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Business is about people, and those people are users.


Currencycloud a very successful fintech startup that simplified the transfers and foreign exchange aspect of banking by providing a simple to use API. Which was used by some of the leading fintech companies such as Transferwise, Stripe, Azimo, Monzo, Starling Bank, Klarna, Travelex and others.

The Challenge

Like most startups, Currencycloud grew fast and aggressively dominating the payments space, however, like most startups they made compromises where they deemed necessary. And in Currencycloud’s case, it was with their pre-sales and post-sales experiences.

The strategic technological objective of the company was to focus on their core product which was, in fact, their API, however, other areas within the business that supported their sales and marketing function were left without technical guidance or technical support.

The website was built using a difficult technology and the team responsible for updating the website did not have the requisite skills to keep the site maintained.

The website was not fully responsive and had poor usability, but was delivered as more of a brochure site.

The business also had little understanding of its users, they know who they were but didn’t understand their demographics, pain points or motivations.

High-level goals

  1. Understand who the users are
  2. End to end customer experience
  3. Deliver a new and maintainable website (CMS)
  4. Deliver a new and maintainable developer portal
  5. Improve the UX of the existing trading platform

My role

I was hired as a Lead User Experience Architect which encompassed Product Design, User Research and User Experience activities.

Main Tasks

  1. Educate the wider business about the importance of user experience
  2. Performing user research
  3. Facilitating workshops
  4. UI Design
  5. Process definition
  6. Hiring developers to facilitate the new website build
  7. Liaise between the technical teams and the marketing team
  8. User testing with new and existing customers

Tools used

Axure RP Invision Sketch Principle

Discovery Phase

Upon starting at Currencycloud I performed a number of interviews and face to face sessions with core colleagues within the business. This allowed me to identify champions and resistors within the business to change, in startups, the resistors tend to be few, and the champions many.

This naturally leads to insight gathering within the business, which was done in the way of consuming existing reports, reading emails from customers, consuming customer complaints, reading support tickets and consuming analytics via google.

Within the discovery phase, it made sense to audit the existing experience, tone of voice, features on the website and the same for its competitors.

In this phase, I also facilitated workshops in which I had the business help me identify key characteristics of its customers.

Planning Phase

The following deliverables for the project were outlined:


  • Qualitative interviews
  • Quantitative surveys
  • Desktop research on job titles
  • Journey map
  • CMS Evaluation


  • Quick win digital improvements
  • Design workshops
  • Information architecture
  • Content hierarchy
  • Prototyping


  • Persona validation with customers
  • User testing
  • Card sorting
  • Content sorting (hierarchical identification)


  • UI Design
  • Icon Library
  • Style Guide
  • Website build (CMS)
  • Help Centre build
  • Developer centre build

Research Phase

Journey mapping

To help the business identify pain points and problems within its current customer journey a workshop was facilitated to help the business map out all the different parts of a customers journey.

Persona creation

To ensure that the business had a clear understanding of it’s customers various research and workshop activities were performed to understand who the core user’s of the business.


A number of reports were produced to show the business why it’s worth investing in the various areas and why it’s important to do research with customers.

Ideation Phase

Information Architecture

A sitemap was produced to help illustrate where all the different parts of the website.

Design Workshops

I facilitated a number of workshops with the business ensuring the right people attended and that the workshops had the necessary preparation and that challenges had been sufficiently framed.

Co-creation is one of my favourite methods of coming up with ideas, this creates a team of invested people as their ideas are physically coming to life.


Once the workshops had been completed wireframes prototypes were created and then showcased to the business and then tested with customers.

Validation Phase

During this phase, various tests were performed with customers in a way of gathering feedback and validation on the artefacts produced.

Once we obtained validation artefacts were either revised to meet the findings or scrapped altogether.

Build Phase

Requirement documentation

Components were documented with their requirements in terms of how each component should work, it’s dimensions, the various states of the component, how it should respond to the CMS, what types of data it accepts and if it has a dependency on something else.


UI Design - Click to View

UI Design
UI Design
UI Design
UI Design
UI Design
UI Design
UI Design
UI Design
UI Design

Mobile Interaction Demo

Desktop Interaction Demo

Build Phase

As we were under-resourced I personally helped the lead developer by coding parts of the website in HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP.



Working for a startup had its benefits I was exposed to the various strategies executed by the business which empowered the culture, lifestyle and the family nature of the business. I thoroughly enjoyed the can-do attitude of everyone involved and the willingness of colleagues to step outside of their comfort zone and do whatever is necessary to get the project complete.

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