Lender Spotlight is a tool for mortgage brokers to sort through a database of mortgage products in order to find the best rate for their clients. Having a large database of products available, the challenge was creating a user friendly UI to access them from any device. Their intention was to have a card sorting style filtering mechanism similar to Salesforce Trailhead, however they had quite a few more filters and needed it to work on mobile and tablet devices. My role was to create wireframes for the product search/filter page, a landing page design, and a visual design style for the app.
An interesting article I came across while designing Lender Spotlight describes how the design of filter mechanisms depends on many factors such as user intent and site speed.
“The first question to ask is whether users are in an exploratory mode or they have clear search parameters in mind. “
– Katie Sherwin, Nelson Normon Group, User Intent Affects Filter Design
In this case, the brokers using the app more or less know what filters they’d like to apply, so they choose all of the desired parameters and click the Apply Filters button (batch filtering). The alternative, interactive filtering, should be used when users are in more of an exploratory mode, such as when browsing suites on Air BnB. Another consideration was the site speed/load time on the tablet and mobile. Batch filtering was used to prevent the data set from refreshing every time a new filter was selected. When dealing with a low bandwidth connection this could be detrimental to a smooth search experience. On the desktop version, interactive filtering was implemented because there was no risk of the interactions slowing down the app or being problematic to the users.