Empowering financial advisors to manage multiple portfolios is critical to their success. It is imperative when designing an exceptional UI/UX experience to understand two things (1) the step-by-step process of creating and implementing UMA Model and Strategies, and (2) what features and functionality would be helpful to a financial advisor as they manage those implementations. These factors are essential drivers of the user experience.
The first step is selecting the type of implementation, either UMA Model or Strategy, and providing identifying details, including the implementation name and a brief description. This first step allows the advisor to begin the process of defining the implementation best-suited for an account.
The second step is building the asset allocation. This step entails identifying the investment risk, determining the applicability of the tax-overlay service, selecting the individual securities, the corresponding allocation for each security, and lastly, the rebalance settings and frequency. Establishing the structure in this second step provides the foundation for the use of the implementation.
The third step is assigning the implementation to an account. In this step, an advisor needs to understand the type of account that is going to be assigned. When determining if an account is best suited to be assigned to the implementation, the advisor must know several pieces of information, including (1) the account risk, (2) if this will be an addition or a replacement of an existing implementation, (3) if funds are available for investment, and (4) when to initiate the trades. With the analysis, an advisor can determine if the account is suited for the implementation.
Having an understanding of not only the overall process but the amount of complex data required by an advisor begs the question: what is the best way to help an advisor through the process? The answer is simple, a checklist.
The checklist provides a multitude of benefits to an advisor. First, an enumerated view lets advisors see where they are in the process of creating and assigning an account. Second, they can visualize which steps are complete and which remain open. Third, they can select the stage in the process they want to begin or edit. Fourth, they can view a high-level summary of the content of their implementation without having to parse through large datasets used when developing a UMA Model or Strategy. However, a simple checklist is not enough.
The incorporation of features that increase an advisor’s efficiency will only add to the user experience. Two key ways to improve efficiency is to add the ability to create a draft, and the ability to create a reusable UMA Model or Strategy.
To address the first challenge, one must ask, why would an advisor want to create a draft implementation? Simply put, it allows them to pause their work to take care of tasks that may arise unexpectedly. Creating a draft lets advisors save their work and return at will, without having to reinitiate the process from the first step. But this also necessitates delineation between a draft and an implemented state, solved by an “Activate” feature. Accessible only from the checklist, this concept gives advisors the ability to save their progress at each step of the process without risk of prematurely implementing a UMA Model or Strategy. Only upon completion of required steps could a user activate their UMA Model or Strategy and assign accounts.
Regarding the second challenge, the benefit of creating reusable implementations is what? Reusability affords advisors the ease to create new UMA Models or Strategies without having to rebuild the securities and asset allocations from scratch. With this in mind, the question is: how to easily allow an advisor to duplicate an implementation without risk of editing the original UMA Model or Strategy? Enter the “Use as Template” concept. When using an existing investment group as a template, an advisor must first rename the UMA Model or Strategy, thus creating a new implementation. Once created, the advisor can access the asset allocation and begin the customization process as needed.
Creating an exceptional user experience requires an understanding of the end-user. It’s not only necessary to understand how they carry out their tasks, but also to discern what is needed to improve the execution of day-to-day tasks. This knowledge will inform and propel the design of an interface that improves the end-user journey.
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