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UX Case Study

To understand how design could help in creating a more intuitive investment platform for millenials, I conducted market research, user research and interviews to inform the ideation, design process and to identify pain points.

My Role: User Experience Auditer

If you want to skip the research  ︎︎︎ click here ︎︎︎

Market Research

Desk Research

To identify segments of the target audience and the market it is important to understand the disposable income and discretionary income.

From Fig 1. it can be identified that the disposable income is almost same for the age groups, 25-34; 35-34 & 35-44.

Table 1 shows expenditure by various age groups on essential groups. Hence from Fig 01 and Table 01 it can be inferred that both 25-34 year olds and 35-44 year olds have roughly similar amount of discretionary income that they can allocate for other non essential activities which is ~ £22,000/yr.

Looking at Fig 02 and the market for discretionary income for the age groups are as follows.

The markets of age groups 45-54 and 35-44 are saturated and tapping into even a small percentage of the unsaturated 25-34 market would be highly profitable.

My Bias

After completing my desk research, I believe/feel that Vanguard’s target audience is high net-worth individuals who are already well versed with investment jargon and the current services aren’t friendly for 25-34 year olds or first time investors.

Testimonial from Vanguard UK website

So why didn’t they invest years ago?

I conducted a few interviews with participants in the age group 25-34, to understand their pain points, after the interview I conducted an activity (user testing) with the participants on creating an account with vanguard to understand their experience in doing so.

In the activity tasks were
1. Create an account with Vanguard
2. Invest with Vanguard

These was the mapped customer journey during onboarding, it can be seen that the major dip in the customer experience was not finding information about the funds in a crisp manner.

Customer Pain Points

From Usability Test - Onboarding

1. Lack of Brand Coherence

After the ‘Create Account’ page it is the ’About you’ page, both the pages communicate in a different visual style and this causes a lack of brand coherence causing slight confusion among new customers.

2. Progress Bar Error

The Progress bar makes an irregular jump from ‘About you’ to ‘Payment Details’ in the ‘Choose funds’ page causing minor anxiety in new customers.

3. Confusing Choose Funds Layout

Though initially most of the participants mentioned the ‘Choose funds’ page was simple and minimalistic, but as soon as they had to understand a fund and pick their investment, the lack of proper information architecture and accessibility to information hindered their time to take decision.

Some of the participants mentioned that it felt that they were forced to pick a fund in the fear of not being able to progress in the oboarding section and access Vanguard’s investment products.  

Re-Design Objectives

From Usability Test

1. Simplify the choose funds layout to not overwhelm a new customer.

2. Readily available information about the funds at a glance. (Asset allocation, current price, changes in price, ongoing charges etc )

3. Educational content links, to help new investors make informed decisions.

4. Filters to navigate through various funds and products inside them.


Though a card system would let the design display a lot more information but it feels a lot more cluttered and could overwhelm the customer, especially someone who is a first time investor. The design elements were referenced from Vanguard’s What We Offer page.

Design Outcome

Choose Funds Page

This design will make it easier for new customers to reach the next step, which will significantly reduce user drop offs and increase conversions.

These designs are from the existing Vanguard’s Design system, but laid out in a more user friendly and accessible manner. 


Web-sustainability, AI Analysis of the designs, Alert feature

I also looked into color palletes for a dark mode for the Vanguard platform for web sustainability.

If you are interested to read about the bonus feature you can find it here in the documentation of the case study here 📄️