The new mobile app is coming!
We’ve been busy working on a new version of the investor mobile app for iOS 9 which we’re submitting to the app store in just a few weeks. Before it’s available for you to download, here’s a rundown of the things you need to know.
As some of you may know, we launched a Funding Circle app for iOS in December 2013. iOS was the largest user group of the website, and this trend has continued. In October 2015, 25% of website traffic came through mobile, with 64% of this traffic coming from iOS devices compared to 31% from Android.
The code in the current (and soon to be old) version of the app made it difficult to build new features, so the team have re-built the app entirely. This will make it easier and faster for us to add new features going forward which the team plan to do on a regular basis.
For the first release, the functionality of the new app has not changed much from the current version, but you will notice:
– a fresh, new design for the new larger screen resolutions
– improved user experience
– Touch ID and passcode enabled to make it easier to login
– updates for fixed rate changes to the marketplace
Who’s behind the app?
We now have a dedicated in-house mobile team: Rory, Edu, Emma and Dallas. We asked them a few questions about the new app:
Questions for the team:
1) What’s your favourite thing about the new app?
Emma: I love the folding headers, where the images blur as you scroll up the screen.
Edu: I really like the way data has been exposed through the new version of the app. For example, on the summary page, it is great to be able to see how my funds are distributed across the three different stages: available, temporarily held on bids, or lent to a business.
Dallas: Knowing that there is a well-engineered structure inside which is based on solid architectural principles. Having the lower layers of the app made correctly helps all the animations built on top perform much better, and will be easier to maintain into the future.
Ben: The little things that have a story behind why they were chosen – like the effort the team spent debating and researching whether there should be five or six numbers in the passcode, or the way the business information cell has a set height that entices you to read on.
2) What was the most difficult part of the project?
Emma: Adding transparency to the bottom navigation bar was tough. It’s actually one of Apple’s default settings, but the other styling we added changed the default behaviour and we had to change multiple views to bring it back.
Edu: I think the most difficult part was planning at the start of the project. We sat in a room with white paper in front of us in order to define what could be improved and how we were going to do it. We started thinking of the different reasons someone would open the Funding Circle app, what they would be looking for, and how we were solving it on the first version of the app. There were several iterations of design and user testings which allowed us to progress from a user flow on paper to the final design and implementation. This has been a huge effort across several teams, and I truly believe it was worth it in order to offer the best experience possible to our users.
Dallas: Ensuring that we are focussing on developing the right features for the user, based on real evidence and user testing.
Rory: Having fixed rates on the marketplace is changing the behaviour of our users. Keeping up to date with what our investors want can be difficult. We will be keeping a close eye on how users interact with the new app and will work hard to roll out the new features you want much more regularly than we have done before.
Ben: I agree with Rory. The most difficult part will be deciding what new features we should add next.
3) What would you like to develop in the next iterations?
Emma: I’d like to see us implementing autobid settings or a secondary market feature, as I feel that these are becoming more important parts of the investor experience.
Edu: We are going to continue to be really proactive in listening to feedback from our users and making changes according to their needs. There are other features that I would like to see introduced. For example, being able to subscribe to notifications whenever a loan request matching certain criteria is listed; bringing the secondary market into the app; and probably the most immediate one, updating the iPad app to the new version.
Dallas: Implement some of the new features Apple have included in iOS such as 3D touch for extra user actions, spotlight search, Apple watch app and/or contextual notifications. These would be features that would be interesting to work on but we would first need user testing/validation to ensure our users would actually find them useful.
Rory: iPad – so we can expand and iterate on top of our existing component library. Doing so will allow us in the future to roll out new features across the two platforms simultaneously.
Ben: I’m really looking forward to finding new ways to provide the most important information for customers at the right time – maybe something that tells you what has changed in your account since you last looked at the app.
Stay tuned on the blog to find out when the new app will be released!
The Funding Circle team