Eazyfinance is a Platform that allows middle-income to low-income earners to access large loans in Nigeria using only their cars as collateral.
Although many apps offer quick and easy loans to middle-income and low-income earners, the amount they can access is meagre due to the lack of a proper credit-rating system.
At the moment, more substantial loans may be accessible to middle-income earners who live in urban areas such as Lagos, Abuja or Portharcourt and own a car if they could use it as collateral. The magnitude of the loan accessible will be a percentage of the car’s value when the loan is accessed. This reduces the default rate to the bare minimum and makes it easy to recover the loan or car when due.
I worked as the sole Product designer on this project. I worked with a business developer, a Front-end developer and a Backend developer.
I carried out an analysis of existing loan apps and services. I wanted to know their interest rate, verification process, loan tenure, repayment channel, platforms and features. Below is a comparison chat created for this purpose:
Ideally, this solution will work across platforms in a mobile-first approach. In addition, this project would prioritise a consumer web approach since the data shows that most of the user demography is a split between Android and IOS.
I interviewed five participants using a combination of calls, in-person interviews and IM chats. The recruitment criteria were pretty straightforward; they had to be working professionals or business owners between the age of 25–60 years, male or female, and they own a personal car, or their business owns a vehicle.
In addition to getting familiar with the problem, it was clear I needed to understand the following from the user’s perspective:
- Car usage and maintenance behaviour
- History and means of credit access
- Knowledge level of financial technology
- Loan repayment preference/behaviour.
I formulated open-ended and non-suggestive questions for each of the objectives described above, which also served as the discussion guide for the research session.
Key research findings
With the respondents’ permission, the interviews were recorded, transcribed and crucial points were synthesized and distilled into useful insights for the solution. The key learning points from the interviews were:
- The due diligence/verification process of existing loan apps/services was too long and difficult.
- Users wouldn’t mind using their car or any other valuable asset that is worth the amount of the loan as collateral.
- There is a limit placed on the amount of loan they can access currently via the existing apps.
- Only the banks can give them the larger loan amounts but their process, criteria and interest rate are almost impossible for an individual or a small business owner.
- The users are above-average and have embraced financial technology which they engage with both online and via their smartphones.
Beaming the Spotlight on the user
To further place the user in the centre of the design solution, created personas that closely represents the two major type of prospective users of the solution:
- The Working professional-Ajani
2. The Small & Medium scale business owner-Maryam.
In some cases, Ajani and Maryam share similar needs and pain points but they are also divergent in other cases.
Now that a better picture of the users’ needs has been established, I created user stories around them, ensuring that I broke these stories down and included their task flows. This proved extremely helpful when I began working on the wireframe sketches for each screen.
I also created a user-story map using Miro to visually represent the stories while allowing stakeholders to contribute to feature prioritization and releases.
I created sketches for each of the pages that complete the user flow for each of the user stories identified above.
In addition, The user flow and the emotional journey map were created to better empathize with the user after which the high-fidelity UI screens
The Emotional Journey map
The Wireframe Sketches
After creating these screens, I created a clickable prototype with Protopie, tested it and got feedback from both prospective users and stakeholders.
- Car valuation & Loan request flow
2. Simple customer verification flow
You can interact with the prototype here
Feedback and Key findings from the Usability Testing
Apart from tracking the task completion and time taken for the user to complete tasks using the prototype, here are some of the feedback and observations from the users:
- Unauthenticated users should be able to know the value of their cars, including seeing the amount of credit they can get at a glance. This will increase the trust and likelihood of commitment to the platform as against asking the user to signup and verify first.
- Users should be able to select more than one car and see the overall value before requesting a loan.
- There was a lot of confusion about what to do after adding a car to the user’s account. I did include redirection to a page that shows the nearest inspection centre with a google maps link that they can easily follow.
After testing and iterating on the Mid-fidelity prototype, I started working on the final UI design screens. As a long-term project, I decided on building a sound design system/component library that reflects across the platform and helps future collaboration when a good design team is built around the product.
I made the library in Sketch, which included form elements, buttons, colours, typography, empty states, iconography, cards and patterns.
Here are some final UI screens, including the responsive mobile view for all the screens.