ADB African Development Bank

A user-centered product design aimed at
uplifting African women entrepreneurs.

ADB African Development Bank

A user-centered product design aimed at
uplifting African women entrepreneurs.

The purpose was to improve the ability of women entrepreneurs to access finance, find relevant information, both financial and non-financial that would assist them to grow and sustain their businesses.

Know thy user

In-country market research insights.

80%

The vast majority of women indicated that they would find value in educational and informational content that would help them to grow and sustain their businesses.

84%

The vast majority of women indicated that they would find value in educational and informational content that would help them to grow and sustain their businesses.

85%

Of women reported to currently be part of formal or informal social groups or networks.

71%

Of women preferred digital communication (browser-based, mobile device, email etc.) over traditional (TV, Radio) communication media.

52%

Of women surveyed reported of complex processes.

Approach

We employed a user-centered design approach: conceptualizing the product with the user’s needs at the forefront, while keeping business goals and feasibility in mind.

We began by unpacking the initial product scope and features through collaborative, divergent–convergent thinking between, key stakeholders, in-country business women and the Innovolve product design team.

Personas

Practically, this meant understanding who the potential users were, by developing personas (representative users) as a means to focus on the different needs that the platform would address. Next we drew up user journeys (hypothetical but believable scenarios) of these personas’ experience of the platform. And finally we identified the software features that would meet those needs.

Learn and evolve

We followed this up by validating the user-journeys and product features using a prototype and in-country user studies across Eastern, Western and Southern Africa. These studies put the product in the hands of the actual users, which we recorded and documented to learn from their experiences. We took these learnings and iteratively improved the design and communication of the product to ensure the best product fit for their needs.

Style and tonality

When designing for this African audience, we wanted to create a platform that would appeal to the fun, vibrant, yet professional millennial market with a mobile first approach. With this in mind, we created a bright and vibrant colour palette, an easy to read on-screen font and iconography that enhanced the communication process throughout the application journey.

In the end

The outcome was an Android application with a supporting responsive website that allowed African women to learn, grow, share and connect. The platform engagement grew 200% week-on-week and saw 2000+ users interact with the platform in the first month alone. Ultimately we helped align female entrepreneurs to new opportunities for financing, business growth, mentorship and learning for a prosperous future.

Talk to us about your next project


Reach out for all work and project enquiries to hello@innovolve.co