We had now set the stage for tackling the bigger, more innate problems,  not resetting and starting from scratch, but instead carefully considering where we were coming from.

As work began on redefining the product, discussions happening internally had never been more exciting. We had the chance to confront and properly challenge not only Pelican’s foundation, but also that of mobile trading itself.

A closer understanding

Designing how these experiences should look was the fun bit, but also our initial downfall. With the internal excitement around the project, scope for features kept increasing and we found ourselves in long unwinding debates around potential ideas and enthusiastic suggestions for very lofty ideas. A lot of time was spent with stakeholders refining pie-in-the-sky features which soon become completely out of scope and only ended in disappointed investors, and developers on the brink of exhaustion.  

With such a small team the point was to answer problems with small manageable solutions we could release, test and repeat.

To cut down the time wasted on over-design, we had to better ask ourselves…

“What can we design, with what we have, to improve each experience by 10%?”

If aiming for 100% wasn't working, then improving 10% here, and 10% there would soon add up.

Adopting this approach became our mantra and all of a sudden we were prototyping, testing and delivering quickly, able to make changes as we went. The business, users, stakeholders, and developers were all seeing the benefit.

Old trade card view on the Activity Feed

Information you can read

As we know, seasoned traders expect a certain level of information when they look at a trade. It became clear that while beginners wouldn’t know or care about the majority of this information, we could vastly improve the way they consumed it to make it more understandable. Skipping all the jargon, on the most basic level a user simply wants to know if the trade was in profit or loss and therefore worth copying.

New trade card on the Feed

This resulted in a careful consideration of how we represented each trade. We decided to allow more room for each trade card, which increased legibility and represented key information with colour, not just figures. Simply put, green trade meant profit and red meant loss. Our users could quickly hunt down the best trades and spend more time seeing why they were the best. It was important to not take away information, but use it more efficiently.

For the rest of the application this attitude of clarifying and simplifying became another underlying principle. Rather than over-communicating, we would focus on always trying to radically simplify, making information you could read.

Pelican’s new Discover page

Explore and discover

We dragged the Discover page into its own space on the bottom navigation giving users what they needed most… quick access to the very best traders and groups on the app. The goal was to create a place that continually changed and updated. Our data showed that the one thing all our users understood and wanted were leaderboards. Users wanted to be at the top, to see who was at the top, and they would do anything to get there. Exactly want we wanted.

Lots of easy, bite-size leaderboards gave everyone a quick way to find what they wanted in a variety of ways. Users could discover who was doing the best today, this month and over all time. We surfaced the best mentors and educators so beginners had traders they could contact openly and learn from. We even exposed who was on a Live Account, trading real money and risking it all. Discover was soon becoming the reason you opened the app.

But it was not only important to expose the traders and groups doing well, but let our users know why they were doing well. The more we could force our users to ask “why”, the more they would use the app to find out.