Is investing confusing and boring? Probably. Could someone make it clear and fun? Yes, we did it for Fisdom.

This is the story of how we helped Fisdom bring fun and clarity to the nebulous world of personal investing.

Fisdom, a fintech startup based out of Bangalore, is built to help you get better returns on your investment while making the process of investing easy and fun. The words fun and investments don’t often exist on the same page for most people, but Fisdom wanted to make that possible. To do this, they reversed the investment process: instead of starting by explaining the various financial products on offer, here you set a goal and start saving towards that amount in monthly steps.

Fisdom came to us in early-2016 and asked us to streamline their mobile applications. During the discovery phase, we realised that they had their major use cases and flows nailed down quite well. However, the combination of colours, icons and the aesthetic that existed did not translate into a fun and enjoyable experience.

Show them the Money 💸 💸

The investment process requires the investors to fill up a one-time KYC form. The form runs into five screens and requires a lot of information. In the original version of the app, this KYC was a pre-requisite to any investment the users wanted to make. We discussed this hindrance with the Fisdom team and came to a conclusion that KYC should not block the user from exploring investment options. Hence, we moved the registration process to after the investor had selected all investment options, and taken a decision to invest. The users could invest, their money would be put in a buffer and they would have 3-days to complete the KYC. That took the main hindrance in investment process out of the question.

Design for Data

There was no escaping the regulatory requirements just because Fisdom is a mobile app. One of the key problems that we looked at solving was how to make the gathering of information as painless as possible. We designed an alternative system where the user only had to scan (take photo) their tax Permanent Account Number card, or enter the number and the system would pre-fill all the KYC data. In addition to this, we created smarter defaults. As a result, the user only had to review and edit some information as needed, instead of filling out screens after screens of tedious paperwork.

The app breaks the process of gathering all your essential information into bite sized, distinct steps making the system smooth and uncomplicated. We reordered, edited and in some cases, removed, a number of the stages to try and craft a hassle-free KYC flow.

Financial tools need not be bland

We did a survey of other apps in the fin-tech space and realized all of them had bland color palettes and the experience wasn’t inviting. When learning anything new, being bombarded with information can be overwhelming, making most people drop out before they start. A conscious effort was made to make the application simple and uncomplicated. We also had the onus on us to take the design in a new direction — opposite of the original corporate look.

“Investing” in the visuals

We did so by creating a palette that sported bright hues to support the light and playful concept of the application.

Vivid graphics were designed to enhance the experience and make the dry subject matter more relatable.

Research, analytics, wireframes, user flows is work half done, if the final screens aren’t packaged into visuals that convey the information you intended them to. Though Fisdom was mostly a visual redesign project, we changed the complete experience of the app by doing so. Making it lighter, simpler and pleasing to look at.

From the get-go, it was important to set a playful tone — the sign up screens brim with colour and a distinct personality. Small transition animations help keep engagement up. Since our deliverables included detailed animations, it became easier for Fisdom’s technology team to create these.

On-boarding animations

Visual associations with goals, and clear details of target corpus

Investments become daunting because of the number of details they require. To solve these issues, visual associations were added with all goals and numbers, making the process of choosing from a list of options less tiresome. This left people free to spend time understanding the various plans and helped them make better decisions about how to invest their money.

Respect your user’s level of expertise. ✊

Fisdom is targeting a younger user-base, who may not have a lot of experience with the investment process. For many users, this could be their first ever investment. We designed the app and added small features keeping in mind this particular set of users. We broke down the resources section into categories for various lifestyles, and expertise level. Then the same segmentation was used to allow users to filter content that’s the most suitable to them.

Users can filter all the content based on their life-style or expertise-level.

Blank states, Language, Message

There are playful blank states with clear calls to action. We added tooltips, overlays, and info-bubbles at each stage so the user does not feel lost at any point in the app.

Friendly error messages, helpful empty states and helpful hints throughout help de-mystify complex processes

Some of the redesigned screens within the Fisdom application

In conclusion

Financial apps have a disadvantage in that they have to fulfil a lot of regulatory requirements. But they also err in assuming a certain level of financial expertise from their users. There is also a misconception of looking bland in order to be taken seriously. This is where the new-age fin-tech tools like Fisdom score, by targeting the younger demographics. When Fisdom was onboard the idea of exploring the opposite direction, we jumped to the chance with glee.