UX Product Manager

T. Rowe Price Transforming Experiences
Inside & Out

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The Challenge

Else collaborated with T. Rowe Price (TRP), a global fund management firm, as the main digital experience design partner for their internal digital marketing and customer experience team, serving 28 country markets and B2B/B2B2C segments.

The stated need was to support and define ongoing improvements to the client’s online visitor and client experiences, but there was an additional need and opportunity to help develop collaborative design practice and ways-of-working with internal design and CX teams and stakeholders, to enhance strategic and operational effectiveness.

Towards Better Outcomes

I took a leading role on discovery and experience design across many initiatives, helping drive value-oriented planning, such as defining and designing the experience for new digital campaign publishing capabilities, to empower their marketing and CX teams, significantly reducing dependencies, turnaround, and costs.

I took a more consultative role for discovery and definition on Investment Product and Integrated CX experiences, driving research, definition, and prioritisation workshops for expanded stakeholder groups, mapping end-to-end pain points and opportunities, both internal and client-facing.

An Evolving Role

My depth of knowledge and strong client rapport led the client to invite me to take a pivotal role on a number of initiatives, partnering more closely with key stakeholders to launch new offerings, taking on a shadow PM/PO role, co-ordinating the client’s internal CX, Copywriting, and Development team on some key projects, while still contributing as experience design lead.

I was also able to kick-start internal initiatives for client-side teams, including working with the client’s nascent data and analytics practice team to lead efforts to improve performance measurement and audience segmentation, and transitioning practice from data playback towards insight generation.

Identifying, exploring and resolving needs and opportunities from internal ways-of-working through to customer-facing experiences

Advancing the Investment Product Experience

The Investment Product Experience (IPEx) refers to key communications and offerings around TRP’s hundreds of funds and investment products, offering a gateway for financial professionals, intermediaries, and researchers, from the intermediary, institutional, and retail investment sectors.

As the most sales-adjacent portion of their digital offering, conversions here offer the strongest buy signals. However, the experience wasn't confidently reflecting the latest visitor insights, and wasn't well optimised for target actions and key objectives.

 
 

We held comprehensive interviews and workshops, bringing together a broad range of stakeholders with the intent of challenging disconnected and siloed ways of working. Along with expert reviews and competitor and landscape research, we were able to build the most comprehensive understanding yet of IPEx internal and customer-facing opportunities and pain points.

Fresh and critical insights about the role of the IPEx in the context of broader customer journeys were used to define a more valuable suite of experience strategies, value propositions, and metrics.

 
 

Stakeholders were re-engaged to assess the effort/impact of problems across the business, which then allowed us to generate a tentative problem and opportunity prioritisation briefing document aimed at directing time and budget towards key improvements.

The ‘IPEx Customer Experience Brief’ became the guiding document for a comprehensive programme of activity and internal investment, and helped introduction and establish product and design thinking for many within the client organisation.

From project-led discovery

…to discovery-led projects

Data to Insights, Insights to Action

TRP’s measurement and analytics practices were quite under-developed, which was impacting the quality of tracking and, consequently, the quality of insights available to help measure outcomes and shape decisions.

I worked with the analytics team to highlight issues including tracking hygiene by identifying and resolving core UX patterns that were polluting core visitor data, through to defining improved audience segmentation based on segment and cohort behaviour, rather than personas alone.

I also helped move performance reporting from data playback to a more insight-based contribution.

Discovery-led Planning

Discovery was typically scoped to projects. However, I pro-actively looked beyond projects to identify unrecognised and unaddressed pain points and opportunities within other parts of the internal or customer-facing experience. These could then be researched more deeply, addressed within planned projects or become discrete projects in themselves.

This would help move ways-of-working from 'project-led discovery' to 'discovery-led projects'.

Areas of attention ranged from contentOps and strategy and designOps through to outcome-oriented planning, performance metrics and analytics, as well as building culture and community within the client’s digital team and broader organisation.

BeaconHub: Getting Distributed Teams on the Same Page

TRP’s design, dev, and CX teams are distributed across multiple global locations, each operating with a degree of autonomy, leading to unaligned workflows and practices.

Initially centred on design system documentation, with Figma and Storybook JS integration, a larger vision for BeaconHub was developed as a comprehensive and growing reference and community hub for UX, UI, Dev, UX writing, and CX/publishing teams.

Guidance included onboarding, design thinking, principles and practices, performance tracking, accessibility, UX writing guidelines, campaign creation, as well as a repository for brand assets and playbooks.

Campaigns Digital Toolkit

The ‘Digital Campaigns Toolkit’ is a publishing experience that enables flexible, modular, high-quality, conversion-oriented campaigns for TRP's distributed marketing teams.

This valuable new internal product introduced support for flexible primary/secondary conversions and CRM integration, and enabled campaign teams to be dynamic and responsive to new priorities and market events.

It reduced creation and publishing turnaround from weeks to days, improving campaign performance, directly empowering CX and marketing teams by eliminating dependencies on design and development, reducing on-site campaign experience creation costs by over two-thirds.

 

The previous legacy solution lacked the flexibility and impact to support key campaigns. This impacted on-page conversions, requiring inflated ad spends to achieve campaign targets. This had led marketing teams to bypass the in-house digital team and seek bespoke, standalone solutions from external agencies.

While providing a visually improved experience, it was still expensive, time-consuming to generate, lacked any client-side content management tools, and offered little beyond the most basic CRM integration and performance tracking.

The new Toolkit would be key to bringing speed, flexibility and scalability to TRP’s campaign creation and experience publishing needs.

 

The Toolkit was accompanied by a publishing 'playbook', a custom reference and guidebook on how to work with the new modular toolkit and how best to use it to create high-impact campaign digital experiences.

The playbook covered topics such as campaign experience principles, customer funnel awareness and storytelling with content structure, how best to utilise primary and secondary conversion features, as well as hygiene guidance on compliance, accessibility and SEO.

The toolkit’s UX/UI componentry was quickly adopted for non-campaign pages, and went on to form the foundation for TRP’s first in-house Design System, Beacon.

Collections: A Flagship Content Product

TRP embraces a 'beyond the numbers' ethos. Their Insights content includes 'Collections', curated selections of their top articles on investment themes and market events.

However, Collections were caught in a cycle of neglect and underperformance, impacting engagement, as well as brand credibility and prestige.

A new Collections content experience was created to assert its status as flagship IP, to invigorate engagement and conversion, by serving as a compelling, distinct, and ownable destination for finance professionals seeking market advantage through market-leading insights.

 

One of the pillars of the new content strategy was to elevate the TRP team as part of the company’s core value proposition. Another pillar was to reinforce the company’s research-led ethos. Both were enduring differentiators, but were underutilised.

Connecting Insights to research stories and the Global Research Platform, a deep investment strategy research team, helped elevate each Collection into a compelling and cohesive experience in its own right, telling the 'Beyond the numbers' story, and helping build a foundation of credibility, trust and confidence amongst readers.

 

While the new Collections experience represented a more compelling experience for viewers and subscribers, adjustments to ContentOps would help this new experience gain traction and momentum, both within the organisation and audiences..

Proposals were created to streamline the authoring, editorial, and publishing process, to reduce internal dependencies, and, importantly, to lighten the load on individual contributors by increasing the pool of authors with an easier and more rewarding experience, which could help elevate their own profile within and beyond the company.