Rigorous prototyping launches powerful products faster

Broadridge sample mobile screens

The financial experts at Broadridge needed to unify multiple products under a single user interface while making the overall UX simpler and more effective.

Whenever a company acquires new technology or data there is bound to be friction between the old and the new. Broadridge approached us to develop a uniform platform that would be the single product experience for their existing and newly acquired assets. That’s just a fancy way to say that they needed to untangle the mess of multiple software interfaces delivering on the same outputs.

Simplification Amplifies Buy-In

Part of the challenge with the merging of tools and business processes is the resistance from existing team members to change. Designing a new UI isn’t going to solve that problem. Together with Broadridge, we agreed that the highest value activity would be to develop a working prototype that could be shared with the team members to reveal how much more effective financial advisors could be with this unified product.

In addition to being dynamic and easy to understand, the proof of concept would need to be delivered on a tight timeline. That meant ideation, design, user testing, user validation, and approval had to come together fast — we’re talking weeks, not months.

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Geordie Kaytes, a Fresh Tilled Soil employee, gesturing towards a whiteboard wall.

A Proven Process Builds Trust

Week 1: The Gathering

To meet Broadridge’s timeline, we immediately dove into our rigorous process.

  1. Assessing data goals and requirements
  2. Identifying primary users and their jobs to be done (JTBD)
  3. Defining user-journey maps
  4. Determining highest value priorities
  5. Gathering and implementing stakeholder feedback with each iteration
Alex Federov, a Fresh Tilled Soil employee, writing on a whiteboard wall.

Week 2: The Breakthrough

Wireframing and testing early helps collaborating teams quickly focus in on the most promising path and drive toward the best product experience. At the end of the second week we were reviewing wireframes representing initial design and flow directions. This enabled us to build confidence within the team.

Kevin Darlington, Broadridge

Frequent Check-ins Eliminate Surprises

Weeks 3-10: Collaboration

Collaborating almost daily using a combination of in-person meetings and remote sessions ensured no scary surprises or long waiting periods between iterations. As with all our engagements, Broadridge and Fresh Tilled Soil established a very tight working relationship to get stuff done!

Telling a well-considered, validated, and coherent story was the purpose of the prototype. This objectively sound approach provided the working group with confidence to share and gain buy-in from the larger stakeholder groups at Broadridge.

Alex Fedorov, Partner at Fresh Tilled Soil

a fresh tilled soil employee contemplating a whiteboard wall
a screen from the the broadridge app on an iphone

Users break the tie

User testing is no longer a nice-to-have afterthought to product design. It’s an essential part of the process and needs to be included throughout the design and development work. We learned from financial advisors that the product had to work when plugged into CRM data or operating as a standalone tool. Some advisors were sensitive about connecting their CRM accounts to any third-party system, while others saw how this data could provide otherwise inaccessible insights and recommendations. As a standalone product, we made sure users could tailor the application with ease. They could add and manage clients, and personalize as needed for various touch points and preferences.

Throughout user testing and research, we also learned that not all advisors felt they needed advanced tools to manage their business. In a few edge cases, advisors overseeing a very small number of high net-worth accounts knew every aspect of the relationship intimately. For them, handwritten notes worked. This discovery helped us further refine the ideal user base and focus on their unique needs.

Broadridge User Testing Participant

And the Results...

01 Using a combination of rapid prototyping and field testing we provided Broadridge with a low risk point of entry into new market data access and usage
02 Broadridge transformed its expectations of what’s possible with their data and platform
03 By instilling confidence in the product and our process, we created a path to new features that Broadridge hadn’t previously considered
04 Continued user feedback inspired design iterations for a tool users expressed interest in purchasing
05 The prototyped experience changed advisor behavior, helping them focus and prioritize actions with clients

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