Zopa was the original disruptive Peer2Peer personal savings and loans company. The concept is simple, some people want to save money and earn high interest. Other people want to loan money at low interest. By cutting out banks they can offer better rates to both. Obviously, there is a fair amount of risk when dealing with money, which is where it gets more complicated.
We started working with Zopa by taking some early wires and creating a fresh UI concept based on their current branding. We went through a process of realigning their current UI with a modern and more flexible design system. This included typography, colour palette and UI content blocks. We came to the conclusion that whilst the design was now in a better place the content needed to be re-aligned in the same way.
We worked with pretty much everyone in Zopa, both product managers for borrowing and lending especially. They knew their customers really well, they were constantly researching them as well as creating A/B tests on the current site to optimise the content and the journey to an enquiry.
Multiple personas were created based on our perceived user types and from GA stats. We then ran sessions with user groups to validate our original definition of these key demographics. This also included feedback on Zopa's brand principles and values.
We went through a complete content strategy piece, getting the tone of voice, regulation and content structure working seamlessly. We needed a lot of extra content due to FCA regulations. So we went back and forth with a lawyer to ensure that this could be re-written in the Zopa tone of voice and that it was as succinct as possible. This was all pinned up on the wall so that we could keep reviewing it and getting the approval of the CEO. We created a structure for each section of the site that would always answer the 3 key questions: why, how and who.
During the content piece we had been working on putting together sketched out flows, IA and scamped wires. These would funnel users to the right product for them and give the best chance for prospect conversion. With the content and flows pretty much in place, we took the UI kit and branding work we had originally created and expanded into a fully responsive modular system of UI components. This made it easier to quickly create all of the flows with the new structure we had created in the content/IA phase and iterate on top of them.
We would then further tweak content as we went and supplement with an illustration style. This was designed to make the brand more approachable, friendly and trustworthy.
Prototypes were created for both lenders and borrowers section, with an HTML proto created for the mobile site. This meant we could user test with the focus group and within the company. Zopa decided they wanted to implement parts of the re-alignment in a phased approach. Therefore we also provide an "in-between" version, which was the current site with the new UI elements but not the full IA and content refresh.
The final deliverable included extensive handover notes, a full UI toolkit and digital styleguide. Designs for each section and prototypes for both desktop and mobile meant they could continue to user test and implement this in their own time. They also had the "in between" implementation guidelines for their phased approach. It was very important for Zopa that they could gauge the effect on traffic, and the response from their strong, opinionated and loyal community.
The client was really happy with how we had worked, not only improve the product visually, but also recognised the weaknesses in the current content, and it's delivery method. After all "content is king". Creating content structures and a design system meant they could easily create new sections and maintain quality and consistency. Zopa has now had a complete brand refresh, but still retains principles for content and structure from this project on the current site.