User Portal System Design

Journey map of our big idea


Our client, one of the largest providers of investment accounts and mutual funds in the world, provided a brief outlining their goal of increasing online enrollment in their retirement account and to encourage use of the client’s online resources. Our in first step was to determine the key areas within the client’s industry, and in relation to their users, which served as starting points for research and exploration towards opportunities for ideation.


Our design methodology was primarily research-driven. This process included online surveys, interviews, competitor analysis and registration best practices. We foster this approach in order to be a better advocate for the participant/user. Knowing their behavior allowed us to develop empathy and make decisions based on our understanding of the user rather than our assumptions.

Key Impact Areas

  • Privacy, Security and Trust
  • Strategic Relationships with Employers
  • Increasing Levels of Engagement
  • Empowerment and Education of the User
  • Data Visualization
  • Storytelling


Laura, 34, Programmer

– Access to a higher standard of living in retirement
– Launch a tech startup

– Generally a conservative investor with holdings in individual stocks
– Due to a personal experience in data breaches, Laura is skeptical about sharing her private information
– While her investments see decent returns, she lacks liquidity, such as an emergency fund

– Learn about investing basics to develop good financial habits
– Start saving for retirement
– Be in a position to travel more
– Has limited income and is on a tight budget
– Works 10 hours a week as a Graduate Associate
– His job provides an opportunity to contribute to a retirement account
– Values environmental conservation

Roberto, 23, Graduate Student in Biology


In determining the needs of our users (personas), we decided to conceptualize an all-in-one portal system that incorporates personalization and more visualization of the users’ investment journeys alongside their life events and personal savings goals.

Laura’s dashboard, providing a snapshot of her investment journey, allocation of her investment portfolio, and sections for tailored content and financial resources
Module illustrating user’s ability to combine their life events with a savings goal

In acclimating the new user to their investment account, we conceptualize an introductory video prior to accessing their dashboard (animated by Michael Fletcher)

Robert’s dashboard features a digital assistant, with the option of upgrading to receive counsel from an actual financial advisor.

In essence, our primary concept is explicitly designed to support the customer in writing their own narrative. The purpose of which is to create a framework that: 

  • Reinforces the need for long-term retirement planning while simultaneously acknowledging, and allowing for, real-life goals and aspirations and the need for financial flexibility.  
  • Creates a platform that goes beyond the reductive dichotomy of saver/spender