Embark Group is one of the largest retirement solutions providers in the UK, and growing fast. They manage about £40 billion in client assets on their investment platform, while selling white-label functionality to a range of businesses including Nutmeg and Wealthify. We were appointed as their lead digital agency in November 2019.
15 years of legacy
Embark’s online platform is a crucial element of the day-to-day business - it’s where financial advisers manage investments and tax wrappers. When we got involved it was already 15 years old, and lots of brokers and advisers had essentially grown up with it. Managing migration to a new platform, then, would have its challenges.
Staying the same - or a piecemeal upgrade - just wasn’t an option, though. The old platform had been built as a data-driven rather than experience-driven environment, and wasn’t meeting the needs of our client or their customers.
Our task was to deliver an investment platform to support the needs of financial advisors and management, as well as an elevated experience for clients. The platform had to be future proof for Embark’s long-term objectives.
What we did
Equator and Embark people combined in an augmented transformation team. Due to the pandemic this was largely co-located and remote, but experience and skills came to the virtual table from both organisations.
Our overall approach meant that CX, UX and UI guidance was input at every stage. A design framework evolved along project requirements, and the end result is an end product that wins users’ confidence while meeting or exceeding their current and future needs.
Series of sprints
To reduce lead times, we planned the project around two types of sprint - gold and silver - involving different levels of detail and dealing with varying complexity in the most effective manner.
Gold sprints featured rapid prototyping and user-testing processes to handle complex challenges. Silver sprints took wireframes through development in a more conventionally agile manner.
While we’re still in a soft launch period, only financial advisers are using the platform, with a public launch to follow. Users have reported significant positive points, while the scope of the project means there’s still considerable work to do.
Our work for Embark showcases the capabilities of the Umbraco CMS - and demonstrates the power of client and agency teams working in unison, even when face-to-face meetings are practically impossible. Call us now for an idea of how we could work with you.