The success of a product hinges largely on thoughtful design and development that creates a clear and intuitive user experience. The consequences of getting it wrong can mean the difference between succeeding and failing. How can you ensure you’re creating the right client experience?

In an exceedingly competitive industry, fintech players often feel pressured to be the first to market, often not taking the time to focus on usability. Even though rapid industry growth has sparked the development of incredibly innovative tools, one thing that’s often missing is a focus on the experience. At Addepar, that’s a key principle embedded in everything we build: Make it intuitive for the end-user.

Our product development process is integrated -- and while this silo-busting approach is rare in the financial industry -- we consider it critical to our success. Bringing cross-functional team members together to define success metrics at the beginning of each product cycle means that measuring how we’re doing from different perspectives is baked right into the process. It also keeps us hyper-focused on who we’re serving. 

Assessing success is both an art and a science. Our analytics team equips us with detailed dashboards to track key metrics. They’re reviewed regularly across teams: salespeople, product managers, engineers, designers, account managers. But the qualitative data is just as important. We listen to our clients. We conduct usability tests, interviews and surveys, as well as analyze all user feedback to gather as much insight into client needs as possible. 

What we hear drives our new product development. For example, we recently built a feature that allows users to organize their work by team. Instead of having to save a specific view or report template at either the user level or the company level, many of our clients were requesting team-level options. Thanks to our practice of collecting and reviewing this kind of feedback, we were able to turn this insight into a new feature.

Our ultimate goal is to ensure that our clients have the right tools to accomplish what they need to do efficiently. For advisors – and their clients, the investors – a poor experience can be costly. Unintuitive or confusing tools can result in inefficiency, data loss, incorrect conclusions, or errors in decision-making that can cost their end-clients financial security, or worse. Our focus on usability and collecting client feedback is critical to helping us avoid mistakes and get the feature right for the people who rely on them.

Fortunately, our focus on usability as a key success metric is paying off for the financial advisors who use Addepar. Many of them rave about how they can focus on investment reporting and serving their clients well because they tell us that our products take data management and other back-end processes off their plates. Blue Oak Capital, a California-based wealth management firm that’s been using Addepar for several years, is able to keep its headcount to just three partners thanks in large part to the capabilities Addepar offers them. “If the computer’s doing all the work, I don’t have to,” said partner Matt Kenaston. “I can be more proactive.” 

With our commitment to delivering modern, cutting-edge technology that’s focused completely on our client, we expect to continue delivering a great experience for advisors so they can deliver a best-in-class experience for their clients.