Broker Application

I worked on an internal tool for a leader in the Canadian mortgage industry, with over 40% of the broker market and over $44 billion in loan volume a year.

The company is known for providing the best broker support and digital tools amongst the different brokerages. The project I worked on is a web-based broker tool that helps brokers grow their businesses. The platform serves broker in many areas of their businesses, such as CRM, payroll, email and marketing services, reporting, expense management etc.

As a ten-year-old software, both the technology and user experience were due for a transformation. I worked with a delivery team of thirty people over a year to redesign and develop the software for a fresh experience.

 

Interface

I led the design for the contacts and deal management modules. Through conducting a discovery workshop with stakeholders, support staff and users, we discovered that a common problem that exists in many areas of the platform is a lack of guidance when presented with an overwhelming amount of options and information.

The top two pain points users and business faced were:

Pain Point #1: Overcomplicated Interface

  • 50+ form fields on the new contact and deal forms
  • New brokers find it challenging to learn the platform

Pain Point #2: Unclear Process to Manage Consents

  • Multiple locations to update communication consents
  • A lack of guidance

Impact: The platform accumulated fields over the years that were no longer relevant today. The long forms slowed brokers down when engaging with new clients, and increased chances of error. New brokers have to learn and remember what to fill and what to leave out.

Impact: The marketing department put together training manuals for brokers. However, completion and accuracy were both low because the platform UI was confusing and lacked guidance. This led to extra work and liability on the brokerage to ensure brokers meet the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) requirements.

How Might We
Help brokers create deals and contacts that meet regulations with 
ease and confidence?

After brainstorming some ideas, we liked the idea of creating a wizard to simplify the process.

The wizard allows for:

  • A step-by-step process with clean UI to reduce cognitive load
  • Presenting only required fields needed to create a new contact and deal
  • Gives guidance and minimizes chances of error

We tested our prototypes with brokers and received feedback. After a few iterations and collaborating with the stakeholders, we arrived at the solution:

  • A 3-step process only requiring 50 5 inputs from the broker
  • Adding “Consent for Communications” step into the process, so we capture the necessary information up-front
  • Brokers can easily take action by sending the customer an email invite for opt-in directly from this step

Since the platform was built over many years, features and options were added without re-designing the information architecture. Approaching the project with a beginner’s mind, and asking lots of questions allowed us to question whether the existing flow was efficient at accomplishing user goals. The re-design of the contact/deal creation flow with communication consent management is one of the examples of enhancing the product UX.

Solution:

We added the communication consent section to the New Contact wizard so brokers are guided through the process. This increased their confidence and made the process more transparent.

We reduced the number of fields from 50 to 5, so brokers only need to fill out the minimum required information in the wizard, and they can add additional details after creating the contact.

We received positive feedback from users that it really sped up their workflow, especially when they are on the phone with clients. With the new design, brokers can quickly fill out the needed information and work on their deal right away.

We also saw a decline in contacts with unspecified consent status. We heard from some users that they were not aware of the need to manage consent until we introduced the step in the new design.