Along-side our user researcher, I helped conduct 9, 1:1 sessions with in-market home shoppers and recent buyers who applied for a mortgage in the last 2 years. 3 of the 9 participants had no experience with shopping or applying for a mortgage, whereas 2 considered themselves to be experienced shoppers.
The session was split into 4 segments – a background interview, a free-run direct observations, and cognitive walkthrough followed by a brief semi-structured interview. During the direct observation segment, participants were asked to shop as a primary borrower at the beginning of their process and apply for a mortgage for their home. The sessions were video and audio recorded for note-taking purposes. The sessions were conducted in a quiet lab using their own devices with minimal interruptions.
Users found the straight-forward approach to drilling down to a priced product to be pretty effortless and that it was very clear what to do. However, some participants on the Results screen were not clear about some of our labeling when refining their results. This prompted a deeper discussion with our team to focus on voice-and-tone for the overall experience.
Most of the participants expressed that, considering the inherent complexity of mortgages, the application was user friendly and that they felt supported. Virtually all users recognized the navigation list as steps/progress that need completion in the application and would routinely use the list to jump to other pages if they needed. Non-experienced shoppers felt like the application was overly long which resulted in the current design and consolidated the application pages into minimal groupings rather than numerous short pages.
Document portal findings
For both experienced and non-experienced participants, users understood what their outstanding tasks were and were able to navigate to the appropriate pages to complete the exercise. Giving a timeline on the overview page scored very well subjectively with seasoned shoppers since expressed the confusion and unclarity at this phase of the process in their past experiences.