Design Thinking: Futurefuel.io
Futurefuel.io is a series A funding fintech startup aiming to crush student debt. This project is my reflections about my six-month product design internship.
Scope & Timeline
Jun 2019 - Mar 2020
1 UX researcher
During my six-month product design internship @Futurefuel.io, I gained a lot of experience through working on the fintech product, collaborating with teammates, and applying design thinking across a breadth of projects.
Instead of only writing about Sketch, Figma, Invision and all the tools I used, I want to share my reflections and insights. Tools are constantly changing, but the insights and reflections will last forever in my design career.
Design thinking is everywhere
Pushing pixels is the execution of designing visuals, and generating ideas is the backbone of all kinds of design. I started to see design as problem-solving to optimize all kinds of processes. As an intern at a fast-growing fintech start-up, I worked on many different projects which were seemingly unrelated to typical design work. Later I developed a deeper understanding of what is design thinking and how it is underlying all kinds of work I did.
Information design and CX
One of the projects I worked on during my internship was to manage the chat on Zendesk. In order to improve the customer chatting experience and chat agent efficiency, my mentor Kurt and I created a chat playbook to guide agents through live chats with users.
We optimized the chatting process to create a better experience for chat agents and customers. We created shortcuts for answering commonly asked questions and responding to user frustrations and created a user flow diagram for the chatting instruction. Agents will have a frictionless flow when chatting with users thus mitigating agents' empathy fatigue. Conversely, users will have their questions answered quickly and effectively.
Part of the chat instruction flow for agents
A/B testing email images to measure the success of a design
I created email hero images based on certain drip campaigns. I learned that email performance metrics are strongly associated with the effectiveness of the visual image design. Every small change of color and CTA copywriting can make a huge difference.
Email hero image
Email hero image
variables for A/B test
Creating sales assets and product one-pagers for B2B2C business
I created sales assets and PDF one-pagers upon sales team requests for employers and business partners. Making designs in a B2B2C business trained me to find the design tradeoff to match business needs and user needs. We revised product description copywriting to speak for the employers' and business partners' goals.
Storyboard for customer-facing website's video
When revising the FAQ pdf for partnered employers, I learned to focus on meeting the needs of different and related partners: the employers (companies) will send out the FAQs pdf file for the partnership with Futurefuel.io, employees of the company who are going to read the pdf to learn more about using our platform. It is the need to balance and resolve the conflicts (value props, user needs, business goals) between sales to employer and sales to employees. I learned to make design decisions while taking consideration of different factors.
B2B one-pager to explain Giveback feature
UX research throughout the product design process
In a period of six months, I participated in many UX research sessions. I joined session planning, did competitive analyses, worked on survey design, took notes during user interviews, created user personas, sketched storyboards, and investigated screen recordings. I realized that research and design form an iterative loop. UX research is present throughout the design process to help us better understand user problems and goals. UX research is crucial to facilitate the product and design teams' goal of creating a better user experience.
The more user interview sessions I was involved in, the more I started to develop an intrinsic understanding of what the user thinks and needs. I learned how to assess the relevancy of user feedback, determining which feedback was most actionable. To better understand the problems we were working on to better the product, one important thing is to understand the target audience. (user persona and customer journey) I realized that research-informed product design is about consciously evaluating feedback to make intentional observations and decide on how they translate to design recommendations. I become more adapt and familiar with the re-evaluation process and how to make neutrally informed design recommendations throughout the training.
When we made the first user persona, we mistakenly selected the non-target audience for a certain product
After going back and forth check-in meetings with product and sales team, we shifted one of the user characteristics and created the most relevant user persona