Design and redesign of Aasthy

Real Estate investment platform

RESEARCH • RESPONSIVE DESIGN • DESIGN SYSTEM • TESTING

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OVERVIEW

Aasthy is a prop-tech product that allows users to invest in fractional real estate opportunities. It's the first of its kind as it is entirely data driven and users can invest in assets that lie between low risk - low return options like Fixed Deposits, and high risk - high return options like Crypto Currencies. As an emerging concept that deals with finance, establishing trust through data backed results were of utmost importance. We built an experience that lets people invest seamlessly and understand all underlying technicalities of their investment with ease.

MY ROLE

Designing and redesigning the product end-to-end, creating a design system, working closely with engineering and business teams to craft first time user and repeat user experiences in detail. 

THE TEAM

Solo designer, with guidance from a Lead design consultant, 1 Business lead, 1 Program Manager, 4+ engineers.

TIMELINE

May - Nov 2022; 

Live with rolling updates

Apartment Buildings

THE PROBLEM

The Real Estate industry has been traditionally looked at as an asset class that had always had a high barrier for entry, often plagued by transparency issues and accessibility. This remained unchanged for several years causing frustration that created a cloak of uncertainty for investors.

With the current market scenario a 20 something year old would not even consider an investment in the real estate sector owing to entry prices that are out of bounds.

THE VISION

Democratising real estate investments to bridge the multi-trillion dollar gap through technology, data and investment structures

  • Real estate data helps acquire the right assets

  • The fractional investment model with an entry ticket of Rs.5000 (~$60) makes it very affordable to the new age investors

  • Diversify portfolio and generate returns of about 12-18% p.a

How I helped with the vision

The starter version of the Aasthy web had a poor first user experience and content flow, so visitors didn't convert into users. It was crucial to understand the target user and curate the content and journey to ensure they are informed and delighted by this ground breaking concept.

USER PERSONAS

Using the existing user data and behavior, ad-hoc personas were developed. Through user interviews and further data the previously made assumptions  were validated and strengthened.  User archetypes were discovered and this gave us the primary target group for our product as well as a secondary persona and those user types that were to be accommodated.

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Primary Persona

Archetype 1 : The Up-and-Comer: Thrifty, Idealistic, Tech-Savvy

CHALLENGE

Over-conservatism. Individuals in this group tend to be young investors, and understandably have a fear of the often unpredictable market.  

STRENGTH

The up-and-comer is completely plugged in to the always-on digital world – comfort with technology is a given. As the world of investing becomes increasingly more digital, this group is ready to dive in!

OPPORTUNITY

Up-and-comers should keep in mind that it’s nearly impossible to grow their wealth without taking on some amount of risk.

Secondary Persona

Archetype 2 : The Accumulator: Efficient, Multitasking, Forward-Thinking

CHALLENGE

Accumulators can struggle to overcome their own to-do lists and find the time to manage or grow their investments. Most in the group are comfortable with technology, but some might be hesitant to give up the old ways of paper statements and one-on-one advising entirely.

STRENGTH

Accumulators are efficient. They’ll likely run with the right investing strategy once they can identify it and pencil it in to their schedule.

OPPORTUNITY

They have been instilled with the ideology that real estate is traditionally the best investment. This can be leveraged.

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My major focus areas during redesign

User interviews revealed core problem areas in the product. Through iterative design and testing these areas were improved. Post-release data proved that the updates were performing significantly better.

Click a topic to view in detail

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Help users navigate and explore the product easily

Navigation bar for web and mobile

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Help user understand who we are and how the product works 

About us, FAQ's and story telling (2nd fold)

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Deliver a great first impression  with the right info & visuals

First fold of the landing page

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Bing bong! Your latest investment just went live!

Notification feature and push notifications

SCROLL FURTHER FOR PROJECT DETAILS 

Help users navigate and explore the product easily

NAVIGATION BAR FOR WEB AND MOBILE

The very first improvement that needed to be addressed was the pre-existing design of the navigation bars which had several UX as well as visual consistency issues.

BREAKING IT DOWN

Inconsistent elements in the bottom nav bar

Exploring a product becomes a heavy task  if the navigation isn't smooth and consistent. The icon styles, spacing and alignment needed a complete revamp. 

Most used features are not accessible 

The core product offering (assets, real estate heatmap) are not quickly accessible when a user is on the verge of making a decision.

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Understanding user behaviour for redesigning navigation

To do so, the user was explained about the task at hand. We asked repeat users to tell us their most used features on the product through a poll and what they found difficult in the current navigation.  

