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Top 5 tips for Evolving into FinTech as a UX’er

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Hannah Roue digital, UX, Fintech...

FinTech is one of the most competitive spaces with new disruptors in the market. We hosted a panel talk to discuss the world of UX design within FinTech and the day to day challenges of working within such an innovative industry. From variable backgrounds and companies, to large banks and start-ups, their diverse career journeys and experiences.

The panel consisted of UI, UX and researchers speaking, featuring;

Naomi is a User Researcher at Monzo who specialises in remote research on both mobile and desktop. At Monzo she has conducted exploratory and evaluative research on Lending and Monzo Help, and currently leads research across Revenue generating squads. Previously, she was contracting at Google where she conducted international research focusing primarily on data visualisation features. She is also a mentor for Hexagon UX and a volunteer researcher for the Pride in London app.

Elliot is a UX Consultant. He started his career with Tribal Worldwide 6 years’ ago as an apprentice and is currently with Aviva working on their Global Design System, influencing the experience of over 31 million customers worldwide.

Christie is a User Experience designer at design consultancy Tobias & Tobias. She has worked with a wide range of clients, from start-ups, non-profits, the UK government, to investment banks. With psychology and human-computer interaction background, she transforms insights from quantitative and qualitative user research to actionable opportunities and product delivery. Her online class "How to Create a Storyboard" has won her the grand prize in the Skillshare Contest for First Time Business and Technology Teachers.

Louis-Laurent started his career 8 years’ ago with luxury and retail brands and joined Societe Generale over 3 years ago as a senior UX/UI designer, he’s developing the SG Markets electronic suite for cross asset financial web services and worked on the SGCIB new design-system.

Holly is a senior UX Designer and Researcher, coming from a background in visual design. She has a broad range of experience working in top digital agencies, in-house, on-site, within a start-up and in third sector. Across her career, she has worked within the finance, asset management, FMCG, telecoms, B2B, non-profit and education industries, helping her to develop into a versatile designer.

UX’..?! I’ve never seen those two words together, like, what is that?! It sounded super cool


 

Here are top 5 takeaways from the event, professional advice for breaking into the industry and what it’s really like on the inside…

  1. The process of landing a job within the FinTech industry is different and challenging, but you don’t necessarily require previous experience within the sector. All designers share a collage of backgrounds in all sorts of areas, for instance the fashion industry and other contrasting industries.  

    “I didn’t even know what UX was – so I gave in my graphic design portfolio, and now here I am!”

    It is beneficial to have a good foundation of UX first – there’s a lot of acronyms and every day is a school day. Even down to the technology that you’re using, the developers won’t know if it will work either.

    The interviews themselves are generally a standard format, they tend to focus on cost saving initiatives and customer attraction. Stick to the general UX principles. 
     
  2. It’s worth considering the difference between working with an agency and working in house within a company. The policies, deliverables, deadlines and flexibility are variable. Your contact with the developers, the team and the opportunity to directly see your work go live.

    This all could differ at an agency where you might receive more autonomy. There are variable working formats which could be advantageous depending on personal working styles and preferences.
     
  3. At larger banks and financial enterprises, it’s still very much a traditional industry. It’s hundreds of years old, there’s a solid hierarchy and as a designer there is a lot of red tape to get through.

    It is quite the opposite to start ups, with only around 4 releases a year, there is often a procedure to follow and legal teams to converse with. There’s a legacy and a level of maturity to these institutions. 

    It can be a challenge to push for user needs and making banking accessible to people, making their lives easier and fine tuning their experience with finance. Due to banking authorisations and regulations that you must abide by, there are some things you must consider within the process.

    One of the speakers compared this challenge with a hostage negotiation – do you bother with the fight? Do you push for that functionality?

    Choose your battles wisely. Although it’s so rewarding when you win. It’s a complex industry!
     
  4. At start ups and smaller banks, the process’ are very fast paced. A lot of remote user research and usability methods are required to understand the customer and solve issues impacting the business.

    For instance, with banking apps, you need to sympathise with the customers sense of responsibility with instruction and flagging, improving their usability of the product.

    Brace yourself for change and speed. I thought google would be fast, but this is madness. Brace yourself for that. Do your research on terminology within finance and fintech.
     
  5. The key to these new platforms is to translate banking products to people. There various loops holes and hurdles to go through which makes the job interesting. Watch the performance metrics to improve these products and the quality of data – why do people click?

    Fintech is so exciting because it’s growing so quickly - what do customers want?

 

It was a great evening packed with engaging points and insightful discussions around UX within the FinTech sector.

Special thanks go out to John and the team at General Assembly for partnering with us on this event.

 

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