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Thematic Investment

Jitta Wealth / 2020

Jitta Wealth is a fintech startup that aims to help investors create better returns through simple investment methods. It offers automated investment services to its users.

My Roles
I worked directly with the CEO and a cross-functional team to define product requirements, design mobile interfaces & experiences, and hand off the design to the engineering team.

The company's total assets under management (AUM) went up over 60% within the first 3 months after the product launched.

Business Goals

We wanted to increase the AUM as growth is crucial to success for any startups. Our goal was to attract both new and existing customers to our investment platform by introducing a new investment product that allowed users to customize portfolios based on their interests.

The Users

Due to limited time and resources, I wasn’t able to run formal user research sessions. I instead partnered up with Customer Success and Data teams to learn more about our users, their needs, and investment goals.

I synthesized the findings and divided users into two groups: experienced and novice investors.

Experienced Investors

  • More investment experience & financial stability
  • Knowledgeable in available investment products
  • Invest in a long term & interact less with the app

Novice Investors

  • Less investment experience & financial stability
  • Tolerate lower risk & cautious when making investment decision
  • Seek investment information & updates from company

Targeted Users
Working with the Data team to look into user dempgraphics, I learned that novice investors like students and coroporate employees became a new top investor. As a result, they became our targeted users.

Design: First Iteration

With time and technical constraints, I focused on examining existing product flow & components and reusing them as much as possible.

Unlike other existing products, users can select more than one investment plan, i.e., choosing more than one theme. Therefore, the UI must accommodate multi-selection interaction.

HTA chart showing steps required for the users to open an investment account

Existing Products
Users can view investment information (Steps 2.1) before submitting a request to open an account.

Thematic Investment
Users can select multiple themes but cannot view investment information for each theme (Steps 2.1).

Design: Second Iteration

Knowing that users seek information when making investment decisions, the design in the first iteration failed to support their needs.

Decision #1
Even though the design in the first iteration required low development effort, it wasn't feasible from a UX standpoint.

In this iteration, I simplified the design and introduced new interactions. Users could tap a theme to view investment information, select or and unselect themes from the information page.

Selecting Themes
Tap a theme to view investment information. Tap "select" button and a check mark will appear to indicate theme selection.

Unselecting Themes
Tap a theme to navigate to information page then tap "unselect" button. A check mark will disappear from the row.

Design: Third Iteration

I got feedback from the CEO that some users might want to select the themes without reading the information. For example, a person might be into cannabis and he/she just wanted to invest in it.

Decision #2
While users could choose a theme just because they wanted to, I was still convinced from my learnings that users would read investment information first. However, adding a quick-select feature wouldn't negatively impact the user experience.

To enable quick-select, I introduced a new selection control (a circle checkbox) so that the users could select the themes without having to navigate to the investment information page.

Selecting Themes
Tap the checkboxes to select multiple themes right away.

Unselecting Themes
Tap the selected checkboxes to unselect multiple themes.

Viewing Information
Tap the right side of the row to view investment information.

Third Iteration: Continued

Since the users could select up to 5 themes, the system must prevent them from selecting additional ones. I was focusing on error prevention as I didn't want the users to perform an action that could lead to an error.

Decision #3
I designed a disabled state for the checkbox. As soon as the users selected the 5th theme, the remaining unselected checkboxes would become disabled.

Design #1
The outline of the checkbox changes from blue (active) to grey (disabled).

Design #2
The background of the checkbox turns grey (disabled) .

Design #3
The checkbox disappears once the limit is reached.


I ran a usability inspection to test the effectiveness of the design options and found that

  • None of the designs provided system feedback to the users

  • Visual cues in Design #1 & #2 weren't enough for the users to distinguish the differences between the active & disabled states

  • Design #3 could potentially confuse the users and lead them to wonder why the checkboxes suddenly disappeared

Final Design

Decision #4
I realized error prevention should be prioritized for tasks that could result in severe consequences. For this scenario, providing feedback was more important as the users should be informed of what was happening and why their action was prohibited.

I discarded the disabled state. While I didn't stop the users from selecting additional themes, an alert box would pop up when the users attempt to select themes after they reached the limit.

Tapping additional themes after reaching the limit will trigger an alert box. The message in the box will let the users know they've reached the limit.

In the Future

Growing List of Themes
The feature was launched with 10 themes. Now, there are 16 themes available and the list is likely to continue growing in the future. The current UI might need some modification to support a long list of themes. Features like searching, sorting, and filtering could help enhance the user experience for the mobile app.

Paradox of Choice
As more themes become available, some users may experience a paradox of choice. Having a "smart theme" option with preselected themes for an optimal investment return can be beneficial to the users in the future.