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  • Writer's pictureclara fairbanks

Innovating B2B Solutions: Directing the Design of a Self-Service Platform

My Role: Lead UX Designer

Tools: Figma

Date: November 2022 - July 2023, Jan 2024 - Present


Project Overview

Connected Solutions (CS), is a B2B product platform designed from the ground up to empower partners to effortlessly configure, purchase, launch, and monitor our credit and financial products. This innovative B2B portal reshapes the landscape of financial product management through the integration of modern APIs, rich embeddable components, and SDKs.

The Challenge

Our partners grappled with the complexities of financial product integration, necessitating a unified platform to streamline configuration, purchase, and go-to-market processes. Recognizing this need, Connected Solutions aimed to bridge the gap by providing partners with a user-friendly interface that empowers them to manage our products efficiently.

Key Features

Intuitive Configuration The primary goal of Connected Solutions is to offer partners an intuitive configuration process, allowing them to effortlessly customize financial products via a user-friendly dashboard. This grants partners full control over features and settings of the products they provide their end users. This key goal addresses multiple key pain points that have blocked the success of onboarding partners in the past.

Seamless Purchase Journey A secondary goal of the Connected Console is enabling partners to purchase EPS products in a smooth and self service manner. CS ensures a secure and transparent transaction experience while maintaining the integrity of the contracting structure needed to maintain business relationships.

Accelerated Go-to-Market Time-to-market is a very serious concern for legacy partners and was a huge barrier to the businesses growth before this initiative. Connected Solutions facilitates swift product launches through its robust infrastructure, leveraging modern APIs, rich embeddable components, and SDKs for seamless integration with web and mobile applications. This accelerates the go-to-market timeline while enhancing the overall end-customer experience.


User Experience Exercises and Deliverables

  • Identifying User Pain-points and Needs From the start of the project through out it’s evolution, I focused on understanding partner pain points and needs to guid the design process. User interviews, surveys, and feedback sessions, and sessions with internal stakeholders provided valuable insights for improvement and innovation.

  • User Journeys I developed comprehensive user journeys to map out the partner experience from onboarding to product launch. Detailed flowcharts illustrated every touchpoint, ensuring a holistic view of partner interactions with Connected Solutions.

  • Competitive Research I worked with our UX researcher to conduct analysis of competitor platforms informed design decisions, identifying industry best practices and opportunities for differentiation.

  • Information Architecture A huge lift in this initiative was developing an Information Architecture from the ground up. For a complex platform experience with innumerable dependencies throughout the business this was no easy lift. I worked closely with Product Managers, engineers, partner representatives, technical product managers, business administrators and more to develop a logical IA.

  • Userflows and SiteMaps I created incredibly detailed userflows and sitemaps, visualizing the entire partner journey within the platform and ensuring a logical, intuitive structure aligned with user needs. This was in part for my own clarity but the activity also provided critical clarity to other project members on the needs and experience of our platform users.

  • Wireframes I wireframed the initial designs in order to translate conceptual ideas into tangible, visual representations, allowing for rapid iteration and validation of design concepts. This was critical to get buy in from stakeholders and to get our team on the same page about the breadth of the project.


Design Deliverables


Navigation Design

Leveraging the aforementioned information architecture, I lead the design of a functional navigation system for the platform.

Product Customization and Global Styles 


features an intuitive interface empowering partners to effortlessly configure financial products. I led design here, mapping out the UX and designing each screen in low, then medium fidelity. I lead our talented visual designers to finalize UI.

API Configuration


 I conceptualized, wire-framed, and designed our API management center from low to high fidelity.

API Monitoring 


I conceptualized, wire-framed, and designed our API monitoring and API Logs from low to high fidelity.

Product Catalogue and Payment flow


I created the concepts, initial sketches, low to medium fidelity for the product catalogue and payment screens. I mentored a junior developer coming on the team to complete the UI designs.


Customer Upload and Configuration flow 


I worked closely with our product manager to conceptualize and design the customer upload and configuration flow. This was a complicated component with a great deal of challenges inherent to its design.


Conclusion

This is an ongoing project with a scope that will span several years. As the lead designer here I worked to shape the product, providing the business with based on the needs of the end user. Connected Solutions is a strong and forward-thinking platform built from the ground up. In my role as a leader in design, I focused on creating a smooth experience for developers, product managers, and other essential users integrating our service. From the beginning, I played a key part in shaping requirements to ensure the platform follows the best practices in design. I also gained significant experience in this project, developing meaning from nebulous requirements, and leading across and up through ambiguity.

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