Return to site

Growing small: from desktop to mobile


A mutual fund company with a longstanding client base wanted to establish a mobile presence. Clients were using their mobile devices more than desktop so there was a need to accommodate .

The issue

Despite its loyal customer base, the rate of new account applications had plateaued. As mobile was considered the future, the client felt that having a mobile app that would accommodate users for their specific investment needs would be a logical next step.


The solution was to design a mobile experience that would be directed towards the needs of the user - i.e. a user who wants to actively trade different funds vs. one who has set goals and will log in only when there is a major event.


I designed an experience for the client that revolved around a customer's journey to track her portfolio based only on the information that was important to her. 

How it happend

After confirming with the stakeholders their main business goals, I did some research and created a persona with a journey in mind.

Current state

I reviewed the desktop site to get a sense of the clients' product offerings.


To get a sense of what would be important to mutual fund account holders, I drew up a survey asking questions such as

  • percentage of total assets invested in mutual funds,
  • If the user works with a broker, 
  • how often he/she checks account, 
  • what information is important, 
  • when the use would feel it necessary to check 

I expanded beyond mutual fund to include trading accounts to see if there might be similarities in behavioral patterns. For users who don't check their accounts as often could there be a way to design an app that would encourage them to check more often? And what would it take?


Based on the research I decided to generate a persona - Tracey.

35, lives in Chicago, works as an accountant

Tracey is meticulous about saving money. She wants to retire at 50 and start her own business, a lifelong dream. Tracey grew up in a single-mom household where they had to struggle, so she appreciates the value of working hard and saving.

  • Goal: retire at 50
  • Motivations: fear
  • Pain points: not being on top of her financial accounts
  • Habits: Tracey as "FOMO" syndrome (fear of missing out)- always wants to make sure she's in the loop on friends, news, etc. She's glued to her phone and is a self-described "Facebook junkie". 

Tracey's journey

To convey a human touch I created a journey for Tracey:

Tracey has an IRA with FirstCapital and works with a broker who advised Tracey on how to meet her goals. Tracey's been astute and had started contributing when she had summer jobs in college. She wants to keep on top of her investments and be alerted when her portfolio reaches a certain level, major market events, etc.

The design

I looked at different mobile apps for mutual funds and design patterns to find something that would provide a more contemporary feel than the clients' current digital presence.

(1) Tracey receives an alert on her phone that her portfolio reached a stated threshold, so she access her account, reviews performance information and decides to contact her broker.

(2) Selecting the notification takes Tracey to her dashboard screen. She can get a quick snapshot of her investments - allocations, and then scroll down for details on her holdings. Tracey also has the option to contact her broker to discuss investment opportunities.

To view her equity investments Tracey can select the purpose "Equities" portion of the bar graph, and a list of funds containing equities will appear below. By default all investments will appear. The menu CTA on the bottom right of the screen can provide further sorting options.

The use of the dark screen and bold colors evoke a sense of contemporary sophistication, evoking a feeling of technical expertise for the user, yet the frictionless experience would not intimidate the user.

(3) Tracey can view only the information that's important to her. The challenge with mutual funds is the amount of information that's available and what must be provided for regulatory purposes. As Tracey is a current account holder, she has the ability to personalize her settings.

Also AI technology can adjust these settings based on Tracey's ongoing usage patterns. In this instance she only wants to know the price, how much her investment is worth and her historical return vs. index. She may also want to invest more, and if so, the app indicates how much cash she has to invest.


A combination of a contemporary design and employing AI and algorithmic technology to gauge usage patterns would enable the client to provide a frictionless mobile experience for its customers.

All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!

OKSubscriptions powered by Strikingly