The design problem
Most people find pensions pretty boring. Across the industry it's well-reported that very few members ever open the envelope containing their pension statement or log into their pension provider's platform. Pension providers have a duty of care for their scheme members but if engagement is low this is harder for them to fulfil.
The problem for people
Pensions are scary. The value of a pension comes at a time in life that you may not want to think about now. You may have a projection for how much money you will get at retirement but in 25 years from now what does that even mean? Will a loaf of bread be £500? Will I have enough to live on? How do I know now what I need to live in on years to come? Is the projection I'm given in today's money or in future money?
What I did
Within Smart Pension was Smart Labs; a small team of multidisciplinary developers and designers. We would handle some of these gnarly user experience problems from research to deployment and provide our learnings for the wider business. For the most part this would be by creating our own stand-alone react web apps. We would rapidly test new ideas by creating beta trials for small groups of scheme members, analysing the trial and getting feedback from scheme members.
As UX Lead I took on various roles; product management, user experience design, illustration, branding, research and data protection impact assessments.
I helped the team streamline the delivery process by working closely with the compliance, data protection and legal team so we could build things quickly within a few weeks in an industry governed by compliance and risk.
I worked on several large projects; a financial wellbeing product to help people understand their financial situation and plan for the future. Animated explainer websites to help people understand complex concepts like the compound effect and sustainable investments. Various guided walkthrough experiences to educate people on their pension performance.
One key project was the animated pension walkthrough.
Animated pension walkthrough
Our hypothesis was that creating a fun, animated and visually-led story would be useful for those that are unfamiliar with pensions or have never signed in before. Using react and SVG animation we built an animated walkthrough which summarised pension contributions made from the scheme member, their employer, transfers from other pensions and the current pension performance.
I was UX Lead for this project, creating a story board, formulating content with the in-house content designers, creating illustrations and prototyping the product in code, managing stakeholders and the launch of the product.
Here's a video of me explaining the product and process: