The team was constituted by me (dedicated 90% to this project), another designer and a strategist (both only dedicated at 10% on this). Me and the other designer were part of the internal Visa dedicated team at Monitise and although oficially I was to be focused on the UX related aspects and he on the visual part we ended up working together in both areas. He helped on the interviews, on the feature mapping and in the structure and I “kicked off” the mockups, ending up doing 80% of it (since he had only 10% of his time allocated to this project).
Create, in less than two weeks, a concept for a pitch intersecting keypoints like “social”, “tools for new businesses” and “financial education” while using already existing platforms within Visa and Monitise.
We started by researching inhouse documentation as well as multiple UK and US startups and business related forums and platforms. We created a matrix of the most relevant questions and problems and prioritise them based on frequency and relevance for the business sustainability. After that we prepared a set of questions and went outside the office to interview business owners in Soho. We were also lucky enough to have a cowork space on another floor of the company’s building where some people were available to answer our questions.
The insights from the interviews were incredibly usefull, specially since it allowed us to better understand the relationship between startups, funding and business angels. Having this data we discussed it with the strategist and, considering the tight deadline, we all agreed it was enough to move on to the next stages. We went on to list the pains/problems referenced in the interviews/forums and then the consequent solutions. After that we did some card sorting and created a basic map that would guide us through the wireframes.
This page allowed us to show how each user would be connected to the platform, the features that would benifit him more. Of course, nothing of what is repre- sented here is casual, but rather based on our research. The possibility to create a pitch by uploading documents, videos, etc. answers the possibility of facilitating the connection between startups and business angels.
Since time was short we decided before wireframing which pages would be enough to showcase the main features of the concept. The homepage was an obvious choice since it is the central hub, the entry point to the key features of the platform showing relevant content for the registered/logged in user.
Having the possibility to connect directly to investors and mentors, to see their recent activity, to send them a pitch for a project in an internal message and, in the future, integrate the platform with a centralised system that makes it easy to manage and approve the different stages of funding makes up for quite a powerful solution to a lot of miscommunication and bureaucracy.
Based on research we decided the best would be to maintain a straightforward approach to the “managing and seeking funding” so this area was called “Money”. Another key point was obviously to have an area where the banks can promote their own products which fits the purpose here.
While working on the mockups I had the idea of using a companion app that would allow the user to share/send the pitch to any contact at any time (i.e. while networking in an event). It used to be said you should always have a pitch ready to be presented in the time frame of an elevator ride. This is a tool to make it even faster and more effective. This is the pitch for the 21st Century.
In less than two weeks we created a research backed solution that allows banks to be closer to SMEs and startups, a solution that would have a social aspect as it's main focus and that can adapt to grow in the future and become a template for future solutions, even in other areas, such as financial education.