Improving an online mortgage application

Client: A large financial institution in U.S.
Project Characteristics: Usability test | Iterative testing | Tested in new location | Wireframe testing
Industry: Finance

One of North America’s largest financial institutions was redesigning their online mortgage application and needed external validation. In addition, they wanted the testing to be conducted in a smaller city where their design team was stationed. I was the project manager/lead consultant for the usability test that was split up into two days with one day in-between, allowing the design team to make updates to the wireframes in-between the testing rounds.

Project goals:

  1. Identify usability issues and provide design suggestions.
  2. Retest the redesign and gauge improvements.
  3. Collect metrics such as success rate and System Usability Scale scores.


  1. Testing in a new location meant having to bring all necessary equipment and set it up in a short time span.
  2. Providing a top line report (including design suggestions) within 12 hours from the last usability session.
  3. Familiarize myself with the redesign the morning of the second test day.


We were able to discover issues on the first day, which the design team was able to address for the second day of testing. In addition, we also noticed that many business decisions had a major impact on the mortgage application’s user experience.