Case: Redesigning the user experience of a Trade Financing Product
Date : Mid 2019
Drip Capital is a Trade Financing company that provides advances to exporters against their trade receivables within 24 hours with a fully paperless, online experience. A YC company, Drip wanted to bring the generally offline process of exporting goods, receiving advances, tracking, delivery and final payments to a fully self-service online experience.
Drip’s primary value proposition was to offer exporters an advance against their goods within 24hrs of their export of goods while facilitating the paperwork related to the operations and tracking online.
Why was Canvs brought in?
Redesigning the client portal’s user experience
Drip capital had a functioning Client portal that allowed its customers to be onboarded, generate invoices, know what status the invoices had up until fulfilment happened. The experience of this portal was something they felt definitely needed an upheaval to make the process itself become a major reason to use Drip as a trade financier.
The new client platform needed to allow a robust, easy and transparent invoice creation process. Additionally, it needed to allow much higher visibility of any invoice’s flow status at any point of time and alert the customer for requirements arising in the invoice processing. The online portal needed to be easy enough for users of the kind that weren’t very active on the internet and rang into Drip’s customer service for pretty much anything. They were expected to migrate online by the agency of the new Design.
Parts of execution
We wanted to jump into the crux of the product and solve for it first.Among the various parts of the client portal were Analytics, Financing and the user management modules.By far most of the work happened within the Financing module. Therefore, our team rebuilt the information architecture of the Financing module of the portal. We then wanted to move to the analytics module to build the ‘passbook’ feature. The financing module was supposed to contain Invoice generation, tracking and an alert system to apprise users of gaps in their invoice applications so they could fill them with information.
Additionally to start with we also wanted to give the portal a modern visual design and hence built new reusable components from their existent brand assets like colors, typography and visual considerations keeping the target audience in mind
Visual Design of Modules
We shall be steering off the processes around design decisions in this write up since a lot of the considerations can qualify to be important to the trade of Drip Capital as they had been extremely cooperative throughout the design process.
1. The Financing module
Invoices: The fundamental unit of communication between Drip and its clients
Invoices are raised by Clients (businesses) to Drip for their individual shipments against their individual buyers. These invoices allow Clients to receive the advance amount that Drip as a business promises based on various checks and verifications that Drip does at their end around the Client and for the shipment.
The landing page of the financing module was the invoice list and status page. This was the most visited part of the product and has was the face of the Financing module.
Building the Create Invoice Flow
An invoice has a decent amount of information that the client puts, a lot of which are subject to scrutiny by the Drip’s underwriting team. Hence while inspecting an in-process Invoice, it was important to segment the information into logical compartments.
Creating of Invoices was broken down into 4 steps to establish clarity in the process and bring an aspect of familiarity to it which would build a sustainable habit for the customers with Drip as a service.
The four steps were:
• Invoice Information
• Shipping Details
• Funding Information: Add buyer’s bank information
• Associated Documentation : Entities like PO, Bill of Lading, Shipping bill etc.
Invoice Details and a Tracker
An invoice has a decent amount of information that the client puts, a lot of which are subject to scrutiny by the Drip’s underwriting team. Hence while inspecting an in-process Invoice it was important to segment the information into logical compartments.
Asynchronous Communication : Alerts and Notifications
At any point of time, a client would have multiple invoices floating with Drip at various stages of processing. The process of verification and underwriting could possibly involve a lot of to and fro between the Client and Drip to exchange information documentation etc. This could all be automated and raised as alerts that demanded the client’s immediate attention. Naturally, these alerts were also concurrently sent to them on other modes like SMS and Emails.
This mode of asynchronous communication was one of the most critical aspects of the portal that allowed clients to jump right into a process blockage and intervene with constructive inputs and clarifications within the portal.
Similarly a global notification module was also designed to intimate the Client of important developments that typically did not need the Client’s response on anything.
Buyers Details and individual Limits
While exporters have some existing buyers they are supposed to be able to add buyers from Drip’s portal as well. New buyers added through Drip’s portal are underwritten by Drip and provided Limit’s against.
2. The Analytics module
The Passbook forms a part of the analytics view of the portal. It essentially has two views, bank transactions and statement. Transactions reflects a transactions statement from what a bank would look like with each row item being attached to Invoices raised on the platform. Conversely, the Statement view reflects the movements done by the various invoices created on the platform.
The alerts stay persistent in this view as planned earlier and this view has an additional filters view with entities like currency, transaction type, and timeline.
Impact and Reception
Proficient execution and professional knowledge transfers
Canvs joined hands with Drip at a time when it did not have a product design team internally. While working with the supportive and skilled product and dev people at Drip, Canvs was not only able to execute the new vision for the rebuilding of the platform but also set up internal processes around Design as a function complete with documentation, versioning, asset management and versioning.
At the completion of the project Canvs handed over to Drip a fully documented legacy of the project with all discussions, versions, reasonings, files and assets hosted on the web.
“Canvs helped us fill an important gap at the right time. They did a great job considering the limited context and remote setting. We had a great working relationship, good processes in place along with great response time and project management. It was a pleasure working with Canvs.”