As part of our technology upgrade programme, our CTO, Aled Treharne, talks about how we’re using our technology to make lives easier for our advisers and their clients. This time around, he’s focusing on the new look for our award-winning platform.

This year’s VCT season is well underway and with subscriptions expecting to break through £1bn, most advisers are looking ahead to ensure that they’re able to enrol clients in the VCTs they want. Although I have the same goal, I’ve spent my time recently looking back and reflecting on the technology we use to try and see how we can help advisers achieve these goals easier.

The GrowthInvest platform forms an integral part of a growing number of adviser’s daily workflows. The platform and the service we provide has attracted awards and recognition from many corners of the industry, but that doesn’t mean we can sit still. I’m passionate about providing a great user experience through software and I am constantly looking for ways we can add value to what we provide. That sentiment is echoed through every part of the company and although my focus is on technology and software, the drive to look for value and continuous improvement is ubiquitous in our approach. This is most visible in the major upgrade we’re working on for our platform at the moment.

The analysis we’ve been carrying out has brought together our internal teams, customers, and partners that we work with, and has provided a fascinating insight into how people use our platform. Although we had some technical requirements going into this process, most of the upgrades planned have been driven by individual feedback.

We started the analysis by taking a step back and reviewing the journeys that people take through our platform using a combination of reviewing the performance information we collect and using direct feedback from users. This gave us a clear view of what specific paths our customers were taking through the application and how they used it. We also worked with customers to perform a sentiment analysis on some of the key journeys along with information from our operations team who were able to provide summarised feedback from across multiple customers. This helped us identify points of friction and frustration along those existing journeys that needed looking at.

Once that was complete, we were able to use that information to review the user interface. Firstly, we looked at how the interface presents to the user and decided to simplify what was on the page at any one time. That led us to a ground-up redesign of the user interface and a fresh, clean new look.

The journey flows also helped us identify key points of confluence – where different journeys came together and then split apart again. These are important in the navigation of the site because they’re frequently visited, and the information presented support decisions being made by our users as they’re using the site. We worked hard with these pages to keep the overall page layout and information presented as similar as possible to the current design, providing familiar places to ground the users in their journey around the site.

What we’ve created so far is exciting and modern while maintaining a familiarity for those of you who use our platform regularly. This, coupled with an entirely new and updated front-end framework, gives us an amazing capability to expand and improve much more flexibly and quickly than we have done in the past.

We’ve just released the latest pre-release version of the new user interface and customers who are part of our preview programme will be invited to provide feedback for us over the next few months. We’ll also be putting a short video out in the coming months to give all our customers a taster of what’s to come!

This is an exciting upgrade for our platform and we are confident it will be well received by advisers and their clients, and will help them review analyse and report on their existing portfolios, and make the most of the great investment opportunities out there in the market, safe in the knowledge that, even if the VCT market continues to speed up as expected, we will be in the best possible position to help.



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