Financial Peer-to-Peer Web Application


Elevate Capital is a peer-to-peer platform for investors to build portfolios of properties and privately-owned businesses. An in-house team was tasked with developing the platform based on a working prototype used to secured venture capital investment.


The platform had been built to seek funding, the initial design concentrated mostly on feature set rather than experience. It was very difficult to navigate or to understand what actions to carry out. The team was tasked with revamping the existing platform into a desktop based web application, with the end - user's experience as the focus.

Existing platform

Research & Analysis

User research focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies. For me user research is “the process of understanding the impact of design on an audience”.


Coordinated several workshops with stakeholders so we could breakdown the product to its component parts. This helped the team establish business goals and manage expectations as to what could be delivered for the MVP. This also clarified what the product was and/or was not.

Breaking down the product
Defining user tasks

Identify and aligning tasks along common paths and establishing journeys. This was done in a workshop that consisted of users and the business. Each group ranks tasks with a value. This helps trim the scope to suit MVP.

Breaking down the product
Categorising the tasks in existing prototype
Other Research Methods

User Testing
We had access to some early adopters and investors who we had use the site in the Elevate office as well as remotely over skype. We handed them some tasks and recorded their interaction on screen.

Competitor Analysis
The industry was very young when we were started the project especially in the UK but we still had access to a handful of competitors to see what was already in the market place but also watch out for gaps we could improve on.

Initial Findings

After the discovery a few patterns began to emerge -

  • User found navigation was confusing.
  • Users found information on the page seemed complicated and sometimes contradicting.
  • They found no distinction between a ‘call to action’ and input field.
  • Users did not know how to carry out or complete a transaction.
  • The platform did not meet the minimum login security for a financial platform.

This led us (myself - lead UX, and head of development - Julius Pabrinkis) to revise the initial brief with the business founder Paul Toon. We recommended an MVP rather than the full application. this would achieve 2 main benefits -

  1. Go to market with in 6 months (the initial requirement was not achievable with that time frame).
  2. Validate what the user needs vs what the business thinks the user needs.


With common scenario’s in place, we were able to define detailed personas, using their vast data pool. The personas looked something like this:

Person #1 Person #2 Person #3
Name & Job Sarah, Student/Youth Worker John, Entrepreneur Milton, Business Manager
Age group 20 - 30 yrs 30 - 39 yrs 40 - 49 yrs
Motivation and benefits of product usage

Has small savings to invest in property she will live in.

Wants to divert current income to more efficient investment opportunities.

Represents a company looking to invest in property.

Need and context of use

Needs low entry barrier with little financial jargon.

Needs easy to invest and monitor assets.

Wants ability to manage large investment.

Way to product

Recommended by friends, acquaintances.

Recommended by friends.

Recommended by business associates, considering partnership.

Digital literacy

Middle - Used to online retail but unaware of P2P services.

High - Internet Savvy and uses other P2P services.

Low - Used to online retail, vaguely aware of P2P services.

Personas - identifying user types and their goals


Defining user Journeys
Aligning user tasks to fit within persona journeys
Flow chart - connecting all the journeys to get an overview of the user flow
Rough Ideas
Sketching a few ideas on paper
Working Prototype

Rapid prototyping allowed us to present complex financial ideas to users and instantly get instant feedback, which in turn enabled quick iteration without tying down valuable development resource.

Prototype of financial platform
Visual Design
Visual layout
Style guide


After multiple reiteration and testing with user we achieved

  • We helped the business clarity it's offering to the user.
  • Simplified the layout and content of the platform aid user expectation.
  • Improved booking process to guide user along.
  • MVP went into development on time.

Feedback from business

Kayode produced some great design work for us, coming up with a lot of creative solutions for products and concepts which involved a fair amount of complexity. He was very focused and systematic in his approach, ensuring consistency across the site, delivering a nice clean look that got good feedback from third parties. His great sense of humour helped get us through many a tight deadline – a great addition to the team. - Paul Toon, CEO Elevate Capital.


Are you working on something great? I would love to help make it happen!  I  am interested in roles that require creative thinking and practical solutions. Drop me a line or two and let's get talking!