Financial Empowerment Program


Financial Empowerment Non-Profit



I really wanted to work with an organization directly geared toward social impact, and I found one financial institution that was looking to improve the user flow of one their own programs used during client intakes. I kicked off a full UX project for this non-profit financial institution which works with NYC residents by giving them free financial counseling.

Working alongside the client, I conducted user interviews, user research, and usability tests. I built redesigns of the program they use to provide counselors with a more intuitive flow.

Social impact: One of the nation’s leading providers of financial empowerment services and products, the mission of this client is to empower low-income individuals to become productive participants in the U.S. financial system and achieve their financial goals.

The Problem

  • The current flow for the organization’s counselors takes too long

  • The layout of the program on SalesForce is clunky

Target Users

The users for this project are the counselors who work at the organization. The counselors work with their own clients who are financially vulnerable NYC residents hoping to achieve stronger financial statuses.

My Role

Project Owner
User Interviews, Personas (financial organization employee user & financial organization), Prototyping, Visual Mockups, Usability testing


Platform: Salesforce Type: Software Length: 3 months

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User Persona

“Pathways” refers to the software the organization uses within SalesForce.

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Organizational Persona

This was a first for me, but this client wanted a persona of organizations like theirs. I liked this task as it helped me focus on not only the people who would be using the new intake process, but the organizations as well. Having the organizational persona also allowed us to look at how the redesign of the intake process would affect the organization as a whole.

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I broke down each of the categories with a page-by-page breakdown that were currently part of the intake process to sort, prioritize and show the client exactly what steps would go in each heading of the progress bar. Below, I designed a mockup of how one screen would look with the progress bar. The addition of a progress bar would keep the counselors and possibly the clients aware of where they are in the intake process without feeling lost or overwhelmed.

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Next Steps

By the end of this project, the following questions must be considered:

  • Why does the organization need to have the credit report authorization upfront?

  • Where are other possibilities to pull the credit report instead of a third of the way into the Pathways intake process?

  • Could pulling the credit report take place after setting goals, or immediately before?

  • How do the financial counselors’ clients feel about the current intake process?

It is also important to know if the computer screens are visible to the clients as the counselors fill in the intake information.

If the clients are following along, it will be important to tend to the clients’ experiences during this process. What are their frustrations, motivations, and where are opportunities for growth? Talking about finances is difficult for anyone and even more for people with financial vulnerability. Cleaning up the intake process for the clients especially will make a less daunting experience for the organization’s clients. Not only will doing so make solving their financial problems easier, but it will allow them to provide their services to more people in need.