I had the opportunity to design both the platform and the marketing website for LendTech, a lending management platform for real estate lenders. As part of my role, I created the prototype in Figma, designed and built the marketing website, and created investor pitch decks.
I was brought on as the first employee to design and develop the initial prototype to increase stakeholder buy-in while pitching to investors. Besides investors the other stakeholders included our advisors, Forum Ventures, early adopted customers who we tested our features with, CTO, and CEO.
We received our first institutional capital from Forum Ventures who has advised us on our GTM strategy and fundraising. This opportunity helped us grow our business and strengthen our fundraising narrative.
Lender’s in the construction lending market face challenges navigating multiple tools that are not specifically designed for loan origination and servicing. A cluster of tools used by Lenders leads to higher costs, inefficiencies, and lost revenue.
We’re targeting the construction lending and servicing industry. It’s costly for lenders to manage technology overhead and LendTech is serving as a back office type tool, a true end-to-end solution.
I researched financial admin interface and dashboard best practices, conducted competitor analysis, and collaborated with the CEO and CTO to form major decisions for each feature on the platform.
Interviews with a variety of Lender’s from different banks provided an abundance of information distilled into the following pain points. These methods were chosen for their fast, easy, and casual nature, ensuring a natural extraction of processes, thoughts, and experiences.
Poor Data & Insights
Banks continue to use disparate manual systems for reporting and insights on their portfolio and performance.
Analog Borrower Applications
Little or no online application process. Borrowers manually submit decentralized documentation.
Excel spreadsheets and manual processes remain as primary use function for underwriting.
Poor internal processes to share information internally or externally. Lenders resort to using email thread with clients that results in missed information and errors.
Cumbersome to manage the construction draw process, release funds to clients, and commissions to employees, costing lenders time and money.
Checks and balances for managing risk exist, but there is room for proactive risk mitigation and better portfolio management.
Loan packaging within properties
Establishing a record system for loans and storing them within properties enables the attachment of multiple loans to a single property. This approach enhances asset management at the portfolio level.
Modular based design User roles & permissions
Two user types on the platform Lenders and Borrowers that need personalized dashboards and custom user permissions.
Flexible underwriting templates
Every Lender has different lending guidelines and parameters which requires flexible custom templates. There was a need for a flexible underwriting section that allows users to run multiple calculated scenario models to determine the best loan outcome.
With securing support from investors being a crucial element at this early stage of the start-up, it was important to the CEO to create designs that are visually appealing right from the beginning.
Defining the user flows of the application and loan processes were crucial to the user experience of the platform. The loan application flow consists of the steps taken to submit a loan application and the data connection points. The loan process flow consists of the loan life cycle from submitted application to sending funds to the borrower.
I collaborated with the CEO and CTO to construct the site map and architectural diagram of the platform. Through in-depth discussions and collaborative brainstorm sessions, we created a scalable and user-friendly platform that meets the needs of our target audience.
The initial concept screens consist of the main services of the platform based on the architural diagram. I experimented with layouts, color, and typography at this level to increase stakeholder buy-in.
I created a brand guidelines for LendTech which included the logo design, typography, brand colors, and graphical elements. These brand guidelines were used for the marketing website, and prototype.
A design system was created to provide a cohesive design language for the engineers, and future designers we will bring onto the team. The decision to implement a design system came after we launched in an effort to avoid inconsistencies from design to development. With flexible components within Figma the task completion to mock-up features are designed a fraction of the time they were before a design system.
Designed and built the marketing website using Webflow. I set up a simple landing page with additional service pages and contact forms. The main goal of the website is to convert customers to book a demo appointment.
Created a public docs notion site for our customers to use during our onboarding process. Customers can view documentation on our services and learn how to use our products.
No finance background
Not having a financial background was challenging. I had to educate myself and really learn the correct terminology to talk to stakeholders.
Controlling feature creep
While encouraging creative thinking within the team, it was important to refocus on the practical use cases for our features. We explored new ideas, but it was challenging to assess if there was an excessive cognitive load.
Create a design system earlier
Not having a design system from the beginning posed challenges when it came to developing a design system later on. It would have been beneficial to establish a simple design system early in the project, encompassing standard components, spacing, typography, colors, and icons.
Annotate designs for engineers
Annotating my design for handover to engineers avoiding more questions from them and saved time. I didn’t start annotating my designs until later on.