The folks at Andera have been clients of mine for almost two decades. Since 2000, I’ve helped them with their main product line, which evolved from a student funding platform to a full-featured automated online account opening product for major banks and credit unions all across the country.
After they acquired oFlows, Inc in 2004 (a provider of paperless origination solutions), the next challenge was to give this new combined technology an upgrade. However, working within existing technical constraints wasn’t easy.
Starting with some initial wireframes, I standardized a number of page elements (headers, footers, button placement) to make it more efficient. And because the product relies heavily on forms and personal information, I made sure to incorporate clear error indicators and friendly help messages throughout the application to put customers at ease.
One of the unique features of oFlows is the ability for customers to start the application in one format (at the branch, online at home, or on their mobile device), and finish it in another, all in real-time. And by using the smartphone and tablet touch features, customers can finish the entire application without ever touching a piece of paper. They can use their finger to sign forms, and even take photos of their supporting documentation (driver’s license, passport) and upload them directly to the system.
There was also a trust component to this; given that we were working with highly sensitive data, one of the goals was to tailor the design to match each bank’s corporate brand. This way, customers starting the process via the bank’s website would still feel comfortable once inside the application. This meant that the visual design needed to be neutral, so that each bank could customize the interface according to their own brand guidelines.
Andera has since won numerous industry awards for their innovative product, including four "Best of Show" awards at Finovate. Their huge success has also lead them to get acquired in 2014 by Bottomline Technologies, a leading provider in digital banking. Prior to the acquisition, I was also hired to redesign the corporate Andera.com website, complete with a new site architecture and revamped look and feel, using a mobile-first approach (responsive website).