User research, concept modeling, wireframing, prototyping & validation testing, hi-fidelity design


Conner Hunihan (Design Lead, Project Manager)
Yiying Lin (UX Designer)
Rally Pugalayan (Account Manager)


6 months

Essential Questions

How might we design complex, technical workflows in a way that simplifies users’ everyday lives?

How might we put information to work for users to create additional value?

A comprehensive product experience starts with an aligned team

A Guiding Principles workshop was conducted remotely on Miro boards, kicking the project off and aligning the team’s individual aspirations, goals, and concerns about the product. Synthesizing these into a cohesive Mission Statement and Guiding Principles set guide rails for the project, and established success criteria for the product.

Mixed methods research to streamline the existing platform and discover new product opportunities

15 interviews were conducted across two research studies, including a mix of users and non-users, as well as a variety of roles in the venture capital community. 350+ observations were affinity mapped into two sets of findings: suggestions on how to streamline the existing product and recommendations on new features to deliver novel value.

  • Concept modeling the new platform to prioritize efforts

    The two sets of findings were crystalized into a concept model for the product. Modeling in low-fidelity, abstract terms allowed the team to explore new functionality and prioritize across a multi-year roadmap. The ultimate artefact set a horizon for the new product, outlining both improvements and novel feature design that would be required.

Rebasing the information architecture and platform UI to improve immediate usability

To align with users’ mental models, a revised information architecture was proposed that centered around concepts of ‘people’ and ‘companies’. Research revealed that most users conduct in-depth analysis only once a quarter – if that – so detailed data and functionality were structured behind higher level representations in the UI, thereby optimizing usage for the most frequent use cases.

  • Improving collaboration on deals

    All users interviewed highlighted the criticality of good office collaboration. To support this, concepts of ownership, validation, and referral history were introduced to deals, along with an integrated activity feed.

  • Restructuring investments

    Research revealed that most users prefer to conduct analysis offline in excel, so the investments section of the app was completely redesigned into a structured data grid with robust filtering and exporting capabilities.

  • New functionality: letting users play with their data

    Research suggested that while tight data structures support the majority of use cases, users routinely need unfettered, ad hoc access to their data. “People” and “Company” sections were therefore created and designed to provide multiple layers of sub-navigation, along with robust filtering and export capabilities.

  • ‘Queue’ – a novel email integration

    Modeled after observed existing behavior, the new ‘Queue’ feature allows for users to triage their existing email inboxes. By forwarding emails to an address that automatically imports and stages for processing, Queue brings large-office capabilities to users of any size.

Validating the redesign to create a product roadmap

A clickable prototype was created and tested with users in order to generate a roadmap for what to build, and when.

Annotating final designs for handoff

Final designs were annotated to document logic and interaction details, as well as areas earmarked for further refinement.