Stash Invest – Web App

UI Design, UX Design, Interaction Design


Stash Invest did not have a dedicated web experience when I joined in April 2017. The executive team and head of product tasked me with building out a web application that could rival our legacy iOS and Android applications, and also serve as a way for us to mature our design systems.

Both our existing user base and prospective customers were asking for a way to manage their finances away from what many perceived as the "casual" or "passive" nature of the mobile phone format. There was already a lightweight registration funnel that dead-ended into an upsell to download the applications. This was a disappointing experience that many customers wrote in about, and so we decided it was time to address this customer pain point.

If you're interested in exploring some of these features more in-depth, you can visit the Stash Invest® web experience and sign up for an account. (Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of these services.)

Approach to the challenge

My product manager and I started out by doing stakeholder interviews with the executive team, customer service, engineering leads, and product team members to better understand why we were building it, who we were building it for, and what types of features they were expecting to see.

I kicked things off with the squad by conducting a hybrid version of a design studio and design sprint. During the three days we spent together, I lead the team through the following exercises:

  1. • Set a challenge to "create an engaging web experience that outperforms the native apps"
  2. • Created "how might we"s to come up with questions to answer
  3. • Mapped out user journeys to identify pain points in our current experience
  4. • Created a working persona to ground ourselves with our target customers
  5. • Brainstormed ideas on how to solve those pain points
  6. • Voted on the best ideas that addressed the "how might we's"

After a few days of exercises, we had a list of potential features and experiences that would create the highest impact with the lowest lift on design and engineering. We took the results of the design sprint back to our stakeholders and narrowed down the feature list for our first few launches and created a roadmap.

Prototype and results

Over the course of Q3 and Q4, my product manager and I collaborated extensively with stakeholders and engineering to build out a fully independent web application that mirrored and rivaled the native applications. We rapidly built, tested, and iterated on all of these features:

  1. • Buying and selling investments
  2. • Withdrawing and transferring funds
  3. • Setting up and managing the Auto-Stash (user controlled, timed investing) feature
  4. • Setting up and managing the Smart-Save (automated savings based on spending) feature
  5. • Browsing investments
  6. • Account management

Overall, the web application customers were shown to have lower churn rates on our core features. We saw a significant lift (averaging ~2.2 transactions/week) in the number of weekly transactions when compared to the native applications. The web application customers were also shown to own greater than 10 investments, whereas the native application customer owned 8 investments on average. We also to increased our weekly active users by over 150% in under a month.