Improving RateSetter’s navigation

Enabling users to easily explore the site and learn about the products.

The original RateSetter website

RateSetter is a renowned fin-tech investment platform, matching investors with borrowers so stakeholders obtain a better financial deal.

RateSetter sought a responsive navigation solution with improved information architecture, guiding users to their destination with minimal misclicks. It was recognised that their existing navigation was confusing and gave potential investors a poor experience of the brand.

The problem

Their existing navigation was not logical as the labels were ambiguous. Potential investors experienced frustration attempting to locate the information they required, leading to a poor experience of the brand and dissuading them from investing.

How I approached the challenge

RateSetter was aware that its target audience were predominantly 30-60 year old men - who were prepared to spend a lot of time educating themselves on financial products. As internet-savvy consumers, they were attracted by the proposition of P2P investing, and had certain expectations of websites. A frustrating experience of something as fundamental as navigation would be a deal breaker for them.

Consumer personas

Creating consumer personas gave me some insight as to who the visitors to the RateSetter site were, and why they might be intersted in P2P investing.

The project was undertaken in-house by the Marketing Team, with support from developers. As Lead Designer for RateSetter, my role was to conduct research to determine what industry standard navigation looked like, create wireframes of a potential solution, hold workshops to review and refine, then handover the hi fidelty design to the developers for final build.

Financial services experience and design research of navigational solutions

I reviewed and compared desktop and mobile navigation solutions for financial companies. Conducting this exercise helped me spot navigational patterns and similarities.

Encountered challenges

The project had strict time and development constraints. My team and I were aware that the project required a fast turnaround within a single sprint. A solution without user feedback was required, increasing the emphasis on a robust research process and review workshops. A additional consideration was the lack of available time that both the Marketing and Development teams could dedicate to the project. Both teams were invovled in other projects, so allocating time for additional activities was challenging. However, my team and I worked together to define the scope of the project, employing creativity in order to complete the brief, while simultaneously adapting to a vastly increased working pace.

The devised plan consisted of daily stand-up meetings to review and progress the work, and creation of a “war-room” to consider visuals and suggest changes. I sourced images and ran comparisons of how competitors navigation displayed on desktops and mobile devices. I then created sketches and wireframes of how RateSetter’s navigation would look using the most common, intuitive solutions. These low fidelity designs were then reviewed by my team, the devs, and later with stakeholders. Questions and challenges were welcomed as a substitute to user feedback sessions, which led to the creation of two prototypes for stakeholder and developer review before settling on a final solution.

RateSetter navigation wireframes

Navigating between pages used to lack hierarchy. Turning the navigation into an accordion encourages exploration and enables users to view all category pages on a single screen.

What was accomplished

The outcome of the project was a successful launch of the navigation. The hierarchy of labels provided a high-level map of the site, and improved the ability to locate specific content. There were some features which were necessary to drop as the project underwent a further reduction in dev resource towards the end.

Both the Marketing and the Dev teams received very positive feedback from stakeholders. Launching the improved navigation under pressure and with resource limitations was a great achievement.

High fidelity navigation designs