The Details


  • Product & Experience Strategy →
  • UX/UI Strategy & Development →
  • Design Methodology + Design Systems →
  • Business & Operator Feedback & Testing →
  • Modern Front-End Development →
  • Backend Systems Support →


  • Angular JS
  • .NET Core
  • C#
  • AWS
  • SQL Server

The Client


Digital Transformation | Redefining End User Experience & Application Re-platforming


Financial Services / Fintech - Providing Insurance Products to Credit Unions

The Challenge

The Growing Pains Of Giants

While many large enterprises may have at one time started in a garage, by the time you have many thousands of employees, you’ve gone through numerous platform enhancements at the application level. As a result, it can be hard to see that what once was an integral part of your software and business strategy, may no longer be meeting the needs of your staff or your customers. If a company has done this across departments, it becomes exponentially more complex.

And, if you’ve outsourced these projects over the years (a common practice) vendors have changed, internal team members have changed; and most importantly -- when creating software is not your main mission, even if you’ve been doing it for years, organizations often “hit a wall.”

Why does this happen? Because it’s hard for large companies to see that they’ve been using old paradigms of software development without even really realizing it. This is where the focus leans more on optimizing outcomes (which is indeed important) when really, the focus should be on optimizing the process for creating superior software. That’s where you unlock opportunity to hit the user experience out of the park – that’s where the value is. To achieve that, most very large companies need a very specific kind of development partner – one that helps them change the way they think about what they are delivering to customers. That takes trust.

Working with a Software Partner that Asks the right Questions

SWBC works primarily with Credit Unions, an $86bn market. Credit unions are member-owned, nonprofit financial institutions that operate to maximize membership benefits for saving and investment and offer a wide range of products. They partner with SWBC to offer a host of different programs that that aren't inherent to them like the wide array of insurance products SWBC carries.

SWBC provides the platform for these Credit Unions to use. When sales are configuring an auto loan for a customer, they open up the Unity portal, and they have a wide variety of other insurances the consumer can consider. Buying a car is stressful enough; the existing Unity software was using what we’ve now learned is an entirely wrong approach from a design perspective and did not consider how users were interacting with the software; what that experience was like. Without too much investigation it was clear that performance was suffering, it was slow and with the existing process it often took over 50 clicks and 8-10 screens to compete one loan transaction. The experience for both loan officer and customer was overly complex.

More than just a Pretty Face

TechFabric has a unique approach to product design, one that focuses on testing and user feedback loops at each step to ensure we are building the right product, for the right audience on the right platform.

Faster value-to-market cycles

Greater feature accuracy

Uncover unknowns / edge-cases earlier

Less time spent on re-work

By switching the focus to optimizing the process for creating superior software, the TechFabric team was able to achieve a level of result not previously possible and discovered a level of co-creation and cooperation that would become the hallmark of TechFabric`s approach going forward. It had everything to do with unrelenting inquiry, dedication to innovation and the client`s willingness to trust.

The Solution

Go Where No One Has Gone Before

The TechFabric development teams are true solutioners. Others might see the obvious and simply “reface” much of the design just by using a new UI approach. Not TechFabric. The first step was a request by the TechFabric team to meet with all of the SWBC internal teams -- anyone who works on the product in any way. This seemed like a different approach to SWBC but they allowed access.

The Power of the “What if”  

Then the team started going deeper. Someone on the team asked, “What are the chances that people buy similar packages every single time?”. In a further streamlining move, bundles were born and even fewer clicks achieved!  It's a value-add to the business, it's a value-add to the credit union customer and check out can be achieved in one click. The “what if” became a powerful mantra for the team.   

Part of the Tech Fabric process is the development of a foundational “Design System.” Much like a style guideline that manages brand design across brochures and marketing, the design system specifies all the attributes for the UI and other special considerations for digital product development. The purpose of a style guideline is to provide consistency in the application of graphic/UI elements in the design process to result in a seamless appearance across all design products.  

The Design System becomes a key guiding foundation for not only visual branding but a superior online user experience.  In another “what if” moment, when the SWBC internal team working alongside TechFabric saw this, they thought “what if we applied this approach across all of our products?”  And so this new design system was leveraged to update the UX/UI across other applications such as Unity Direct. With small adjustments in workflow, the new Unity Design System can be applied to instantly modernize and unify other applications in the suite. SWBC gets an entire rebrand as a bonus. 

