Almost half of UK savers have accounts with interest rates lower than inflation – most people just don’t realize how much they are losing by leaving their money in poor performing accounts. This is where Savings Champion comes in: their goal is to make the UK savings market more competitive by making consumers more aware of the interest rates they are receiving, and by helping them switch to make more from their money. Savings Champion approached Clearleft with the goal of boosting their conversion rates. As a young business, this was a new endeavour for them and they were looking for an experienced agency to guide them through the process.
This was a two man, two week project. I was UX Lead and Paul LLoyd was Visual / Interface Designer.
At the outset of the project, the client stakeholders were optimistic that this would be a light touch project where we’d only need to tweak a few aspects of their information architecture. As the project unfolded, we realised that the challenge ran deeper, and that we needed to re-architect core user journeys, rewrite the site’s copy and formulate a new visual design framework. The good news was that we were able to deliver all this within the original project budget, with only a few late nights from our project team!
We began the project with a stakeholder workshop in which we facilitated exercises to elicit the business goals and produce customer experience maps. From this, the stakeholders had a clear idea of the overall approach we were taking on the project.
After the workshop we began an iterative wireframing process. Since it was a short project, we couldn’t do any user research, instead we focussed on expert evaluation and gathering critical feedback from the internal stakeholders during each iteration – in all passing through eleven iterations before moving into visual design. Unlike other agencies, at Clearleft we prefer to carry out copywriting as part of the design process, after all copy is the most persuasive element of any page and it’s impossible to properly evaluate a design without it.
The Big Insights
Our initial analysis of the existing product revealed many similar sounding calls to action. For example, users were being invited to choose whether to sign up for the ‘Rate tracker’, ‘Rate Alerts’ or ‘Concierge service’. We realised that users were going to find it challenging to understand the nuanced differences, and that it was likely to cause a proportion of them to just give up or sign up for the wrong thing. Although there is a certain amount of inherent complexity in the world of personal financial management, it was clear that it was bad timing to hit users with it as part of their first encounter with the site.
We began work on a new persuasive architecture, which radically simplified the offering. Instead of asking users to make numerous decisions up-front, we created a single conversion funnel that enticed users with one clear selling point. Then, once inside the funnel, users were able to decide which of the free services were suited to them.
During this work we studied the analytics data. We learnt that users were visiting best buy tables pages in large numbers, but were then simply consuming the information and leaving. It became evident that the best buy pages needed a persuasive conversion element that encouraged users to sign up, while still giving away enough high value content to maintain the existing traffic levels. After considering numerous alternatives, we decided to add some tantalising editorial content that was presented in a partially hidden state and required free registration to unlock. We also added an exit upsell, so that when users clicked ‘apply’ on any savings account, they were invited to join Savings Champion or simply go direct to the provider’s site. Both of these techniques worked together to create a sign-up conversion on a page that was previously failing to convert any users.
Our goal was to create a balanced situation where both the users and the business got what they wanted in a healthy, symbiotic relationship.
We helped Savings Champion a significant way down this road. In the new design, users are given enough free information to draw them in, and an enticing reason to become a member. In return, the company gets to communicate with an ever-growing community of users, and engage them in their quest to improve the UK savings market for everyone.
“Harry embraced the challenge of working with our diverse and fluid team to produce a completely new and innovative design for our website, with the primary goal of improving the user experience of our visitors. The workshop he ran was well organised, highly focussed and helped us both to validate what we already knew about our target audience, and to gain new and valuable insights that have informed the re-design. He was also excellent at maintaining the pace of the project and making sure we met a challenging target for completing the design process.” Annette Mercer – Marketing Director, Savings Champion
This Case Study was first published on clearleft.com.