Journeys in Design Thinking and How CDFIs Could Evolve Over The Next 5 Years

June 22, 2016

In April, we introduced you to Project CUE, a screening and assessment tool that we’re building that matches small businesses declined for a bank loan with a CDFI that may be able to meet their needs. And we’ve been busy! 

Our team is using design thinking principles--a user-centric approach to innovation-- to ensure the successful adoption of our CUE tool. Design thinking techniques allow us to really get to know our end users (CDFIs, small business owners, and banking partners) as we place ourselves in their shoes and understand their motivations, goals, and pain points before anything is sketched or wire-framed.

Several months ago, we held brainstorming and design thinking sessions with a set of our users: CDFIs. We asked them to imagine their industry five years from now. The responses were surprising and insightful. Some predicted that biometrics would take over as the way authenticate loan applicants and simplify the loan application experience. Others predicted that applying for a loan would be a mobile-only process. The insights from the CDFI reps pointed to their current frustrations that the industry lags when it comes to technology. Read more about their predictions in this blog post.

In two other exercises, we were able to understand CDFIs and small business owners further through User Personas and User Journeys. Ultimately, we were able to dive deeper into how daunting the loan application experience can be for our small business user and comprehend what a CDFI loan officer’s days are like. User Personas and User Journeys help us determine if a feature we’re thinking about introducing is truly beneficial and important to our users. They prevent us from spending time on features our users don’t care for. Read about the User Personas and User Journeys in these blog posts.

If you’re curious about our journey, follow Project CUE’s evolution as we document it on our blog. And feel free to reach out to us on Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

SAVE THE DATE: JULY 19, 2016 at 1:00-2:00 PM EDT

Our webinar will review the overall CUE solution and demonstrate how CDFI partners can access and benefit from the software and services. RSVP TODAY!

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