When Investec Asset Management first made the decision to overhaul their digital platform, Box UK helped ensure they went about it the right way - beginning with an in-depth discovery phase to uncover requirements and define the project’s scope. We took a detailed look at the financial institution’s analytics and found that, at this point, a very small percentage of IAM’s audience were accessing the site through mobile devices. The decision was therefore made to deprioritise responsive capabilities for this phase of development, and instead focus on adding value across key areas of the site.
But of course, behaviours and attitudes change over time. And to ensure they continued to serve their audience as effectively as possible, Investec Asset Management returned with the request that we identify potential opportunities to improve the online experience. We saw that mobile traffic was growing, and knew that addressing this consideration at an early stage would help the financial institution safeguard long-term success.
While the analytics - and our previous experience - gave us a good idea of what was required, those ideas needed validating. So we conducted a Peers, Innovators and Competitors (PIC) assessment - a strategic exercise that evaluates the landscape around a given organisation and highlights opportunity and threat. In IAM's case this meant looking at the details of 17 PIC businesses, both within the financial services industry and beyond. Reviewing their websites in particular (from look and feel and user experience to mobile capabilities and in-page functionality) we identified a number of trends and practices that could help Investec Asset Management improve their own deliverables and even steal a march on the competition. Importantly, this analysis supported our recommendation that a responsive site would play a crucial role in the IAM online experience, which left the way forward very clear.
In transitioning the existing website to a responsive framework the project's UX and design team built a central, shared style guide that detailed how key functionality and user interface elements would work across smartphone and tablet devices. This approach ensured a consistent cross-channel experience, while taking into account the specific requirements, capabilities and constraints of mobile. It also dramatically streamlined the delivery process, with elements of the front-end design in place from the very first sprint, and updates rapidly released throughout the build - providing the client with clear visibility of the latest changes and making the subsequent process of feedback and iteration much faster. Indeed, in just 24 weeks not only was the new site up and running, but an additional “Institute” area (with its own distinctive look and feel) was integrated into the platform using the same style guide approach.
With the signed-off style guide in place the back-end of the platform could be seamlessly plugged into the updated front-end - supporting the high-impact visuals with with first-class functionality including fund tracking tools and repositories of critical investor documentation and insightful thought leadership content. Investec Asset Management is now ideally placed to deliver these vital services to users operating on a wide variety of platforms and devices - as well as having a future-proofed digital strategy that can effectively address the needs of an increasingly mobile audience.