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Intelligent Portfolios



Research-driven UX Design

Time Frame

May 2014–December 2016


Senior UX Designer

Senior Researcher

What is Intelligent Portfolios?
Introducing Intelligent Portfolios: Redefining Accessibility and Simplicity in Investing
• Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, a cutting-edge platform, reimagines the investment landscape by offering an effortlessly intuitive interface. This innovative solution not only fosters a deeper understanding of investment strategies but also significantly reduces the workload for everyday investors. Empowering users with professional insights, this platform guides them towards their financial aspirations. Through interactive digital planning tools, a personalized investing roadmap is at their fingertips.

• Embracing the latest in user experience (UX) design, our automated tool expertly constructs, monitors, and adjusts diversified portfolios. The best part? This comes without the burden of service or management fees. Moreover, the automatic tax-loss harvesting feature intelligently offsets taxes on investment gains, maximizing the return on investments. With over $21 billion in assets managed through Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, its impact is undeniable

Business Problem

In response to evolving demands, we embarked on refining the MVP web product post-launch. The primary goal was to enhance consistency and introduce key features. Beyond the web, our mission expanded to creating sleek native and tablet apps for iOS and Android.
As the lead designer, I orchestrated collaborative efforts with product managers and developers. This collaboration culminated in the design of innovative features and the completion of native application work. Through meticulous iteration, we transformed initial wireframes that combined retirement savings and withdrawals into a more streamlined approach. The UX team, in tandem with product owners, discovered that a separation of Retirement Savings and Retirement Income was more intuitive.


Partnering with the Charles Schwab UX team, we meticulously outlined Schwab Intelligent Portfolio personas. Through collaboration with an external agency, these personas were further enriched and refined.
Customer Journey Map
The UX Team emerged as a critical informant, unveiling a comprehensive customer journey map. This dynamic visualization charted the user's path through engagement, goal setting, adjustments, support reception, adapting to life changes, goal adherence, and ultimate celebration.
Goal Set-up Interaction Sketches
Exploratory sketches paved the way for innovative interactions, among them, the transformative Monte Carlo simulation chart, a visual gateway to future return scenarios.

We sought a natural, conversational data entry approach. Users could now effortlessly input goal details using their voices, progressing through prompts seamlessly.

Different sketches explore goal setup interactions. A horizontal meter to communicate confidence and progress against a goal seemed simpler at first.


Sketches show our shift toward data entry being more natural and conversational. We wanted customers to use their voices to enter goal set-up data, advancing through forms one prompt at a time.


Low fidelity wireframe displaying multiple years, projections as well as a goal. This wireframe wasn't pursued. The chart did not meet our requirements for simplicity.



Goal Tracker

Elevating Investment Tracking
The Goal Tracker, a daily companion, monitors goal progression: On Target, Off Target, or At-Risk. By projecting portfolio performance scenarios, users are empowered to make informed decisions.

Relevant performance information surfaces at a glance, ensuring users remain informed effortlessly.
“I literally had to do nothing else but sign up and transfer the funds. I can't speak highly enough of it.”
— Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Customer
Relevant performance information surfaces at a glance, ensuring users remain informed effortlessly.
Multiple Account View
Clients managing multiple accounts can effortlessly navigate through them with a simple swipe, allowing them to access and manage their investments with ease.


The Unseen Effort Behind Success

The journey from research to launch underscored the considerable effort, time, and resources invested in building and maintaining a digital product. Underestimating these facets is an all-too-common pitfall. Amidst the complex challenges, unwavering collaboration and dedication to our craft propelled us forward.

Significant Accomplishments

Our team's ingenuity culminated in a solution that simplifies investment pursuits, all within an ambitious timeline. Collaboration with three distinct engineering teams harmonized the user experience across platforms, underscoring our commitment to seamless functionality.

What Could Have Been Done Differently?

Navigating user research, conceptual design, and launching an MVP posed many challenges.

However, these challenges served as catalysts for growth. Thankfully we found that collaboration, a shared mission, excellent leadership, and a commitment to craftsmanship empowered us to conquer even the toughest hurdles.

During that period, Schwab faced an uneven ratio of UX designers to product managers. Remarkably, the UX team has since expanded significantly, leading to a healthier dynamic. This transformation was fueled by an atmosphere of open, creative collaboration among design, product, and development—a potent remedy for a previously strained design team.

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