Press release

Putting humans first

CX, UX, UI. Harmoney Product Design Lead Jenny Styles dares you to try and successfully innovate - or grow - without them.

, 22 May 2019

First things first, what’s the difference between CX (customer experience), UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) design? It can be incredibly confusing; not just how they’re different from each other, but how they’re different from traditional design.

The thing CX and UX both bring to a product, is putting humans at the heart of it. Trying to make sure the experience is based on an understanding of what drives customers, and trying to solve their problems through good design. UI is about how that is presented on the platform.

That human-centred design approach is something that isn’t always present in traditional design.

To me CX and UX are intrinsic to each other. UX is a facet of CX, it is more specific to a digital experience, but for companies such as Harmoney, which is an entirely online service, it’s pretty hard to have good customer experience, without good user experience. Without that, innovation is going to be driven by an abstract idea. I think that makes it much less likely to be successful.

So what does human-centred design actually mean? There’s a psychological aspect to it that’s really fascinating. It’s about understanding human emotion, and the behaviour it drives.

You use that to create elegant solutions to problems you’re trying to solve for people. As the name suggests, it’s putting people first and helping them achieve the things they’re trying to do in their lives, rather than trying to fit them into something you’ve already decided to do.

It’s why it’s really important to have a diverse range of people involved in UX design. Our customers are a diverse range of people who will respond in different ways.

What does UX bring to Harmoney? It comes back to that point about helping people do the things they want to do in their lives. Harmoney has enabled people to access financial services from their home, and on their own terms, without having to deal with awkward face to face interviews at a bank or financial institution.

Our ongoing UX focus is about trying to remove friction from their experience with us, and to ensure our customers have a human experience, even though it is an online platform. Our UX designs should bring humanity to a digital experience.

Where does UX fit into a start-up? It should be a part of the plan from the beginning. The point is, it’s human-driven design and thinking. You put the people first, think about what problems they may have that you’re trying to solve and innovate or create around that. It makes more sense than driving ahead with something you think people want, or that you want to create, and trying to shoe-horn your customers into it at the end.

And it’s not just for tech companies or digital platforms. Human-centred design can drive real world situations such as creating a management structure or providing social services.

Where can UX take the world? The world is filled with unnecessary, bad design. I think less is more. I’d like to see the world filled with elegant solutions to people’s needs; solving problems with good quality design. That’s my utopian vision for the future.\

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About Harmoney

Harmoney is the leading marketplace lender in Australasia. The first to receive a P2P lending licence from the Financial Markets Authority and is the largest provider in the New Zealand market. Harmoney Australia is ASIC licensed and regulated. Harmoney was founded in New Zealand in 2014 and launched in Australia in in March 2017.

In just four full years of operation, Harmoney has:

  • In FY15-19, generated 1586% income growth, 103% income CAGR and $94.8m cumulative income, 115 employees;
  • Raised $32m in capital and invested substantially in its marketplace infrastructure;
  • Assessed more than $7.96b in loan applications;
  • Facilitated more than to $1.2 billion in loan volume via 59,000 loans;
  • Paid $165 million in interest to lenders;
  • Awarded best risk-based personal loan product in Australia in the 2019 Finder Awards
  • Has been awarded the Canstar 5-award Outstanding Value (A1 – A5) two years in a row;
  • Created highly skilled and highly paid roles for 115 FTEs in Auckland, Sydney, and Suva;
  • Was a finalist 2017 NZ Hi-Tech Awards.

In New Zealand, Harmoney operates a marketplace where both retail
and institutional lenders can invest their funds. Retail lenders are everyday people lending money in the marketplace, while institutional lenders are financial institutions lending money.