HERO Index partnered with Blink to create a research platform for values-based investors.

The Challenge

Making investment decisions based on your values can be time-consuming and confusing due to out-of-date or skewed information on company trends and financial performance. Incubator startup HERO Index hopes to change this.

When we first met the HERO team, they shared their vision of developing an all-in-one research tool to assist people in investing in companies that positively impact human rights and the environment. Through close collaboration, Blink and HERO Index created a vision that supports investors and demonstrates the benefits of values-based investing to the rest of the world.

The Approach

During our eight-week engagement, we designed and prototyped an engaging, visually stunning website to help HERO Index bring its vision to life and obtain development funding. To begin, we divided our efforts into two project phases: foundational research and concepting, followed by testing and refinement.

Phase 01: Foundational research and concepting

First, we conducted a series of one-on-one foundational interviews to better understand why and how people make ethical investment decisions.

What we discovered was threefold: investors want to know what a company says it's doing, what it's actually doing, and then they want to compare the company’s actions to its financial performance.

At the end of our first phase of research, we knew one thing for sure: there was currently no easy way for people to complete the ethical investing process.

Here’s what one participant had to say about their values-based investment experience:

“I feel like the hardest part is just wading through all the information, the upfront research, and figuring out who these companies are. If there was a way to streamline that [process], that would be amazing.”

In addition to foundational interviews, our visual design workshops and design discovery process gave us a direction for the new HERO Index platform. With these insights, we developed a design language and logo to serve as the backbone for the HERO Index brand.

Next, it was time to test and refine our design concepts.

Phase 02: Testing and refinement

With a firm grasp on how to make values-based investing simple for HERO Index customers, it was time to put our theories to the test. First, we presented participants with two distinct concepts: one designed for the data-focused, analytical investor, and the other for emotionally-driven investors. After receiving feedback on the participants' preferred features and layouts, we used refined our design into a high-fidelity prototype.

We found that participants:

  • prefer a broad-to-narrow information flow, with high-level overviews that make it easy to dig deep into company data.
  • value concepts that allow them to sift through and comprehend a large and complex database quickly.
  • appreciate a platform that is open about where and how it obtains company data.

The Outcome

Blink delivered a high-definition prototype complete with key interaction screens, giving HERO Index a foundation for its product and next steps. When you visit the HERO Index landing page, you will notice a brand that reflects the company's mission of preserving nature and making the world a better place for all.

In addition to the new landing page, the high-definition website prototype includes:

  • extensive research on each company's financial status and values.
  • an option to filter companies by industry, as well as a rating based on the six primary HERO Index metrics.
  • a high-level overview of each company so that users can quickly find relevant information when conducting research.
  • third-party news articles on the homepage mentioning positive or negative press companies receive regarding their business practices.
  • a new logo that represents the collective action of HERO Index.

The HERO Index landing page is up and running, and the company is working on its platform in preparation for launch.

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