iShares Conversation App

The Conversation app was a one-stop source for all of iShares research, market trends and debate. In 6 months after launch, it was downloaded by over 35,000 iShares clients.

Role  –  Senior UX/UI Designer

UX Team  –  Myself

iShares app icon

Too much content, not enough interaction

iShares had a problem: the funds were publishing great research but distributing it on different channels. Small clients couldn't find it and felt ignored. iShares needed a central hub for their research and for fund managers to engage smaller clients.

The Doctor - user persona
The CFP - user persona

Big discoveries: testing and learnings

After developing on a feature set, we A/B tested a number of different prototypes with both user groups. The results were eye opening.

3 prototype concepts

The testing results

#1 Wins, Simplicity wins

We thought design #1 would feel light on content. But users love the simplicity of it; compact, yet easy to dig into research if desired.

The features worked

Users were very enthusiastic about the app's features. From commenting, to search, to live debates...we felt validated in our MVP feature set choices.

Create a Pro Version

The Financial Planner's needs were different enough from the active investor that we needed a "Pro" version with more of an emphasis on research.

Questions = Engagement

We featured current financial topics as both sentences and questions. The feedback consistently was that the questions felt much more engaging.

Fix the usability flaws

The #1 prototype was far from perfect. It had a number of usability flaws, like adding an expand icon, adding scroll bars, add more clearly defined labels, etc.


The icon design

The app icon inspiration
The app icon grid
The app icon design
The pro app icon design

Putting it all together...the app design

From commenting, to timely financial topics, debate, chats with fund managers, search and bookmarking, we put it all together and made it come to life in the UI design.

User opening the app
The app main screen
The app with an article open
The app with comments open
2nd page of the app
3rd page of the app

The Pro Version

For the Pro version, we created specific features that targeted the pain points of the CFPs, like bookmarking, the ability to "follow" funds, and search funds information and published research. A timely, one-stop source for all iShares information.

The pro app search
The search results

Small client satisfaction

Qualitative post-launch feedback was extremely positive. Small investors loved app's features and expressed greater satisfaction with iShares. And it showed in the downloads. Six months post-launch over 35,000 iShare clients downloaded it.