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Merrill Lynch - Global Wealth Management Case Study

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is an American wealth management division under the auspices of Bank of America. Along with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the investment banking arm, both firms engage in prime brokerage and security dealings. The firm is headquartered in New York City, and occupies the entire 34 stories of 250 Vesey Street, part of the Brookfield Place complex, in Manhattan. Merrill Lynch employs over 15,000 financial advisors and manages $2.2 trillion in client assets.

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Challenges

Merrill Lynch wanted a comprehensive redesign of its GWM website that lets investors personalize their experience to help make informed investment and planning decisions easy. Add new planning tools, track account activity, monitor markets, place trades and interact with portfolio data through an intuitive experience on the Merrill Edge.From better navigation, dynamic help capabilities, and heat maps showing key investment trends, as well as interactive charts and streamlined investing capabilities as a result of the redesign. Merrill Edge is the only mobile investing platform to send relevant, personalized market data and event notifications to clients based on their holdings and the securities they are following.
 

User Workflows Research & Analysis

 

We focused on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through existing task, workflows, and feedback analysis in order to measure the impact of the current design on the audience.

We carefully studied user business goals and identified the most critical tasks for various types of users to determine what expected improvements should be included in the new product version. We analyzed all aspects of how the product could be problematic to the users right now.

To fully understand how the product fit within all Merrill Lynch offerings, we spent a significant amount of time with stakeholders throughout the process. It was important to know what they wanted to achieve in the new version of the Online Banking portal. We discussed Merrill Lynch’s plans for future product development, the existing competition in the market, and what would make the product successful in their view.

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Expanding Personalized User Experience

Personal WM banking is one of the main advantages of Merrill Lynch. I focused on the idea to make the UI responsive to user life events in order to make the money management experience even more personal. The system will use different ways to congratulate users on their goal achievements, and display goals and achievements with recommendations in a positive and actionable ways. Down the road, users will be able to upload custom images or use per-defined image libraries to craft individual UI themes.

Carefully Crafted Forms

All visual aspects of this application – from labels to alignment to font color — are shaped towards better UX. We’ve created an interface that makes it considerably easy for the app’s users to get through complex building administration forms. The forms are easily scannable and fallible.

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Asset Allocations Widgets

The new task-focused layout were shaped around common user tasks and offered simplified yet more productive UI and upgraded UX. We designed simple but interactive charts and heat maps so the investor could better understand their portfolio performance. This also made it easy to focus on only what is relevant to the currently active task — the key to achieving user acceptance. Asset allocation and Transfer widgets provide consistent and efficient ways to manage funds and stay on top of future and repeated transactions. Additional functionality allows users with joint accounts to approve payments made by another party.

Release Plan.

Since it was a complete redesign we decided to allow users to opt in and out of the new and old design. We used OpininLabs' services to get initial user feed back. Based on over 500 hundred responses we found that after getting over the initial change and small learning curve the feed back was amazingly positive. The management felt comfortable to move forward with the release on schedule dates and plans.

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