Lead Product Designer

Cecilia Huster

Design Principles for Mediated Customer Experiences

As the lead designer for advisor experiences, I was acutely aware of the results of the ad-hoc approach to creating these experiences. To raise awareness of how we could improve them and why that's a good idea, I created design principles and evangelized them internally.

Concept: Perceived Competence

The concept of perceived competence, was very useful to help people understand how advisors' experience affects customers' experience. From there, it wasn't hard to infer that improving the advisors' experience, would also improve how customers perceive the company.

Perceived competence is obviously influenced by how knowledgeable advisors are about finances. But apart from that, it's also influenced by design and development. Here's how:

  • Flow: Do advisors have to work against the system to satisfy the customer's social expectations?
  • Speed: Does the system respond quickly enough, so that advisors can reply to the customer's questions in a timely manner? If not, they may have to put the customer on hold or talk about the weather to avoid awkward pauses.
  • Relevance and timeliness: Is the information that the system serves up relevant and timely in the context of the customer's concern?
  • Personalization: Does the system give generic answers, or are they specific to the customer's circumstances?
  • Confidence in the tool: Are advisors confident that the tool won't betray them, give them inaccurate information or set them up to fail in some other way?