UX

How our UX team revamped the navigation of the LEVERIS banking platform

Katerina Parizkova
Katerina Parizkova
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What’s this all about?

At LEVERIS, our mission is to use technology to break down barriers between people, systems and data. User experience and visual design (UX/UI) plays a crucial role in this. Here, UX Designer Katerina Parizkova offers an insight into how the UX/UI team at LEVERIS went about analysing and redesigning the platform’s navigation to ensure its simple and seamless use.

Read on if you:

  • Are interested in how LEVERIS works to provide bank operators with the best possible experience so they can be effective and work with ease
  • Want to know how, through analysis and a complex design process, we transformed the navigation for the back-office to enhance the quality of an operator’s experience
  • Are curious about how the LEVERIS UX/UI design team works

When building a complex banking and lending platform, our day-to-day thoughts focus strongly on its usability. That’s because we know that operators will use it on a daily basis for various tasks that need to be performed as intuitively as possible.

In the following article, I will explore in detail how the LEVERIS UX/UI team analysed and resigned the navigation of our platform, ensuring that – on both desktop and mobile devices – it is both simple and seamless to use and that it enhances value for our clients.

But first, what’s the big fuss about good navigation?

Why good navigation matters

Based on the requirements of business analysts and product owners at LEVERIS, the UX/UI team works to implement the most effective design and to improve the functionality of already existing features on our platform. As this is a crucial part of any platform with complex architecture, over the past few months, we have been redesigning the navigation for both the desktop and mobile devices.

When bank operators navigate through a large information space and across many work agendas (such as payments and lending), there exists a real risk that they may become disoriented or have trouble performing their tasks. A risk that operators cannot navigate properly or are restricted to slow navigation. We want to avoid this at all costs and well-designed navigation ensures this doesn’t happen and allows operators to perform their tasks much more quickly and with ease.

“Good design is not only about visuals, but also about smart and intuitive architecture with meaningful content.”

Katerina Parizkova, LEVERIS UX Designer Tweet

Communicating with clients

An important part of the UX/UI team’s work is communication with clients. Feedback is crucial and helps us understand the areas in which we need to improve. Based on detailed client feedback, we were able to start the design process using our own analysis.

Some of the challenges we faced included helping operators to know exactly where they are in the navigation process, having clear product pages (such as for loans and payments), enhancing the design and ensuring that we are achieving industry standards.

LEVERIS design process

The design process consists of a complex pathway. Research kicks off the process and only then does the brainstorming begin. Ideas are refined by iterations and made ready to be tested as a raw design. Only when the necessary adjustments are made to the design, we can proceed to the final implementation phase. You can get an overall view of this process in the graphic above.

The Value Proposition Canvas

In order to better understand our design needs, we used a simplified version of the Value Proposition Canvas, an analytical method that helps ensure a product or service is positioned around what a customer values and needs. 

We used this analysis to find out how the LEVERIS platform is currently addressing clients’ requirements and pains, and which ones still require a solution.

Value Proposition Canvas at LEVERIS

Our canvas looked something like this. On the left side, we identified customer requirements and pains (problems that needed to be solved; shortcomings of the current state of the navigation) and on the right side, we displayed functionalities and pain relievers (new features).

Thanks to the analysis, our team was able to identify a number of high priority pains:

  • The dropdown menu did not clearly show the user where he or she was in the system and, if required, where the user needed to go next.
  • It was very difficult to quickly return to a recent activity.
  • Guideposts were serving as support for navigation but because there were too many levels, users could easily lose their location within the process.
  • Breadcrumbs (forming a secondary navigation scheme that indicates the user’s location in a website or web application) broke when navigating between modules.

Building a solid roadmap (Research)

Following analysis of the pain points, we defined four main goals. We were striving to:

  • Provide operators with the highest level of usability and effectiveness of work
  • Increase the speed of the workflow and moving through agendas
  • Provide the quickest orientation within a system
  • Easily implement the current or new design

 

The logic of navigation formed a crucial part of this. We conducted research concerning the following:

  • How the architecture of the current navigation looks – the number of levels we have. We needed to map the entire system.
  • Best practices of multi-level navigation.
  • Current back-office structure and design to ensure that we were following all the design rules and adhering to the structure by using appropriate styles, patterns and components within our design system.

Moving towards the goal (Ideation)

Once we gathered all the necessary information gained through analysis and research, we moved into the ideation sketching phase. That meant navigating several design rounds and creating different variations of the design. Our aim was to select the one that best fulfils our requirements and solves the problems at hand.

LEVERIS UX team
Katka and Lubo, members of the LEVERIS UX team

What we needed to solve in the most effective way:

  • where to place the navigation 
  • how the navigation will expand and collapse
  • the number of levels to display in the menu
  • how the navigation will be connected with breadcrumbs
  • how to prepare a mobile version
  • which functionalities (search, user menu) we need to incorporate and in which way

How we found solutions (Iteration)

Once we gathered all the necessary information gained through analysis and research, we moved into the ideation sketching phase. That meant navigating several design rounds and creating different variations of the design. Our aim was to select the one that best fulfils our requirements and solves the problems at hand.

In the end, we decided to go for a persistent navigation sidebar including settings and the user dropdown menu. The menu is separated into three parts:

  1. Home dashboard, tasks and user menu
  2. Products
  3. Settings

 

During the iteration phase, we created the test-ready design.

User testing and findings implementation (Testing)

In order to uncover any shortcomings, we carried out qualitative testing with five operators of the system. For these purposes, we prepared an interactive prototype of the navigation and a well-structured scenario of the testing.

For testing, we focused mainly on:

  • placement of the navigation
  • connection with breadcrumbs
  • logic of collapsing
  • number of items
  • identifying the right spot for the search field
  • placement of user’s dropdown
  • number of guideposts

 

Thanks to our findings and the improvements made based on them, we managed to attain the final structure, logic and behaviour of the navigation, as well as the final UI design.

LEVERIS navigation

Our discovery never ends

For now, all the navigation is fully tested and we’re happy to say, it works a treat! Throughout the whole process, we managed to address all the requirements that stemmed from client feedback and our own analysis. We solved the problems that had been identified and now, the navigation is being implemented into the system. Additionally, from the outset, we designed the navigation to be usable and consistent on both desktop and mobile devices.

It’s been an exciting and educational experience for me and my colleagues on the LEVERIS UX/UI team. However, this journey is by no means complete. At LEVERIS, we continue to open new doors, gather new ideas and gain inspiration on how we make banking better.

Stay tuned for more on this journey!

Katerina Parizkova
Katerina Parizkova
Katerina is a UX designer at LEVERIS. With her team, she works on enhancing the usability of the banking platform and providing users with the best possible experience.
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