Account Retention, Re-Capture & New Growth   

Even in the testing phase prior to launch, LOS Express was driving account retention with current accounts as well as re-capturing accounts that had previously gone to competitors. Now, LOS Express is not only a market-leading application, but it also acts as an effective sales tool for onboarding new accounts.  With the new modern design of LOS Express and Unity Direct the applications are much more robust and responsive and the platform itself can be enhanced to accommodate their future needs as well.  The ROI continues to surface but at this stage results are:  

  • Reducing the number of screens and streamlining the process enabled 2X more loans to be processed in the first iteration
  • Governance functionality prevented human error and increased loan officer (user) satisfaction
  • Time to complete a sale was reduced by 50% through the new design and decision-making tools developed
  • Enhanced reporting made data access easier and able to surface important information in a more readable format

The Results

Inside the Transformation 

On the surface is a redevelopment of a legacy piece of software using modern software development. But it’s more – it’s the methodology, teamwork and imagination that drove innovation; the deep collaboration between architects, the customer and the customer’s customers that resulted in the front- end layer decoupled from the back end to become completely API driven – a true transformation.

TechFabric started with SWBC’s Unity product, an ancillary product insurance platform. Ancillary insurance is a common line of products that all auto loan providers (like Credit Unions) want to be able to offer, one of the most popular being Gap insurance (no one wants to drive off the lot, have an accident and then fail to get reimbursed fully for the car they just bought.) From the original Unity Net product, the team created two products: Unity LOS Express and Unity Direct.

LOS Express starts the loan application process. It can be integrated with a Credit Union’s own applications, embedded as a form and built into the application that their loan officers use daily – a valued convenience for the loan officers. Targeted towards existing customers, LOS Express pulls in existing information on the customer side as well as the vehicle and products.  Unity Direct is a stand-alone application targeting first time borrowers and is useful for loan officers as it locates certain insurance products that can be offered if a customer doesn’t qualify for MMP (Major Mechanical Protection.)

The Tech Stack

Co-innovating with the SWBC team, we looked at both React and Angular as the front-end framework, and opted to go with the latest version of Angular to gain the performance and speed of development (among other benefits) it offers. We took a broad approach with this decision, including future updates of other products in the suite in a global view. Zeroheight was utilized as the design system platform to fully enable the front-end engineers, also making components available to the SWBC internal teams. 

Data Integration & Automation 

Among the many product innovations in the new LOS Express is a VIN decoder. This functionality automatically decodes data from the VIN database providing the loan officer with the make and model of the car, etc. It populates all of the loan documents significantly accelerating time to completion. It also takes care of sending the vehicle information to 3rd party carriers providing Major Mechanical Protection, for example, with the rates sent back for review. Where pricing data originally took 30 seconds to be returned, it now takes just 5 seconds. Where the loan officer interacted with 8-10 screens, now there’s only 2 due to the single page application approach.

Not ready to buy yet? Customers can obtain a quote and when they return, that quote will roll up in the system for further adjustments and finalization. The loan officer starts with the cost of the car, and with the customer adds other desired products like vehicle return and payment protection, and the built-in cost calculator recalculates the price based on each product. Before the loan officer saves their work, certain parts of the website will highlight areas that are incomplete or need to be corrected or it will not allow the application to proceed further increasing accuracy. Once the review page is reached, additional functionality was added to be able to edit right on the page without having to edit the original input (bi-directional data flow). Once finalized, the loan is booked, a contract is created, email confirmations are generated and it triggers billing in a separate system. Voila!

What Really Brought the Customers Back? 

It was the engineering, the product design, the brand development, the market research – it wasn’t just one thing that motivated customers to return to the SWBC platform. It was the totality of the solution, evidence that great things happen when you share, and great design happens consistently when everyone’s empowered. Every day that the TechFabric and SWBC teams met, a culture grew – a level of collaboration never before experienced that changed the view of what was possible or even needed.

Now the teams are no longer just redeveloping a piece of software, they’re looking holistically at the whole path and who is on the path. Today the end-to-end experience is defined far more broadly. Because of that, and the insights gained along the way, more avenues of opportunity have emerged.

It’s software reimaging, product development, and omnichannel marketing. And it’s amazing.

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