An easy to use web-based dashboard system for enterprise investors.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Designing the visual elements to be responsive across multiple screen sizes & platforms.
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.
Attract more investors
Increase the size of investments
Strengthen the company’s unique features in the lending industry
Make the platform easy to understand & use
Generate a simple UI/UX
Create specific designs for the enterprise
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.