Nimble, one of Australia’s first disruptive lenders, has a vision to transform the company out of the short term lending space and into a truly customer-centric fintech. As part of that journey, we partnered with them to help build a new line of credit product, Nimble AnyTime. As the only designer on the team, I was responsible for all things UX.
Team (AU & CHN)
x2 Data Scientists
The founders had a strong desire to remove traditional barriers associated with lending, and were the first company in Australia to introduce paperless applications and straight-through processing.
This commitment to providing a fast and efficient serivce led to them quickly becoming a household name. Today, Nimble have funded over 1.6 million loans to customers all over the country. They are now transitioning out of payday loans to become a contemporary, product-oriented fintech.
In recent years, the financial services sector in Australia has seen a major disruption with the rise of fintechs and neobanks. These new players are offering customers fast, convenient and tailored services that are reshaping the way we manage our finances. Businesses across the country are now being forced to incorporate disruptive technologies of their own, or they risk falling by the wayside.
Nimble has recognised that the non-prime, non-bank lending industry in Australia is growing, and that millennials are demonstrating a willingness to try new financial apps. With a strong brand presence, customer base and data set, Nimble needed to live up to its name and respond fast.
We started by facilitating inception workshops with the leadership and delivery team to align around the purpose and goals for Nimble AnyTime. This helped us get a shared understanding and develop a plan that could evolve as the project progressed and constraints were better understood. The high level goals were to:
So what actually is it?
During inception, we learned that the product will be targeted at employed, near-prime digital natives with a need for flexible and accessible credit that can fit seamlessly into their lives. Nimble had already invested in customer and market research, so our main focus was on designing the customer journey.
In addition to these research, findings, I also conducted some interviews with people who had recently applied for credit or who were planning to apply to better understand the customer segment.
We found that applicants needed providers to speak their language as they find them harder to trust through all of the financial jargon. They also expect the application process to be quick, but with enough friction that they feel their information is secure. Finally, it was important to applicants that their loan repayment schedule works around their pay day.
The user flow went through many iterations based on changing business requirements throughout the project, however the goal was to ultimately design a fast and secure experience which made it easy for customers to apply for a loan and get easy access to their credit. Below outlines the high level interactions in the application process.
As a part of their brand repositioning, Nimble engaged brand consultancy Interbrand to refresh their visual identity. The new branding has been rolled out across a wide range of customer touch points, which included a new colour palette and font. While there were already some updates to the website, this refresh provided me with an opportunity to set a new standard for design and pave the way for future products.
As the only designer on the team, I was responsible for creating the landing pages, application form, loan management dashboard, Nimble credit card, UI style guide and provide direction on the styling of a white-label native app.
Mockup courtesy of Interbrand as an example of the new branding in action.
Though copy had not yet been written for the marketing site, it was a good opportunity to put the new elements of the branding system to the test, such as the colours, shapes, typefaces and tone of voice. It also served as a starting point for the prototype to use during research.
Nimble were also required to have an Apple Pay marketing page with specific messaging around the digital wallet service, including instructions on how to use the Nimble AnyTime card.
Our primary focus was the application form on the Nimble website and the loan management dashboard. The dashboard is a simple interface that enables customers to draw down funds (as an alternative to using the digital wallet), and also make additional repayments on their loan.
For the app, Nimble chose to work with a white-label digital wallet provider which enabled us to simply customise a pre-built solution. The app links directly to the customer’s Nimble account making the approved funds available to spend on the spot. I worked with the app provider to style the UI.
Though Nimble's rebranding was comprehensive, it did not include any guidelines for a digital environment. Because of this, I decided to produce a simple UI style guide that could be used, adapted and evolved by future product teams.
After 7 months, around 1200 Jira tickets and over 3000 coffees, a beta version of Nimble AnyTime was launched to a segment of their existing customers. The idea of this was to further validate and optimise features before releasing to Nimble's broader customer base. As with any project though, this one didn't go without its challenges.
Working with a distributed team in China meant we had to establish ways of working where we could collaborate as if we were in the same room. We did this with an 'always on' video conferencing setup in both offices, which allowed us to create a connected culture and increase efficiency.
We initially took a 'steel thread' approach to development where we focused on building the core end-to-end functionality of the application on the front-end while ensuring the underlying services were integrated. While this enabled us to quickly spin up a functional UI early on, it was not always easy to showcase our progress and get feedback from stakeholders in following sprints. This meant we had to flex between further UI development and integration work.