Troubleshooting Database Installations
Subscription Module Experience

Financial Crimes Investigation Dashboard

FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority)

UI/UX

ACCESSABILITY

PRODUCT

BRANDING

DATABASE APP

My Role

Sr UI/UX Design

Collaboration

Project Manager

OVERVIEW

My Workspace an investigative dashboard for FINRA's internal investigation teams, will streamline the investigation experience by leveraging AI technology for real time analytics, improve team transparency, and improve incident response time.

CHALLENGES

FINRA's existing investigation tools present significant time challenges, with outdated and dispersed tools scattered across silo-ed systems. The difficulty in prioritizing work arises from requests arriving through various channels. Discussions are ongoing regarding system architecture decisions and direction, with the development road-map for the initial MVP yet to be finalized. Seizing the opportunity, the project manager (PM) and I collaborated on a research plan during this phase to initiate focus on:

  1. Understanding work-flows and user hierarchy of the investigative teams
  2. Conceptualizing a single transparent solution for many user types
  3. Learning the current systems and where data can be leveraged
  4. No development road-map or team available for collaboration

SCOPE

We held the belief that creating a unified system for all investigators would enhance prioritization and substantially reduce time to resolution by consolidating all necessary tools into a central location. The implementation of the new system will occur in stages, with a primary focus on compliance functions like research, reporting, and responding to requests. The unified system is designed to foster transparency among investigative teams.

APPROACH

The phased implementation of the new system will commence with addressing events, followed by the integration of research and reporting functionalities, and finally, optimizing team communication. The emphasis will be on:

  1. Find most common investigation types
  2. Collaborate with design system development team
  3. Document findings for future user stories and broader epics
  4. Establish relationships with users
  5. Provide deliverables

CONTEXTUAL INQUIRY

Conducted interviews with users in management and investigative roles for all the National Cause teams.

  • All incidents (25,000 per year) come through the Internal Referral Group (IRG) and are triaged:
  • No threat and dismissed (60%)
  • High-Risk Reps or Firms and assigned to IRG to specific team members
  • Following FINRA Rules and Compliance
  • Determine if the incident falls under IRG jurisdiction and reassigns it to specialty teams internal or external
Mouse over image to Zoom in

Most common Incident types

The majority of incidents are primarily triggered by disclosures on Forms U4 and U5 from registered firms. Many of these disclosures stem from allegations made by a customer or broker-dealer. Some disclosures are financial, and they reference liens or disputes. Others reference arbitrations or judgments against the advisor.

Complaints are the second most received incident type. Complaints are submitted through FINRA's public-facing website. Due to being a public enforcement organization no restrictions on submitting a complaint exist. Anything may come through. It was mentioned by an IRG manager of a particular individual who submits weekly complaints pertaining to unrelated FINARA matters for fun.

SERVICE BLUEPRINT

Given the multitude of systems in use, each with its unique touch-points, I recognized the importance of grasping the overall landscape. To gain a comprehensive understanding, I crafted service blueprints for all matter types.

Mouse over image to Zoom in

PAIN POINTS

Throughout interviews with managers and investigators, we delved into their challenges with the existing systems and gathered insights into their preferences for a new system. The data was systematically prioritized based on the volume of user requests I received for those features.

SYNTHESIS

The project manager (PM) and I worked together to develop a text-based questionnaire aimed at uncovering essential information requirements among various investigation teams and identifying the tools they utilized for data retrieval. We opted for company email as the channel for distributing the questionnaire and collecting responses. The gathered data was then organized into 15 data points.

Establish Relationships

My Workspace Advisory Board

CREATION

While conducting contextual inquiries I was able to find users willing to participate in providing feedback and participate in regular collaborative sessions.

USERS

  • Multiple members from each investigation team
  • Supervisor, Manager, and Investigator roles represented
  • Senior, Mid Level, and Junior career experience

VALUE

  • Folks became engaged and delighted with progress
  • Rapid feedback on iterations drove innovation
  • Locating assets within the facility

PROTOTYPES

Enough data had been collected to start conceptualizing and validating. I used Axure RP to build interactive prototypes that could be shared with the advisory board on-line. I was able to immediately include feedback into the prototypes such as:

  • Cards instead of tables
  • Numbered Prioritization 
  • Ability to see teamwork status
  • Analytics and Recommendations
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Manager View
Prioritized Tasks and Statuses
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Manager View
Card Layout and Team Status
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Investigator View
Available Views and Functionality
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Investigator View
Priortized Tasks and Grid

VIEW PROTOTYPE

FEEDBACK LOOPS

Axshare was leveraged to collect quick feedback which I could rapidly apply and continue the feedback loops. The advisory board could see the progress resulting in very positive interactions and more honest feedback. 

