Smith Barney
Re-imagining a Financial Advisor Platform
Financial Advisor Research Study

When Smith Barney needed to re-envision their financial advisor platform, the firm engaged UXL to undertake a thorough user research study.

We began by evaluating the current platform and interviewing key business stakeholders to articulate where they wanted to lead the financial advisory practice overall. 

This understanding of strategic direction combined with hypotheses about user goals and tasks informed a qualitative research plan spanning three months from identifying representative users to conducting interviews and contextual inquiries to analyzing findings.


UXL crafted process models, personas, and scenarios to re-imagine platform interactions and features that would enable diverse financial advisors and their teams to be even more informed, responsive, and entrepreneurial throughout the advisory lifecycle.

Process: User Research | User Experience Design

UXL conducted qualitative field research with a diverse set of 45 financial advisors across the country in individual and small-group sessions ranging from 1.5 to 6 hours each. Our research led us to model the advisory lifecycle and then to detail findings in each of its phases. Further analysis uncovered six goals common to most advisors, what they need to meet those goals, and ultimately, supporting platform features.

UXL devised personas to illustrate characteristics, needs, and goals of financial advisors. Personas considered key factors that shape user expectations of the tools they use such as team structure, career stage, work style, and daily tasks. These archetypal users drove design imperatives, requirements, and prioritization of features, serving as a touchstone to focus on users while re-envisioning the financial advisor platform.

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