Tian Zhao
Product Designer

Paymi

Toronto, Canada (in-person) as a
Multidisciplinary Designer (Full-Time)
at Integrated Rewards.

Integrated Rewards is the name of the business behind Paymi - a cash back app all about providing consumers and enterprises with a more efficient way of earning cash back as well as understanding consumer behaviour respectively. Its one-stop-shop nature is what allows this to happen for both parties as it unifies the cash back earning experience all in one-go.

Scope of Work

Admin

  • Product Timeline (inclusive dates): July 2019 to Present
  • Product Platforms: Mobile & Web
  • Product Type and Status: For-Profit Enterprise | 3+ years old

Work

  • Team Structure, I collaborated with 5 developers, 1 devops engineer, 1 data scientist, 1 product manager, 1 Head of Product, 1 Director of Marketing, and the CEO & CMO.

  • Client and/or Problem Statement: research has shown that cash backs are the most optimal rewards program for consumers and enterprises (retailers) are always in need of more/better insight w.r.t customer behaviour. Therefore, how might we better bring both worlds together?

Product Verticals

  • Product Summary:  B2C/Consumer Rewards App and B2B/Enterprise SaaS
  • Business Vertical:  Fintech
  • Technology Vertical: Cognitive Computing (AI)

Background

  • Product: http://app.paymi.com/
  • Company: https://www.paymi.com/

To learn more about this company, check this article out published by Innovating Canada

Process
Paymi

Challenges & Objectives

User Problem(s) and Product Goal(s): twofold, Paymi would:

  • For consumers - provide a one-stop shop to earn cash back in both online, offline, and additional ways such as referrals and challenges. This one stop shop utilizes the ever-popular fintech aggregator - Plaid amongst others to make it extremely easy for users to hook up their credit/debit card(s) in order to earn towards cash back whenever they shop at anyone of our participating retailers. The pain points here are for me to upgrade their design from all respects: onboarding, the main features of offers, cash back, and referrals (additional rewards), and settings.
  • For enterprises - provide a one-stop shop for retailers to create offers at will, customize them in a myriad of ways, have a dashboard and analytics as to consumer behaviour, have insight with respect to competitive landscape, and to have a deeper understanding of how to improve their products/services overall ; to be a business intelligence tool essentially. My challenge and objective here are to upgrade the design such that we ship this out to our enterprise customers; this currently isn't public yet, it's still private (internal use by Paymi employees).

User Research, Strategy, and Analysis
Paymi

Persona

About 60% of all Canadians who shop at a frequency of 3 or more times a week most belong to the upper-middle-class.

Apart from the above reason, we concluded on this persona in the following manner:

  • Working parents have the most disposable income but least amount of time when it comes to deliberating on shopping choices - whether online or in-person or both, rewards options - whether credit cards, coupons, or otherwise, and retailer preferences - whether products or services or both.
  • The specific kind of working parents we found were those working as managers, directors, senior practitioners, as well as those any mid-level employees. The reason being they tended to be high-frequency shoppers as well as had close proximity to where we worked, which made it easier for us to access and obtain feedback from.
  • Our office is right next to another tech company - therefore forward-thinking working parents and professionals easily accessible. I could also easily conduct guerrilla user testing by simply going downstairs and outside to a nearby coffee shop.
  • These business professionals gave us some very poignant insight - one of which was about the future of cash backs. During one of my user interview sessions, I discovered that the current Paymi is good but what could make it better is this constant - "I have a love/hate relationship with points". The reason I kept hearing this is that - points were a gateway to membership perks with whomever they earned it with but of course they weren't ideal due to how they don't optimize the cashout experience.
  • Overall - the persona helped me to better convince upper manager to incorporate 1 more feature into the product that is still underway. This feature is all about converting points into cash back. The reason why this is still under development is that: a) if it's easy to do, then we'd have a lot more competitors doing it, right now if we did it we'd be a first-mover, b) it would require significant/serious partnerships, and c) there are other technical challenges that are higher priority right now.
  • Bonus - another feature I'm exploring is more of a UX Analysis/Strategy project which involves incorporating another new feature that's all about the consideration that many big tech companies are trying to become banks nowadays with their own payment solutions.

User Journey

I mapped out the users’ steps to see how I could simplify their journey to help them reach their most important goals with the product.

We decided to do a journey map to best understand the value Paymi is providing for its users so as to have this be a guiding star for us moving forward.

The most important goal of centralizing, consolidating, and optimizing the rewards earning experience for a user was chosen by conducting a JTBD exercise.

The steps in the user journey were determined by utilizing a strategy consulting concept called MECE, which stands for "Mutually-Exclusive and Comprehensively Exhaustive". This was used in conjunction with the methodology of Hierarchical Task Analysis.

Additionally, a mix of guerrilla user interviews and secondary user research was carried out to understand how the users felt throughout this user journey and helped me to better understand how to apply existing UX principles and laws into improving the design iteratively.

This user journey helped to roadmap out new features and how best to update our copy as well as focusing the design of the product on the concepts of "passive revenue", "diversification of revenue streams", and "financial freedom & control".

Ultimately this helped determine the Happy Path that needed to be optimized for:

"I need to connect my bank account(s), in order to earn cash back - I need to shop at participating retailers, and in order to possess my cash - I need to cash out by redeeming my earned cash back."

