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Beyond Finance

Creating an impactful fintech app and a robust in-house product team

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Challenge

Launching the most impactful native mobile experience while setting the team up for continued success

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Outcomes

Multiple successful improvements launched and foundational sprint system established

Beyond Finance welcome screen

Situation

Focused on personalized consumer debt management services

Beyond Finance is a next-generation Financial Services company. Their goal is to provide financial peace of mind by guiding people to a path beyond debt with financial products that are simple and transparent. As the consumer debt market grows in the United States, they have made it their objective to create effective and fair debt management services customized to the consumers’ circumstances.

Quote from Sergio Rabiela, VP of Technology at Beyond Finance

thoughtbot can most definitely handle execution for you, but what's more important is that they know what questions to ask to pull the right projects to execute on from your brain and can implement a great process to execute  on them.

Sergio Rabiela
VP of Technology at Beyond Finance

Challenge

Increasing customer engagement and team effectiveness

The Beyond Finance team had started the development of a React Native mobile app intending to serve their customers better and increase long-term engagement. They sought a mobile design and development partner to align their version 1 roadmap and then effectively execute with product management oversight, mobile design, and React Native development.

From a team growth and process perspective, Beyond Finance had goals for growing their in-house team across Product, QA, and Engineering departments and was working to establish the planning and management of product sprints. thoughtbot was selected as the partner to help them move the product forward by supplying deep React Native development mobile design expertise and evolving their team and approach by supporting them in establishing the right corresponding product processes.

Beyond Finance user persona work

Solution

An effective product roadmap led us to app launch

We established the right product strategy and corresponding product roadmap.

To begin our partnership, our first step was facilitating a Product Design Sprint to align on our understanding of target users and their critical path. We also gathered insights from customer interviews and stakeholders through a business objective review. These data points came together in a prioritized backlog in Trello, serving as our product roadmap. A crucial role in our upfront planning work and the day to day execution, was our Product Manager, responsible for overseeing the effort of the collective team and ensuring alignment on the product strategy as we worked through the roadmap in prioritized iterations.

Designing the right user experience was a critical element of success.

It was important for us to design in a mobile-first way while ensuring consistency across mobile and web experiences. We worked to ensure that the information presented was clear and concise as a user went through the experience. The UX bubbled up relevant content first and established a clear hierarchy. We helped a user navigate through content by providing guidance when needed, including brief explanations as needed. As a user began completing key actions, we wanted to naturally communicate their progress through indicators and data visualization. We introduced encouraging language to help guide them on their journey.

To serve as an additional reference point, we introduced settlement indicators to set clear expectations on what was coming next. To help educate the user further and fully establish the value Beyond Finance provided, we showcased success stories with additional creditors.

thoughtbot supported Beyond Finance in growing a robust product development team.

In a parallel path to product design and development, we looked for opportunities to mentor the Beyond Finance team in both React Native development and overall product processes. Our efforts included supporting the in-house team with application reviews as they looked to hire, onboarding new hires onto the product and codebase, strengthening agile ceremonies with development best practice, and also thoroughly documenting development standards and processes along the way.

Quote from Sergio Rabiela, VP of Technology at Beyond Finance

The people and the frameworks they brought. Everyone was super insightful and easy to talk to. In working with Victoria, she would ask targeted questions to figure out what issues we were trying to solve and then produce diagrams and process docs that would help us prioritize where we should focus attention.

Sergio Rabiela
VP of Technology at Beyond Finance

Screenshots of various Beyond Finance UX screens

Outcomes

Bringing a great mobile app to life while mentoring the Beyond Finance team

The collective team hit their stride and, through an ongoing cadence of daily stand-ups, planning meetings, and retros, stayed in close contact on the progress made and the path ahead. Strong communication channels allowed us to efficiently come to decisions as a team when a decision point or challenge presented itself. 

Our React Native expertise allowed us to bring a great native mobile app to life, and in parallel, we enjoyed mentoring the Beyond Finance team on development and product best practices. An important outcome of our time together included establishing a repeatable, winning approach for continuing to build great software. thoughtbot supported Beyond Finance in building a robust in-house technology division, including a process for organizing and planning how cross-functional teams and other products should be involved as new features are considered. For example making sure mobile, web, design, and platform teams are aligned on the final implementation before work got underway. We are proud of what we were able to accomplish and feel confident the Beyond Finance team is in a wonderful spot to continue to optimize the mobile app. 

We look forward to seeing how their product and product team continues to evolve.

Quote from Sergio Rabiela, VP of Technology at Beyond Finance

We established a great roadmap for our mobile app and completed a huge chunk of it. We got a good framework for sequencing work between different teams so that we could manage dependencies easily and deliver new features.

Sergio Rabiela
VP of Technology at Beyond Finance