Building Fintech: Design Makes a Difference

As we endeavour to build products that will become indispensable tools in the Canadian mortgage industry, we are careful to consider every detail.

It’s our belief that for an application to be useful, it has to be well-designed — so we are sparing no expense when it comes to designing Lendesk.

Design is not simply about choosing the right colours or where to place a button. Important decisions are made every day about how people will interact with our platform; we carefully consider what features and options should be available on each screen and view of the product.

To better explain the design process we follow while building our platform, we asked our Creative Director Jason LaRiviere for his insights into the process. Here are the questions we asked, and the answers he gave.

Q. Describe the design process you use in building the Lendesk platform.

A. The best single word to describe it might be collaborative, but that risks trivializing how hard that can be to do well. Software products like ours have have a lot of people, in many different roles, making individual contributions to a shared vision. That can obviously be very difficult to coordinate.

However, we know that each of these people, regardless of their role, make contributions to the overall design of the product every single day—whether they come in the form of the speed and responsiveness contributed by a software developer, or the tone of the conversation you had with a customer success representative.

We also know that good design is less like the generation of a single brilliant idea, and more like the culling of many stupid ideas, so we facilitate a process where all these people and their ideas about how to realize our shared vision can bump into each other. It is the collision of these ideas which gives us our best chance of creating a product our customers will love.

Orchestrating those collisions, and providing them with a safe environment in which to happen, is the main concern of our design process.

mortgage app design

Q. How important is design to Lendesk?

A. I like to think design is critically important to every product, but that, too, glosses over a fair bit of nuance: even in the absence of a capital ‘D’ Design operation, a product can still be said to be designed. Poorly-designed, maybe, but decisions about the design of the product have been made.

It’s also true that, in general, more successful products are better-designed, and so it becomes a question of where on the spectrum—from success to failure, and from well-designed to poorly-designed—would you like to place your product?

We know exactly where we want Lendesk to be on that spectrum, and are correspondingly invested in the kind of considered design required to get us there.

Q. In what ways will design differentiate Lendesk?

A. When we touched on process earlier, we focused mostly on our internal circles. But there’s a whole circle of practice centred on the customer as well, which we have yet to describe.
This focus on our customer—and the interviews, outreach, usability testing, and just listening that go along with it—is what makes our products the most capable at solving problems that matter to the industry.

Q. What is a passion that you have outside of your work?

A. My favourite thing to do is to wander aimlessly with a camera in hand. I’d call it less like a passion, and more like a habit. There’s something really chill about just seeing, and looking, kilometre after kilometre. Sometimes you end up with a good photo as well, which is a nice bonus.

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