Paymi
Designs & Iterations
Paymi

Before Shots - Mobile Designs for Consumers

The following were areas I had made improvements in:

  • Atomic + Molecular + Organisms:
    • Navigation
    • Overall Branding
    • Offer Cards
    • Cash Back Cards
    • Redemption Cards
    • Member Tiles
    • Challenge Tiles
  • Templates & Pages
    • Onboarding
    • Offers and Offer Details
    • Cash Back & Redemptions
    • Settings
    • Refer & Earn
    • Onboarded & Ongoing Use - new features

Paymi

After Shots - Mobile Designs for Consumers

The following are the major design principles that I applied throughout my redesigns:

  • Aesthetic Usability Effect
  • Fitt's Law
  • Hick's Law
  • Jakob's Law
  • Miller's Law
  • Parkinson's Law
  • Postel's Law
  • Tesler's Law
  • Law of Common Regio
  • Law of Proximity
  • Law of Uniform Connectedness
  • Peak-End Rule
  • Serial Position Effect
  • Von Restorff Effect
  • Zeigarnik Effect

Paymi

Before Shots - Web Designs for Consumer

  • Atomic + Molecular + Organisms:
    • Navigation
    • Overall Branding
    • Offer Cards
    • Cash Back Cards
    • Redemption Cards
    • Member Tiles
    • Challenge Tiles
  • Templates & Pages
    • Onboarding
    • Offers and Offer Details
    • Cash Back & Redemptions
    • Settings
    • Refer & Earn
    • Onboarded & Ongoing Use - new features

Paymi

After Shots - Web Design for Consumer

The following are the major design principles that I applied throughout my redesigns:

  • Aesthetic Usability Effect
  • Fitt's Law
  • Hick's Law
  • Jakob's Law
  • Miller's Law
  • Parkinson's Law
  • Postel's Law
  • Tesler's Law
  • Law of Common Region
  • Law of Proximity
  • Law of Uniform Connectedness
  • Peak-End Rule
  • Serial Position Effect
  • Von Restorff Effect
  • Zeigarnik Effect

Paymi

Before Shots - Web Designs for Enterprise

  • Atomic + Molecular + Organisms:
    • Navigation
    • Overall Branding
    • KPIs
    • Charts & Tables
    • Form Fields
    • Buttons
  • Templates & Pages
    • Onboarding
    • Offers and Offer Details
    • Cash Back & Redemptions
    • Settings
    • Refer & Earn
    • Onboarded & Ongoing Use - new features

Paymi

After Shots - Web Design for Enterprise

The following are the major design principles that I applied throughout my redesigns:

  • Aesthetic Usability Effect
  • Fitt's Law
  • Hick's Law
  • Jakob's Law
  • Miller's Law
  • Parkinson's Law
  • Postel's Law
  • Tesler's Law
  • Law of Common Region
  • Law of Prägnanz
  • Law of Proximity
  • Law of Similarity
  • Law of Uniform Connectedness
  • Peak-End Rule
  • Serial Position Effect
  • Von Restorff Effect
  • Zeigarnik Effect

Insights & Takeaways
Paymi

Insights

I've never worked with developers as intimately as I've been able to within Paymi. I never had the opportunity to work in the same room as developers on a dedicated product and I'm excluding hackathons from this. I've either only ever had incredibly scrappy experiences working with 1 or 2 developers that lacked time or expertise or had experiences working with developers who were remote. There was however this one time where I did work in a dev shop and everyone was on-site, but the interactions between designer and developer wasn't baked into that company culture and the developer that I was assigned with was a blazing fast developer that didn't to collaborate with me that often.

Working with a team onsite is a great experience, one that I strongly value and would do it anytime of day. I love working with them - being able to bounce ideas off, provide feedback to in real-time, is not only a learning experience but at the end of the day fun. I enjoy being able to just quickly flip my screen around just to see if they could say whether or not my deisgn concepts were feasible. I don't do this often of course, not to a state of being bothersome - but one of the greatest insights I've gained from working with these developers who've inherited not-so-ideal legacy code - is that I do feel my design skills being refined because of it.

Great product designers have to always be cognizant of the trifecta of desirability, feasibility, and viability as they go about their days. Working at Paymi with the amount of business and technological constraints I wrestle with - it's been both a struggle but it has forced me to constantly think of ways to work within these constraints better. I can't say I have it all figured out - but it's forced me to be productive and creative despite the limitations. Design is never done as they say - so I'm now thinking of ways that are unconstrained to contribute great design - such as illustration and animation work.

Paymi

Takeaways

When I walked into Paymi - I inherited a product that had a lot of UX and UI issues - from its outdated look and feel to this feeling that it was playing a game of catch-up. Sure it was differentiated in the market at the time and still is as one of a few cash-back apps exclusive to Canada - with the 2 others being backed by RBC - the largest consumer bank in the nation. It, however, lacked clout simply put.

Paymi needed significant upgrades not only in terms of its product design, but its marketing efforts, its business development, and technological arsenal. It's currently still working on all of this, beefing them up, and we're still a growing startup - we're not early-stage bootstrapped but we're not a scale-up yet. I do hope and intend for my designs to put Paymi in the right direction and propel it forward to where it can ideally be.

I love designing pragmatic solutions for the world and for people, because pragmatic solutions are the only kinds of solutions I'll use and that people I believe deep down all want to and love to use. Working adults with insanely busy lives, juggling life and work need more pragmatism. This is why I believe in Paymi and see great potential in it. The world of fintech is fascinating to me given that money is the blood cells of our economy and I'm grateful to be injecting more blood cells into it via Paymi.

Testimonial & Impact
"Tian has one of the most creative minds I've ever met. He's very open minded and looks at a problem from many different perspectives, which makes him a perfect designer. Not only he does his tasks in the best way possible, but also provides suggestions on other areas of the application. Overall, a very good team player and caring person. He can be a great asset for any team he joins."
Ali Bahaloo - Product Manager
99%
Final Task Success Rate
89
System Usability Score
92%
Customer Satisfaction score
1%
Final User Error Rate
Paymi