Designing a CRM platform for mortgage brokers

Product Design
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The project

One digital tool for the whole mortgage journey

FinLink is a web-based CRM app for mortgage brokers in Germany that helps them to manage their clients, create mortgage offers and gather mortgage documents.

The challenge

The app started as an internal tool built only by developers and shaped to the specific needs of FinLink mortgage brokers.

However, since there was a lack of designers in the initial product development stage, there were quite a few flaws in the information infrastructure, usability and consistency of design patterns and styles within the app.

My role

I was responsible for the redesign of the platform and was involved in user interviews, ideation of new features and competitor analysis.

Timeline

January 2020 - March 2021

Design system

Improving design consistency and usability

I started with auditing the existing design components and design patterns used in the app. There was quite a lot of inconsistency across the different screens as well as some clear usability issues.

My goal was to unify the components and make improvements where necessary. Since the redesign was going to happen in stages, we had to make sure the new design system was not completely different from the current one so that people would still be able to feel like it was the same product.

Style guide

Style guide

Buttons & inputs

Buttons & Inputs

Navigation & content

Navigation & content

Overview of all mortgage applications

This is the most used screen in the app, where mortgage brokers can see an overview of their clients, filter them and apply bulk actions to multiple clients, such as sending emails, adding tags or re-assigning to a different advisor.

There are two view modes for this page: a list view for easy sorting and a board view that provides a better overview of the progress of each application.

List view and pipeline view of mortgage applications

View summary of activities for one mortgage application

This is one of the most feature-dense screens of the app. It shows the most important information about each mortgage application. The mortgage broker can see a timeline of all activities for the application and record any new activity, such as an email, a note or an event.

Leaving a note, a to-do or an email to an application

Create and share bank offers

This section of the app allows mortgage brokers to import bank offers or create their own offers and share them with their clients.

View list of bank offers and create a new one

View daily to-dos

On this page, mortgage brokers can see an overview of their performance as well as a list of their daily and future tasks.

View  to-dos and add a new one

Manage your organisation profile

On the settings page, mortgage brokers can add details about themselves to share with their clients as well as add and manage team members.

Organisation setting overview

Learnings

Lessons learned

The challenge of having a clean interface for a function-heavy app. I found that a simple and minimalistic interface is not always possible, especially when we wanted to tailor the app to all of the different workflows of the mortgage brokers.

One layout for all experience levels. During the multiple usability tests we performed, we realised there is a big difference in the digital literacy of mortgage brokers. I learned to compromise the simplicity of the design occasionally in order to make it accessible to the less experienced brokers.

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