Blink UX
June - July 2021

Designing an all-in-one research tool to support values-based investing

Overview

HERO Index wants to help investors make socially and environmentally conscious decisions about investing their money by comparing companies' positive and negative impacts on the world. The project goal was to design a visually stunning website as a sticky tool where values-based investors want to come back and help change the world for the better.

My Role

As a UX designer, I have closely collaborated with a UX researcher and a visual designer and led a collaborative and user-centered design process in the center. The design and strategy workshops I facilitated helped us think beyond the status quo and strengthen our design strategy. It was an eight-week short-term project though, I designed signature experience concepts and created a prototype that is backed by research and filled with creativity.

Outcomes

This project helped our clients further their mission and make a positive difference on our climate, human rights, and planet through product design. We distilled so much diversity and complexity into clear graphics that created a hi-fi prototype for developer hand-off and a showcase to secure the financial investment. The clients were thrilled by the product and appreciated they now understood what the user-centered design means through this project. As a UX designer passionate about the user-centered design process, it meant a lot to me.

Values-based investing is

An investment approach that looks at the environmental and social impact of a company's actions, products, and leaders. A growing number of people want to make money, but not at the cost of the causes and values they support. However, information on company values can be unreliable, limited, and challenging to obtain. Our goal was to design and prototype an engaging, visually stunning HERO Index website, which the clients will use to secure development funding.

Communicating the big picture while allowing users to dig into it

The homepage is all about telling users what HERO Index is and tasting what is trending that users may care about. Users can learn how companies are doing than what they've done over time on the company page. HERO Index is a data-heavy product, so I gave extra attention to provide a high-level overview and then various data points to navigate wherever they want to go deeper quickly.

The Head and The Heart

I used investor motivation to develop two archetypes with the researcher and built two different flows and lo-fi prototypes for each version. For the Head, who is data-driven and analytical, we focused on making complex data accessible and comprehensive. Since they are the ones who need to feel super confident about their financial investment decisions, I tried to make it easier to access different types of information on one page using various filters and view options. On the other hand, I used many images rather than numbers and explored personalized features since the Heart comes from emotional space. With research insights from the concept testing, I moved forward with the comprehensiveness and functionality of the Head while keeping a personalizing experience of the Heart.

Making values-based investing personal

While organizing complex information approachable, I explored lightweight and fun ways to browse featured companies to make the experience well-suited for beginner investors, too. The personalization part is still valuable and could be a differentiator. Users can express value areas they are passionate about and companies they want to watch during the onboarding process.

Reflections

It all started from one spreadsheet with a large HERO Index dataset. I have gained valuable experience in drawing a clear idea out of the unknown and nailing down specifics of what the clients needed the most. I am an avid believer in evidence-based design. This project taught me tangible, actionable and inspiring ways to achieve this with the comparative audit, design workshop, and concept testing.

The project's highlight was a collaborative design process with a UX researcher. I enjoyed seeing how we integrated our research insights into the design process and achieved evidence-based design. Please check out the process book if you would like to learn more.

Next Projects

Looking for an awesome group of people to work with. Feel free to reach out to me.

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