Being PostFinance's implementation partner already since 2018, ELCA recently took on responsibility for Valuu's UX Design, culminating in the relaunch of the new Valuu Web application.

expert
Rose-Line Werner
Senior Project Manager UX

ELCA's UX designers worked together with the solution engineers, stakeholders and developers during the whole process, from conception to user testing after launch. The results speak for themselves: less than 24 hours after launching the new application, Valuu had received its first complete mortgage application.

At the start of the project ELCA identified two key UX areas of improvement for Valuu: First, the user navigation had a high page count and was in need of a streamlined information architecture. Second, the mortgage comparison capabilities needed to be potentiated. Data showed that Valuu’s closure rates, that is, the amount of users successfully taking out a mortgage, could be further increased by working on and improving these two areas.

The new information architecture concept reduces and consolidates the number of screens, simplifying the user journey, and maps a linear process in the navigation by representing it as a “string of pearls”. Displaying offers prominently and dynamically allows customers to compare offers through different time periods and configurations in real-time. 

02_valuu_ui_sketch_assembly_2.jpg
02_valuu_ui_sketch_assembly_2.jpg

Bridging design and development

Already being an implementation partner for Valuu since 2018, ELCA was no stranger to the project or the customer. Being the new UX partner, ELCA's UX designers worked together with the solution engineers, stakeholders and developers during the whole process, from conception to user testing after launch. Close contact between the User Experience designers and the development team was a key success factor. Constant dialog and fine-tuning broke the traditional silo between design and development and streamlined the process: in as little as 3 months, the project went from the first layout drafts to the release of the new Valuu in March 2020. 

A “living” prototype

Wireframes, mockups and even high-fidelity screens are the bread and butter of UX workflows, but they are static. Taking out a mortgage, however, is a complex process which is not so easily explained by static designs. With Valuu, ELCA embarked on a different, more agile and collaborative approach when it came to brainstorming layouts, discussing functionality and ideating visual design. Skipping the more traditional design presentations, ELCA's UX designers used clickable High-Fidelity prototypes to build the solution in real-time together with the team at PostFinance Valuu, directly involving them in the decision process and sharing ownership. This "living" prototype became the essential go-to artifact of the project. It allowed the teams to share ideas, ideate user journeys, efficiently test assumptions and define the visual design, all in real-time. Even the styleguide, traditionally a separate document, was built directly into the prototype, which meant an overall shorter pipeline between design and development.

Rethinking UX patterns

The UX recipe for user forms is usually “shorter forms, more pages”. ELCA decided to challenge that perspective by introducing a new pattern when it came to user inputs in Valuu. Forms adapt to the user’s situation: users were given the freedom to add additional fields they perceive relevant to a form, instead of breaking down forms onto multiple screens. This allowed the solution to bridge the gap between forms that do not visually overwhelm, without sacrificing efficiency in completing the process.

Contact: Rose-Line Werner

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