Making offers goal oriented & easy to compare

Own Up’s mortgage offers have market-beating deals including lower interest rates, points or fees — but even then, we were experiencing low schedule rates when showing customers their offers. 

Our research began internally with our home advisors, and former customers who did not move forward with us, to understand why this was happening.

With this process, I discovered an opportunity for Own Up to educate customers, differentiate itself from competitors and add on to it’s credibility by creating an offer comparison tool.
ROLEDesign & Research Lead, Copywriting

TEAMAlex Grizzell (Senior Product Manager), Chris Pardy (Tech Lead), Molly McCarthy (Sales), Home Advisors

2 Months

Discovering the Problem;

Myself and the Product Manager conducted interviews across our internal departments, referenced live call sessions and surveyed previous customers to understand the situation around the perception of our offers, and looked through our user research database to connect the dots. 

  • Our main user drop-off was due to the perception that our offers are not competitive or good. Many assumed that looking at rates is enough

  • Mortgage offers have a reputation for being confusing and complex to understand. Our experience was lacking context and education on how to look for a good offer.  

  •  Many of our customers had expressed a desire to be able to compare offers to our home advisors

  •  Some of our customers made their own complex calculators and maintained manual records of different offers to compare them
  • Some of our customers expressed the need for an informative experience on looking for a good offer. They wanted some analysis to be presented to them, so they could take a well-rounded decision on their mortgage
    • A huge pain point for our customer’s was figuring out an alignment between the ideal mortgage offer and their personal finance goals — some people want to save money overall while some are looking for lower monthly installments

    How do we allow genuine communication and perception of our offers to our users?

    What are key differentiators in an offer?

    To shift the narrative on offers — I synthesized what were important costs, points, credits and timelines to consider when comparing offers and what goals customers were looking for when asking for comparisons;

    • Breakeven 
    • Life of the loan 
    • Low monthly payments 
    • Net Lender Fees

    How are others doing this?

    I conducted a competitive audit — did they have something similar? How did they approach it?

    • Most of these workflows were separate from the rates page, and still required manual inputs

    • Some of the analyses were visually complex — even for our expert home advisors to understand

    Above: A glimpse into the competitive analysis

    Ideating on building a comparison workflow

    Planning the user flow

    One of our goals was making discovery and activation the comparison tool very simple. So, I strategized on a user flow that focused on a one-click access and avoiding page drop-offs.

    We wanted our users to get to comparisons in a simple way, without creating a page drop-off.

    Wireframing key stages

    The user flow planning led me to define 3 key stages were identified in the comparison shopping tool including; 
    1. Activation, 
    2. Selecting comparable offers
    3. Generating analyses based on goals. 

    I conceptualized and developed wireframes using these key stages.

    The first approach included having a bottom drawer — this did not develop further due to it’s complex bottom interaction that could interfere with the scrolling on the phone. 
    This approach introduced a “one-click” entry point to the comparison workflow which met our discoverability and activation goals. This also included selecting from a list of goals to display different analyses

    Validating all we know — time for testing!

    Through iterative feedback sessions with Product Development & Engineering, we were able to pull scope & requirements. Once we were confident to launch, we conducted testing sessions from 1:1 user interview & prototype sessions. 
    Based on the feedback, we were able to validate our core idea, and adjust the experience to finally set it up for launch.

    Comparison Shopping

    Combining feedback from the prototype tests, ideation sessions and our design process, we reached this solution. Our first milestone allowed people to compare intra-Own Up offers — with the option to compare external offers through a consult scheduled with our home advisors.

    Through Comparison Shopping, our mortgage offer engagement increased by 35%.

    Moreover, customers who use this workflow are 2x as likely to lock with Own Up.


    Discoverable, intuitive and additive

    We wanted the comparison workflow to be highly discoverable to allow users to maximize it’s usage without many clicks — and to test out engagement with the tool — all without impacting our current experience.

    Placing it on our rate table (on desktop sizes) & rate cards (on mobile sizes) worked out successfully. During initial launch — more than 200 comparisons were generated across a 5-day period.

    What makes a good offer? And what makes it good for you?

    We directly addressed the elephant in the room — that rate is not the only factor to determine a competitive offer.

    Our customer’s come with different goals in mind to find their perfect offer. Sometimes, people do not have these goals in mind and they don’t know what to look for. Keeping these points in mind — we developed the back-end calculation to display different types of goals in our analyses

    Educate & differentiate

    The primary objective of this workflow was to help people compare different Own Up offers and discover a great deal. 

    We also saw an opportunity to educate people by giving them the option to upload their Loan Estimate from another lender or service. Though the comparison would be manually done by a home advisor — it would become a way to interact with the customer — and truly let them know which one was the better deal.

    This was a win-win — if Own Up has the better deal — the customer would more likely move forward with us. If the outside deal is better — we would notify the user — establishing trust and brand recognition.

    Learnings & Next Steps;

    We have to take risks and determine trade-offs to build holistic product experiences that put our users and business goals at the center. In our case, this was adding comparisons with outside competitors.

    The next milestone for Comparison Shopping is to let customers generate comparisons between more than 2 offers.
    ©Jigyasa Tuli
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