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VIEW PROTOTYPE

SCOPE CHANGE

While the DXT design system development kicked off before the overarching DXT effort had begun, they needed to now come together as they have overlapping values and goals. My Workspace became a part of the overreaching DXT design conversion. Our team became part of the bigger Gateway development project. My Gateway is a public-facing system for submitting U4 and U5 compliance documents. 

NEW APPROACH

The project manager (PM) and I collaborated to synchronize our priorities with the My Gateway team road-map, as these features would be instrumental in the development of the My Workspace Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Our focus on U5 development aligned seamlessly with our findings, highlighting U5s as one of the most prevalent matters within the Internal Review Group (IRG). In this context, investigators would review the results derived from the customer data entry experience.

Through conversations with the My Gateway team, we discovered that the IRG would be the initial team to receive and beta test the inaugural release for My Workspace. Furthermore, the IRG would be the recipient of the new Recommendation Engine, playing a pivotal role in validating system-generated Cause Code recommendations and contributing to the refinement of the AI engine.

  • Collaborate with the Rec Engine team on designing the UI
  • Focus on IRG work-flows
  • Communicate with DXT developers and the design system team on missing patterns needed for My Workspace and upcoming patterns that can be leveraged for My Workspace.
  • Research the UI and customer data entry experience for submitting U5 forms for any potential carryover for the investigator experience
  • Hi Fidelity prototypes were decided as the best option to rapidly test functionality for the DXT design system
  • Explore a potential help systems

NEW CHALLENGES

DXT did not have a card pattern to support the large amounts of data that investigators were requesting. The data grid option only supports 10 columns with fixed widths. The desire was to dedicate the far-right columns as a grouped set of call-to-action options. Multiple rows within a record were possible with an accordion feature to expand and collapse was coming in the next release of the DXT Design System.

I was able to get access to the DXT My Gateway staging environments for the public-facing applications for submitting complaints, tips, submissions, and U5 compliance forms. This helped me to see the new design system and where functionality could be leveraged for My Workspace.

ITERATIONS

I was able to get access to the DXT My Gateway staging environments for the public-facing applications for submitting complaints, tips, submissions, and U5 compliance forms. This helped me to see the new design system and where functionality could be leveraged for My Workspace.

  • Data visualization to help with prioritization
  • Ability to bookmark
  • Surfaced high-level data points from additional tools
  • Colored contrasting status

The architecture proposed for My Workspace did not support custom tables and cards. The headers would be limited to ID, status, creator, and call to action on the right.

  • Simplified data points into a table structure but with hierarchical rows
  • Reduced contrast on Status chip per advisory board feedback
  • Surfaced Recommendation Engine suggestions

As discussions progressed for the proposed architecture it was becoming more clear cards could not be supported. As a result, I simplified the data point countdown from IRG feedback to the minimum amount of data they would need to triage incoming incidences.

  • A bulk selection feature was available and surfaced. Bulk features were a desire for IRG but were not considered with previous concepts due to card views not being able to support this.
  • Save-able views for managers and investigators. Managers can save views to manage investigators, investigators can save views of prioritized work.

RESULTS

Enhanced operational efficiency by understanding work-flows and user hierarchy within investigative teams. Successfully conceptualized a unified, transparent solution for diverse user types and identified strategic data leverage points in the current systems. Despite the absence of a development road-map and available collaboration team, promptly adjusted the UI to align with the evolving design system development. This demonstrated adaptability and ensured a seamless integration process amid evolving circumstances. Additional introduced design thinking methodologists and principals to the teams.

  1. Established a user advisory board for rapid feedback
  2. This alignment helped in fostering a unified vision for the product.
  3. Brought consistency to asset and user story creation

FINAL MVP FEATURES

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Events
Only data depending on the incident type is displayed in row. Views can be saved or deleted.
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Batch Editing
Providing this feature was a late bonus to help users accept the unwanted data grid layout. The time saved with batch selection was a bigger value.
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Help
The Internal Review Group was going to be expanding in the near future and having help was important for on-boarding and assisting new investigators.
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U5 Events
Gateway's UI was leveraged for consistency.
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Complaints
Existing PDF complaint information generated from public-facing reporting forms will be pre-populated.

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