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Q4 Desktop: An Investor Relations CRM

Our team of two designers and fifteen developers was developing a customer relationship management (CRM) platform for investor relations (IR). It allows investor relations officers to monitor all components of their IR program, which includes managing investments and company relationships with investors.

I’m designing for investor relations officers of publicly traded companies who had to sift through a lot of data on a daily basis and want to access it as quickly as possible. Their focus is maintaining a good relationship with investors as well as stabilizing company stock prices.

Investor Relations Officers have been forced to use any non-investment related CRM and then take time to customize the platform so they can do their jobs.

A CRM dedicated to investment management of publicly traded companies isn’t something that really existed prior to the creation of Q4 Desktop. Selecting features that were directly related to stock trading would be key, as well as creating a design that was not visually overwhelming but still allowed for easy navigation. The main features of the product are the ability to:

  • Manage all your contacts.

  • Track your targets via AI.

  • Develop a watchlist.

  • Get basic daily updates on your dashboard via AI.

  • Enable users to see how their company’s stock is performing relative to the market, industry, and their peers.

User Interviews
Investor Relations Officers need a CRM dedicated to their job so they can have a custom experience directly related to their field.

My product manager and I found a small group of potential users who were willing to speak to be interviewed by us. Here is the summary of our research findings:

  • People in the finance industry are used to seeing a lot of information at once. They’re so familiar with visual clutter that they actually prefer having everything available at once.

  • Users wanted something that was easy and fast to get the information they needed and to move on with their day.

  • Users weren't used to a variety of data visualizations in their usual finanace products but they mentioned appreciating when the visualization made it easier to get the information they required as well as a "sleek" look.

Information Architecture and Wireframes

For all sections of the application I created medium fidelity wireframes in UX Pin. I quickly found out that our stakeholders didn’t understand what they were looking at when they saw these wireframes, and from then on created high fidelity wireframes for all our features. The brand and skeleton of the product was created by my Creative Director, so those were parameters I had to work within when deciding how the product would work.

Creating complex data visualizations that offer information at a glance and are attractive proved to be difficult. My Creative Director and I created four different types of data visualizations to start with so that we could use them as templates to keep consistency throughout the product.

I used interactive charts as a way of not causing too much visual clutter. I also used other types of visualizations, like very smaller secondary graphs or icons that would be easily identifiable for users so that they could read smaller chunks of information.

The design system for Q4 Desktop wasn’t fleshed out when I began working on it, which led to some inconsistencies throughout the product. My Creative Director and I had to take a look at all the features that currently existed and decide on a more defined system before we moved forward. One major example of this is ways that the user could filter in tables and in graphs; it was somewhat inconsistent and required the team to get together to make corrections.

Through the creation of this product, the company expanded to a new group of much larger customers and was able to almost double their revenue.
  • Users found the product easy to use and loved that it didn't require additional customization.

  • Users found the look of the product "sleek" and attractive.

  • Expanding the product proved difficult since its design system wasn’t as scalable as I would have liked it to be.

  • Accessibility was not strongly considered.