In the dynamic and complex world of the investment fund industry, user experience (UX) design is emerging as an important factor for success. At FundsDLT, we recognize the significance of UX design as a key differentiator.
We spoke with our Lead UX Designer Laure Leduc to explore its impact for fund distribution and how FundsDLT is leveraging it to create exceptional user experiences.
Let's start by discussing UX design and its role in the fund industry. How would you define it and why is it relevant?
Laure Leduc: User experience design is a holistic approach to creating products and services that are useful, usable, and desirable for their users. It involves understanding the needs, behaviours, and goals of users to design systems that provide them with meaningful and relevant experiences.
In the fund industry, where specialized users handle vast amounts of data in high-pressure environments, UX design plays a crucial role. It is an important contributing factor to reducing inefficiencies in this complex and challenging environment. Well-thought-out and well-executed UX helps streamline operations, enhance efficiency, mitigate risks, and ultimately improve the entire experience for all actors and intermediaries in the fund distribution chain.
Could you highlight some of the specific challenges faced by users in the fund industry and how UX design addresses them?
Laure Leduc: Certainly. The fund industry, and in particular fund distribution, presents several challenges for users. Specialized users often work in stressful environments, multitasking and handling multiple tools simultaneously. They face cultural barriers to digitization, relying on outdated methods like paper-based information and basic types of electronic communication, resulting in numerous manual operations. Moreover, standardizing workflows in this non-linear industry can be challenging, as flexibility is required to accommodate different contexts.
UX design addresses these challenges by embracing the complexity of the fund industry and shaping tools that smooth out processes that are currently overcomplicated. As Don Norman rightly pointed out in his book Living with Complexity: “Complexity is often necessary. The design challenge is to manage complexity so that it isn’t complicated.” We therefore focus on creating efficient workflows that enable users to navigate through large volumes of data seamlessly. By designing operator-centred solutions and considering the unique needs of the fund industry, we help back-office operators in the Transfer Agency and Distribution platforms perform their tasks more effectively and improve their overall experience.
How does this translate into implementation for clients?
Laure Leduc: At FundsDLT, we prioritize listening to users’ needs through extensive user research and continuous feedback collection. By conducting qualitative research, such as field studies and user tests, quantitative research such as UX questionnaires for users, as well as co-creation sessions with clients and operators, we gain valuable insights and identify pain points. A lean UX and agile approach enables us to iterate on solutions to solve these issues and improve the platform continuously, ensuring that it meets the specific requirements of fund distribution.
"Identify opportunities for improvement, challenge existing processes, and push boundaries to deliver exceptional user experiences."
Additionally, we emphasize cross-functional collaboration to break down silos between UX and project management. We aim at implementing a human-centred approach throughout the entire design and development lifecycle. We also involve developers in the design process to invite them to share their ideas and ensure the feasibility of the designed solution. These strong collaborations between teams enable us to deliver highly effective and user-friendly solutions.
Why is it so important for a fintech to apply good UX Design practices?
Laure Leduc: UX design plays a significant role in driving innovation and unlocking the creative potential of a fintech. By incorporating UX design into a company's DNA, you foster a culture that promotes human-centred thinking. UX professionals act as design facilitators, embedding user perspectives and interests into every function of the organization.
At FundsDLT, this approach allows us to identify opportunities for improvement, challenge existing processes, and push boundaries to deliver exceptional user experiences. Furthermore, by educating and involving our entire staff to become customer and user advocates, we tap into the collective creativity and diverse perspectives within our organization. This collaboration not only fuels innovation but also ensures that we stay aligned with our users' evolving needs and expectations.
To sum up, why consider UX design when creating next-generation fund distribution?
Laure Leduc: UX design transforms the complex realm of financial technology into a more user-friendly and accessible domain, making it more inclusive and engaging for users, especially back-office operators. By creating solutions that are efficient, secure, and visually appealing, it inevitably enhances product adoption. All this adds up to a real competitive advantage that allows fintech companies to stand out achieve clear differentiation in the market.
Thank you, Laure, for sharing your insights on the importance of UX design in the fund industry.
Laure Leduc: My pleasure. UX design is a critical component of success, and we remain committed to continuously improving the FundsDLT platform to meet the ever-evolving needs of our clients and users.