Rocket Mortgage Professional Referral 

THE PROBLEM

Rocket Mortgage wanted to expand their market to not only include traditional home buyers, but to also include mortgage influencers. These would be professionals who interface with potential home buyers such as real estate agents, financial advisors, and insurance agents. To allow Rocket Mortgage to compete with local lenders for the recommendation of these influencers, we designed a streamlined user experience that is tailored to professionals who are involved in the mortgage process. 

Overall goals were to engage with a referral process which would allow the influencer to refer their clients and allow them to follow the process to help whenever possible and ensure their clients were being taken care of. 

HIGH LEVEL TIMELINE

Three months to deliver hi fidelity prototypes and assets.

THE TEAM

The team consisted of a creative lead, as well as two product owners, a researcher, a content writer, and myself working as the UX strategist and designer.

KEY GOAL

To design a referral experience specifically for mortgage influencers that would be easy to use and would provide enough value for the influencers to adopt it.

MY ROLE

I worked on UX strategy and design for this project. As part of this team, I collaborated with Product Owners to determine requirements, personas, timelines, and features for this product. My contribution included creating user flows, user testing, low fidelity screens, prototypes, hi fidelity screens, and annotations. I met with Product Owners weekly to refine the work and gain approvals as we progressed. In addition, I presented the ongoing work on a weekly basis to team members. This experience was designed for web as well as mobile. 

UNDERSTANDING THE USER

Because the users of this product would be different than our current users, we did a lot of work to understand the differences. 

Influencers traditionally have a client base and already have specific lenders that they like to work with. In most cases, these are local lenders whom they know. Research shows that influencers are wary of large lenders who are not local. Their business is built on the trust they have developed with their clients and to recommend a lender to their clients, they need to have established trust with that lender. 

We discovered this through surveys of the influencer market as well as interviewing influencers.

BREAKING DOWN THE PROCESS 

Because the referral process is part of the overall Rocket Pro experience, we first had to align with the Rocket Pro dashboard to determine how a user would begin the referral process. 

Once this was decided, I created a basic flow for what screens would exist and the order a user would go through them. This is shown below.

Once the basic user flow was defined, I worked on defining what functionality would exist on each screen and created wireframes of each. This lead to lo fidelity screens. Below are some of those screens.

After conducting user testing to determine if anything was missing as well as how intuitive the process was I moved to hi fidelity screens and assembling a prototype in Invision.

This required working through a number of issues. Many of these were determining all the possible states that each screen could be in and trying to represent those in a way consistent with the overall design style of the Rocket Pro site. Issues with how to present supporting documents and their various status values also presented a challenge. Below are some of the hi fidelity screen mockups.

Lessons Learned

Sometimes things can be more complex than they initially seem

The concept of a referral was initially thought to just be a single page. After initial research and testing, I discovered that it needed to have more functionality to build trust with our influencer users

Our target market values time and trust more than anything

We must not only allow our users to quickly enter referrals, but also allow them to monitor the process so that they know what is happening and that their clients are being serviced the way they would

Detailed market and user research cannot be overlooked

If we had assumed our target users were the same as our traditional mortgage seekers, we would have delivered a product that did meet their needs and it would not have value. Research determined the specific needs of the user and redefined what we delivered

Summary

While this was not a huge project, it was a valuable one for me as it reinforced the importance of understanding your user and creating something that is valuable to them rather than what you think they need.

 

The end result meets all of the requirements of the targeted user demographic and should allow for us to gain a level of trust from influencers which will lead to more referrals as well as influencers putting forward the effort to become licensed which will allow them to utilize the Rocket Professional platform even more.

© 2019 by Shannon Killingsworth