Building a new design team

LendInvest, 2016

Joining LendInvest in January ’16, I was charged with building an Experience Design team, while simultaneously completing multiple complex design projects.

I started off with a single UI designer, but we have now grown to a well-rounded team of three – a mix of talent that’s responsible for both UX and design research across the whole LendInvest digital experience. This has included our public web presence, support and blog content sites, our investment portal, a focussed website (and tools) for intermediaries, and also our internal staff tools.

I also played a key role in guiding the development of design in the marketing department as well, the hire of a capable new designer for print and digital advertising, and also the mentoring and support of other designers in the team.

Alongside the marketing Brand Associate, I set up a monthly design “WIP” meeting to bring together all those interested in design at LendInvest to share what they’ve been working on, and sharpen each other’s work.

As part of developing our design practice, I carved out a place for up-front customer-led design innovation and research, regular usability and concept testing as an integral part of our process, and have helped develop a general understanding of User Centred Design within the business as a whole.

Collaborative synthesis of customer research interview data.
Collaborative synthesis of customer research interview data.

On a day-to-day basis, I work as an individual contributor on many of our projects. At the same time, I make sure that our product managers – who work on the different facets of the LendInvest customer experience – are equipped with the best research, UX and design support they need.

Experience Design at LendInvest assists Product to:

  • adequately understand the problems they’re solving,
  • explore and rapidly validate options that might work well,
  • and finally craft a solution that is easy to understand and consistent with the LendInvest brand experience.
Product and design collaborate on a page design.
Product and design collaborate on a design concept.

I’m extremely proud of the progress our team has made in the past year.

My main highlights for 2016 have included:

  • A ground-up redesign and rebuild of our investment portal.
  • The responsive, modular redesign of most of our public-facing web presences: the main website, the blog, our help site, and a new specialist site for our intermediaries.
  • Undertaking two design research projects to understand more about our investor customer base, their goals and motivations when investing with us.
  • Developing detailed research, strategy and design concepts for a brand new broker lead and engagement platform.
  • Tactical interaction design to help the business explain investing and borrowing concepts to customers.
  • Holding several exploratory workshops and design sprints to help unpack and clarify business goals and customer needs.
LendInvest team, early 2016
LendInvest team, early 2016