Lead Product Designer

Cecilia Huster

Making complex interactions easy

  1. Meet with prospects. Find out about their current financial situation, as well as their hopes and dreams for the future.
  2. Create a realistic plan for the family, using the app.
  3. Meet with the prospects again and present the plan. At this meeting the advisor should ideally close the sale and convert the prospects into customers.  

This interaction was part of an app used by financial advisors. Their workflow is illustrated in the storyboard above:  

When the advisor comes to the page, it presents the information needed to calculate and optimize a married couple's taxes. In this case, all three drop downs affect each other, as well as the tax rate table below. 

This page is prepopulated with information we already have. In the vast majority of cases, advisors won't need to make any edits. They can just hit Continue and be on their way. 




  • Assume that end users have perfect recall of everything in their field.
  • Test your app with stakeholders instead of end users.
  • Remove functionality just because lay people don't understand it.

  • Design your app to be attractive.
  • Write in simple, informal language.
  • Make the app easy to learn for end users.
  • Test with ends users at different career stages and performance levels.

Consumerification of enterprise software

In the rare case that the advisor needs to adjust the tax rates, they can do so inline in the table. We use a pen icon as an inline editing button throughout the app. 

Inline editing

When the advisor clicks the pen icon after Martina's name, her tax column splits into two:

  1. The default tax rate, for reference.
  2. Martina's editable tax rates.


Don't oversimplify

The same interaction is available for the spouse or partner. This is an example of not simplifying the functionality to a lay person's level. Financial advisors are used to complex interactions in tabular data. 

Cost-to-Own Wireframes

1. Text only

I included this version in the user testing only because it would require minimal Development effort. We'd simply add a line to the details boxes at the bottom of the page with a cost estimate. 

4. Interactive slider

There's even less information in this version, but I think that if we can get users to engage with it, the impact will be much stronger. 

3. Static bar graph

There's less information in the bar graph, because it assumes that you've invested $10,000. But the visual impact is greater than with a table. 

2. Table

A new section on the page, with a table showing how the cost grows over time and with higher amounts.