Unlocking the Power of User-Centered Design: Insights from Erwin Kim at the +Tech Innovation Jam
At Pocketnest, we believe in the transformative power of user-centered design, especially in the realm of finance. It's this ethos that drove our Head of Product and Design, Erwin Kim, to share his expertise and insight at the +Tech Innovation Jam this past Tuesday, an event hosted by Business+Tech at the University of Michigan.
Pocketnest has been formulated and built upon the bedrock of prioritizing the end user's experience and needs throughout the product development process. Understanding the user's behavior, goals, and pain points is fundamental to our approach, and it's in this domain that Erwin has excelled throughout his career. His commitment to user-centric design is one of the key reasons why Pocketnest remains approachable and informative, particularly in an arena where discussing finances can often become overwhelming.
About Business+Tech & The +Tech Innovation Jam
Business+Tech is a driving force behind creating a more connected tech community at the University of Michigan and beyond. Their vision is to develop a community that contributes to making technology accessible to all, and they curate action-based learning opportunities to advance tech competency. The +Tech Innovation Jam mimics a real-world scenario where multidisciplinary teams tackle product development challenges. With a mix of product managers, technical architects, business analysts, UX/UI designers, and project managers, it's designed to challenge students from across the U-M campus who are passionate about tech. This year, a whopping 29 teams are competing in a rigorous six-week challenge.
About Our Very Own Erwin Kim
A Bay Area expat, where he worked with the likes of Fitbit and Truepill. He's honed his diverse and wide-ranging skills over 7+ years, building products for manufacturing analytics, healthcare, supply chain/reverse logistics, autonomous vehicles, and more. We scooped him from his latest gig as Director of Product at a pre-seed fintech startup based out of Portland, ME. As Head of Product & Design at Pocketnest, Erwin has made many incredible strides not just over the course of his career but specifically at Pocketnest to ensure our application puts users first.
Solution Ideation Workshop with Erwin Kim
One of the highlights of the +Tech Innovation Jam was the Solution Ideation Workshop led by our very own Erwin Kim. Erwin, an alum of U-M LSA (College of Literature, Science, and the Arts), brings a wealth of experience to the table. His approach to design seamlessly blends user-centered principles with an understanding of behavioral-based tendencies, particularly in the context of finance. Above all, his approach prioritizes identifying and addressing user problems, emphasizing that functionality is the cornerstone for crafting features and solutions that truly deliver value.
Erwin's approach isn't just about designing visually appealing wireframes; it's about creating products that are truly user-centric, differentiated, and adept at solving real market problems. During the workshop, Erwin walked participants through real-world examples and processes that he uses in his daily work. These included the process of ideation, as well as proven methods to help teams craft solutions by putting the user at the forefront.
“In the realm of finance, I believe in the transformative power of user-centered design to prioritize understanding the user's behavior, goals, and pain points to create solutions that cater to their needs. By building financial products that focus more on solving the problems a user faces, we fundamentally change the way they interact with it. Additionally, focusing on functionalities keeps you focused on solving the problem by providing the user value while maintaining flexibility. Leading with these pillars creates a more user-friendly, approachable, and educational financial experience, turning what can be intimidating into a fun learning journey. My mission is to make tackling finances a task you look forward to, and this ethos drives every step of our journey." - Erwin Kim, Head of Product and Design at Pocketnest.
What User-Centered Design Means to Us
Importance in our Platform:
In the context of Pocketnest, User-Centered Design, or UCD, is crucial because financial products and services can often become complex and overwhelming if not broken down into bite-sized, easily digestible pieces. Finances can appear daunting, but at Pocketnest, we excel in simplifying financial offerings, making them user-friendly, and communicating in a language our users can easily understand. Even without prior financial knowledge, our approach enhances the overall financial experience for our users.
UCD places the user at the center of product development. This involves conducting thorough user research, understanding the specific financial needs and concerns of different user groups, and tailoring our solutions to solve user’s problems head-on. At Pocketnest, we are constantly making improvements to our application in order to make tackling your finances a fun learning experience rather than a dreaded task.
Pocketnest uses data analytics and cognitive understanding to gain insights into our user’s behaviors and preferences. This data further informs the design process, leading to iterative improvements and a more personalized user experience for all of our users.
See Erwin’s Work in Action
The +Tech Innovation Jam and the Solution Ideation Workshop with Erwin Kim proved to be invaluable opportunities for students and tech enthusiasts alike. Pop into the platform to see Erwin's handiwork-in-progress!