Building an investment management platform as a proof of concept project

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Building an investment management platform as a proof of concept project

Self-serve investment management with Investify

Historically, investment banking is a practice that’s been reserved for financial managers, traders and experienced bankers. We set out to change this and proved that investment banking can be accessible to all.

We were approached with an idea: to help ordinary people with a bit of spare income make their money work harder for them. We understood that many people had the appetite to create an investment portfolio, but lacked the knowledge, tools or confidence to get started.

Typically, there are a few challenges to managing your own investment portfolio if you don’t have a background in finance, including limited knowledge of the trading environment, the presence of risk, threat of loss, and time management. Many options also have a heavy reliance on third parties such as financial advisors or traders.

These were just some of the challenges we were asked to help overcome within our design and build. And the solution? Create a self-serve tool that gives ordinary people the confidence and resources to manage their own investments.

Past Performance

We created a multi-skilled task team to work out how to achieve this, including a Financial Services advisor (our subject matter expert), a UX designer, Visual designer and Developer.

First steps

Firstly, we set up some workshops to discuss the ‘problem’ and explore possible solutions. Everyone agreed that this needed to be self-serve and should empower ordinary people to be able to invest their money, confidently and successfully, without dependency on third parties. Our solution also needed to be easy to use, free from jargon, FSA compliant and secure.

We realised very early on that the best way to validate the concepts, scenarios and hypotheses we possessed was through a rapid prototyping approach. Who doesn’t love a prototype!? An interactive, visual representation of how something could/might/should work, allowing you to check viability very early on.

At Digital Detox, we often encourage clients to consider prototyping. We believe it’s the best low risk way to sense check an idea. You can spend months documenting all the possible scenarios, then more months building something based on your documents and assumptions. OR, you can spend a few weeks building a workable prototype and get a clearer picture of your product’s feasibility. With less risk. And spend.

The prototype needed to include a few key facets: easy sign up, be secure and safe, a clear user journey, include four portfolio options, a risk calculator, and have offline capabilities

The process

Because this project was a proof of concept, we had a short timeframe for delivery of the prototype. At Digital Detox we know that the key to moving quickly is collaboration, so we focused on regular face-to-face catch ups, workshops and frequent showcases of the visuals and development. This made it really easy for the group to give feedback, validate assumptions and improve as we moved forward.

We used guerilla testing to get feedback: far less frightening than the name suggests, guerilla testing refers to an informal approach of getting user feedback. It involved asking a few people to have a play with the prototype and give us anecdotal feedback on what they liked, and didn’t, about it. This informal testing approach allowed us to continue moving forward at a rapid pace.

The outcome

This was the exciting bit. Based on the feedback of testers, internal staff and our stakeholders, we had confidence that Investify was a solid product concept. The prototype allows a user to experiment with various investment options against a calculable appetite for risk.


  • It’s self-serve and simple, just like it needs to be
  • It asks very little of users on a personal level, a rough range of income and basic details are all that’s needed to get started
  • Four portfolio options to choose from and an interactive tool for testing the projected outcome of any choice they make gives users full control
  • It’s secure and regulated thanks to the input of our financial Services advisor


The beauty of a proof of concept project is that its objectives are met based on whether the product displays potential value. The Investify prototype successfully proved that a self-serve investment management tool is feasible to build and valuable to use.

Going through the rapid prototyping and guerilla testing process gave us immediate insight into the huge potential of this tool. We developed a framework for calculating appetite for risk and it’s possible to apply this method to other projects across multiple industries. Also, the strength and validity of a prototype built within such a short time-frame is testament to our process and approach as a cross-functional team. Above all, we have built a fully workable product ready to be taken to market and adapted to any business or industry for which it meets a need.

We’re thrilled with the outcome of the Investify project. A combination of outstanding teamwork, evolving knowledge, constant progress and cross-functional skills have resulted in the creation of something new, exciting and valuable.