to make it more flawless. 

Other screens

After finalizing the homepage, I created the rest of the website. It includes not only the main functional pages but also error status, empty status and other incidental but necessary aspects of the site.

Lenme style guide & UI components

Lenme Enterprise web application's design system combines common linguistics, the app design principles, and tools to help teams build products cohesively. It increases communication and efficiency between disciplines, specifically between the designers and the engineers.

 

The design system includes a color palette, typography, buttons, text input field, icons, notifications, and more. With the design system, the current team members and potential future members will easily be able to define and change each component while working together as a cohesive team.

Conclusion

07

Now and the future

Impact

After a year of stealth mode, Lenme Enterprise launched its first version in Sep 2019. Since then the platform has 50 active enterprise users and 75 loans. This growth in business also enhances the increasing numbers of traffic on the Lenme mobile application. We are preparing the 2nd phase release in April, and we expect it to bring in a wider customer base.

Future of the Lenme's service & design

When investments are made, more accurate borrower data analysis is generated providing fine tuned insights for the investors. As we work closely with the Data Analysis team, we are adding more suitable data that helps the user make more appropriate offers giving them further monetary benefits. As a designer in a very fast-past company in the fintech industry, my job is to convert complex and necessary data to a simple solution and make more seamless user experiences.

What I have learned

As my project as a lead designer, I’ve learned so much from my team and the work we have accomplished but two particular lessons stand out. The first one was about making a product from scratch. It may seem easier to work with a blank canvas but it’s not as simple as it seems. Creating a website and the design concept is something I know as well as the back of my hand. However, with the added complexity of being in charge of the user experience and logic of user flow introduced me to a whole new world that required strategic navigation. Since all the information had to flow through me onto the screen, I also needed to work on empty status, error cases, golden path, happy/sad paths. So I learned how to see the overall user flow and experience on a product.

 

The second thing was about my joint effort with teammates and cross-functional teams. Emphasizing the importance of collaboration is never enough. I have learned a lot from my team members especially when we let ourselves openly explore possibilities and then narrowed down the direction or the concept of certain designs. Working hand in hand with the developers was key to finalizing the product launch. At times working with developers, even when I thought I was done with the overall flow and design they always gave me useful insights such as for user experiences or user flow. I experienced the full strength of synergy through collaboration.

 

Overall, it was a great opportunity to lead a project as well as see the Lenme Enterprise from when it came into the world and its evolution into the end product. I will develop the product further and enjoy the thrill of continuously helping people in accessing appropriate lending & borrowing experiences.

Thank you for watching