InvestorLine are BMO’s online trading platforms: Self-directed and AdviceDirect. Self-directed allows clients with full control over their investments: stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and more. AdviceDirect provides personalized advice support from registered investment advisors based on several factors like their risk profile, but the clients still make the decisions.
The current InvestorLine homepage shows a lot of information that could be of value to the client upon first log in. The page is cluttered, information is hard to find and you don’t know where to look first or where to look next.
The current InvestorLine homepage shows a lot of information that could be of value to the client upon first logging in. The page is cluttered, things are hard to find and you don’t know where to look first or where to look next.
Redesigning the InvestorLine homepage involved a lot of thought around who we were redesigning the homepage for. Several research tasks went into creating the personas such as: initial market analysis and sending out an online survey to a client panel of over 5,000 people and discussion surveys with client call centre employees.
You cannot know your customers until you interact with them. In 2016, the online panel was sent out to BMO InvestorLine clients to survey what they wanted to see and how we could improve their experience using the self-directed platform. By taking quotes from these clients and grouping them into common themes I was able to create these personas helping us to identify client desires and pain points.
To summarize, a lot of the identified feedback from clients were:
- The platform felt too busy and cluttered.
- Most clients were doing their market research elsewhere and then coming back to BMO InvestorLine to do their trading.
- Things were complicated and hard to find, the platform needed to be more intuitive.
- Clients wanted consolidated account information and a better summary on their holdings.
- People just don’t like ads. The location of the ad was in the centre region of the page oftentimes with big red graphics which called a lot of attention to it.
I used Balsamiq to quickly create a visual for some of the ideas that we wanted to incorporate in the new design.
Some of the major areas of thought for the design addressed the following issues:
- When thinking about the first things investors would immediately want to look at were account information and the watchlist. We wanted both of these areas to have a better visual representation of the information at hand.
- I moved the stockcharts to the top and spread them across the sign. I felt this gave investors a better understanding of market and stock pricing at a glance. Additionally, it didn’t take up much real estate on the screen and held a lot of immediate value to the user.
- I wanted the account information to feel more browsable being able to see a summary of their account information but spotlighting a visual story of the account in focus that they were looking at
- I moved all news, announcement and information related content into one central location.
- I added a holdings overview where they could see summarized information on their specific holdings and link to any news for those investments.
Design & Test
In my experience, the best approach is to design efficiently and test often and as soon as possible. Much of what we do as designers is up to speculation so it’s important to get feedback and move forward with data driven design.
A few more changes went into the design that we wanted to test with users:
- BMO InvestorLine offers to reward clients with high-value assets, active traders, or both. We wanted these 5-Star clients to feel more celebrated, or add a feeling of ‘gamification’ to achieving 5-Star status.
- Holding movers was an idea to showcase specific client holdings that were fluctuating the most as the client will probably want to focus their attention there.
- News articles were tagged with any related stocks or markets.
- Despite the business wanting to promote their latest and greatest, ads were moved to the very bottom and right of the page as chronologically this is the last thing the client will and want to see.
We did several rounds of user testing through in-person moderated sessions where a handful of BMO InvestorLine clients came in to give some insightful feedback.
- Many BMO InvestorLine clients spread an older and more affluent group. Moving forward, we had to keep this in mind as change is not necessarily preferred.
- Many clients that like the homepage as is simply for the fact that they could see everything on one page and didn’t have to scroll much. This posed a huge challenge in trying to declutter and organize so much information into the real estate of one screen.
- Many clients focused on looking at their account information and their holdings.
In the end, a redesign still hasn’t gone to production to this day. However, the initial iterations of ideation and user testing were of valuable information and feedback to the business as they decide to move forward into BMO InvestorLine’s future redesign.