What was the problem they were facing?
The Lending Wizard was a web portal for use by financial brokers and intermediaries. It used the same web platform as it’s parent company Freedom Finance to source loans from a panel of leading lenders. It’s closed to public use and is a tool for financial professionals only.
Following the financial crash there has been a clampdown on high street lending with tightened credit criteria. As a result there’s been a steady growth in credit provision organized through financial intermediaries. Financial intermediaries use loan sourcing portals to search loans for their clients. The market is very competitive with new entrants and incentives offered every month.
The Lending Wizard was Freedom Finance’s presence in this market.
Unfortunately The Lending Wizard site was seen as dated, had irrelevant imagery andweak loan tracking information. It also failed to deliver additional information beyond the loan application itself.
Also, with over 50% of loan searchestaking place on mobile the existing site suffered because it wasn’t responsive.
How did we work with Freedom Finance?
Our first act was to interrogate the customers themselves. Brokers and intermediaries were interviewed against a pre agreed discussion guide and depth interviews took place across the country. Interviews were run by Conch Associates with a cross section of users, non users and rejectors sourced by Freedom Finance’s intermediary team.
Understanding their customer journey was the essential pre-requisite to initial designs. The findings had implications beyond website re-design and impacted team contact strategies, loan application updates, speed of response, transparency, compliance support and additional help to enhance the brokers role as advisors.
The research was debriefed with initial home page design options based on the research learnings. These were expressed across desktop, tablet and mobile platforms.
From the design options presented, one route was chosen and further design was progressed. This was based on a site map developed from the research findings and the existing site’s application process.
Tight lines and teamwork were the order of the day with client generating copy and each landing and sub pages being designed in the agreed style.
Finally layered files for all pages and platforms were supplied to their in-house web development team for final build.
What was the solution?
Not just a new site driven by their intermediary customer requirements but it also prompted a review of Freedom Finance brand architecture and gave rise to a new name for the loan portal – Freedom for Intermediaries.
All functionality was built mobile up and whilst loan application speed remained paramount we built in much greater transparency, near misses, sms case progress updates, criteria guides, quick quotes and even cpd help.
A full visual identity sprang from the site design which encompassed typography and logotype, colour palette, image library and iconography. This was applied to all brochures, application packs, stationery, digital signatures, business cards, presentation templates, promotional items and exhibition stands.