RESULTS

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With some iterations using the above poll results, the navigation bar was designed and tested for usability and clarity of the construct.

In the process of the Nav bar redesign, the following flows were also fixed

Empty state screens in logged-out user flows

Some features of the app were available only to the registered user. Previous experience would directly prompt login breaking the user flow abruptly. The redesign considered informing the user about the feature and a CTA for login

Introducing explore & dashboard tabs under investment

From the user interviews it was clear that a section in navigation should be dedicated to splitting investments into "current live assets" and "user investment dashboard" where all top actionable investment items could be easily accessed.

The support modal & the "profile click instances"

The big floating "help" which users found intrusive was replaced with a support icon in the top navigation. With addition of a premium feature, choose nominee etc, the profile card underwent a revamp as well.

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PROFILE INSTANCES

LOGGED OUT STATE

LOGGED IN STATE

The empty states that previously led to login screen now informs user what the screen is about instead of breaking the flow of their exploration

All instances of the contents in the profile section at a given time 

Features that are inaccessible in the logged out state is accessible through the same screens on the nav once the user has logged in.

Deliver a great first impression  with the right info & visuals

REDESIGNING THE FIRST FOLD AND FLOW OF THE LANDING PAGE

With a new age concept that involved financials, it was very important to communicate the idea effectively and establish trust. Even the adventurous investor would be skeptic if their first impression was vague and sketchy. 

APPROACHING THE PROBLEM

Key information about the product offerings

Deciding the content to be displayed such that the user would be fully informed about our offerings to pique their interest ( Targeted ads)

AB testing with two visual concepts

The core product offering (assets, real estate heatmap) are not quickly accessible when a user is on the verge of making a decision.

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UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM

To understand the current problem areas, I worked with our data scientist for the current landing page analytics 

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KEY TAKEAWAYS

Analysing the data and speaking to existing users provided these insights and course of action henceforth

Unclear messaging

As a new concept, users were not clear on how it works as there was no mention of "fractional real estate" which was the core offering

Unconvincing visuals 

The users who were shown this for the first time expressed uncertainty as the first impression didn't seem trustworthy enough to explore

Investment structure

How are we able to assure the range of returns given the situation of the current market

Not enough incentive to sign up

The users who did browse the page had enough to go on, and without an intent to invest there was no incentive to sign in

Iterations tested
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Focus on Fractional Investment and listing locations

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Selected

Brand value + Real estate  focus including all offerings and metrics

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Returns focussed with mention of fractional investment

The selected iteration was the one that was best received and led to maximum conversions. 
Help user understand who we are and how the product works 

ABOUT US, FAQ's AND THE STORY OF TRANSPARENCY

From the aspect of user acquisition, the next step was to further improve our credibility and justify our model of transparency. We received user inputs and they always suggested that users try to know more about us and our offerings after gaining an interest in our concept.

Who
we do
What
we are
choose us
Why
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CONTENT

Understanding users needs

We requested our support team to log all the queries and concerns that users expressed and this list helped in curating our content for this section, and the FAQ's

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Designing the notification experience for Aasthy native app and web

NOTIFICATION CATEGORIES, PUSH NOTIFICATIONS 

We had started to list about 2-3 assets per month and this meant that the number of email/ whatsapp notifcations would be spammy for repeat investors. The aasthy native app launch with a notification feature was the solution to keeping our users updated at all times without being intrusive.

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CATEGORIZE

A card sort with colleagues

I looked into all the different kinds of notifications we currently send and all the future requirements and listed them down on  figma.

I created colour coded sticky notes for category/ subcategory and content and conducted a hybrid card sort.

CARD SORT SNIPPET

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RESULTS OF THE EXERCISE

Notification categories & behaviour

The card sort helped in categorising our notification types into 3 main types, and 2 subtypes.

Assigning icons to notification types

How are we able to assure the range of returns given the situation of the current market

Deciding user actions on notifications

Mark as read, delete and snooze were some options that needed to be considered for certain alert categories

COMPONENTS

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RESULT

The finished notification experience

The notification feature was prototyped and tested with a small  group of existing users who were instantly able to connect the previous messages and mailers to these new concise in-app notification.

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IMPACT

Aasthy's user base increased from 108 in June 2022 to 7523 in October 2022 throughout the cycle of the feature releases. It helped ten thousands of investors understand the concept and diversify their portfolio, generating high returns. Sign ups, KYC's and investment numbers shot up exponentially.