What I learned from this project
Link's prospective user base was an interesting mix of debt-conscious millennials and older, more financially established customers. All had diverse views of self-directed investing and unique advise-seeking proclivities. This guided the thinking of our design in interesting ways.
One powerful theme that resurfaced during much of the testing was that usability does not always indicate value. Throughout our discovery and usability testing, session participants expressed that they liked the flexibility, task-supporting flow, and educational overtones inherent in the platform. Most also expressed likability for the look and feel and felt it helped support the "add/edit goals" task inherent in the task flow. Some of the same customers however also commented that reaching a completed state of the personal goals profile and associated goals timeline required too lengthy a time requirement. Participants expressed that for the time invested (to get through the demo), the quality of the reward (light investment advice) could be improved. Some felt the solutions provided for the goals leaned generic and could have been more personalized.
As of early 2019, Link had some maturing to do. I feel the platform is viable and a creative way to allow prospects to test the waters of advisory services by getting a visualization of their financial future while being introduced to potentially helpful products and services. Our teams hit the mark in impressive ways with Link regarding usability. However while initial intrigue and usability are essential ingredients to Link's success equation, overall enduring value must be based on continued attention and care regarding user's motivation and quality of reward. With more personalization, value-adding features (such as outside account balances importation ability), better integrated advisory aspects, and enhancement of the consultative feel, the Link experience could become an important tool for Prudential. Continued improvement to the tool could mean Prudential customers means maintain better financial health and keep their eye on the prize of reaching their financial goals.