Charles Schwab


Product designer (me), UX Designer, UX Researcher, Product Manager


3 months, May-July, 2017


Desktop and iOS
Charles Schwab's Equity Awards Center helps employees manage their company's stock options.

The problem

After launching a newly redesigned dashboard for the Equity Awards Center, usage and customer satisfaction was low.

Business objectives

Enhance the dashboard so that it increases engagement and adoption.


An improved dashboard that makes it easy for employees to discover and manage their equity.

The solution

An enhanced dashboard that makes it easy to manage your equity awards.

After launching a new dashboard for their equity awards center, Charles Schwab received a flood of complaints. They enlisted our help to understand the problem and make enhancements and build a iOS friendly version.
Though clean and less visual noise, user's were confused and frustrated with the lack of information.
Through research, moved components and exposed information to address user's needs.


Lack of information is causing confusion & frustration

Charles Schwab ran a feedback survey after the product launched. We scanned through nearly 2,000 responses and highlighted key user pain points alongside stakeholder feedback:
Incomplete integration
Data not exposed
Difficult to use/confusing
I do not want to see pictures. I want numbers only, pictures are a waste of time.


Make it easy to see balances. A simple table would do.


When you no longer have holdings, this page is extremely uninteresting.


Mapping feedback to the designs
Using the research we outlined on the design areas of confusion and frustration.


How might we encourage users to engage with the dashboard by showing relevant information upfront?


Needs vary depending on Schwab familiarity and equity knowledge

We took a step back and asked ourselves why the users feel the way they do. What are their underlying motivations and needs and do these motivations & needs differ from persona to persona?
Motivation map
Mindsets of each persona type at each step of the vesting flow.
Needs map
Needs of each persona type at each step of the vesting flow.


It has to be flexible at every stage of vesting

In order to understand what to enhance, we deep dove into understanding vesting schedules. We learnt that at each stage, the motivations and needs of the users change.


Exploring all possibilities

Before we defined any design approach or user flow I quickly sketched out some ideas that were bubbling in my head. This helped with the next activity thumbnailing wireframes.


How far can we push the redesign?

As we knew all components on the page however were not ready to jump into detailed wireframes, blocking out areas in thumbnail format really helped convey ideas quickly. We defined each approach based on conservative, moderate and blue sky adjustments.


To donut or not to donut?

One big consideration was whether the donut brought value or was it creating redundant information. Through rounds of iteration, we maintained the donut however reduced its prominence. If the donut was removed users may lose the association to the current EAC experience.


Testing at Facebook, Twitter & Nvidea

A Charles Schwab's Senior Researcher carried out user testing at Facebook, Twitter and Nvidea, testing employees who held stock options aged between 25-45.
Testing the flow at Nvidea
Gives you an overview on what you need to do.



Seems clearer and more organized.
What's mine and mine not yet?


If I first log in, I'm not sure what I have right away.



Converging & diverging to address the feedback

We divided each area and diverged to come up with as many solutions as possible. We then converged and tested them against user value and high/low effort.
Synthesizing the research
Brainstorming ways to address the feedback.


What can we do that is high value but easy to accomplish?

Based on the user testing results the overall takeaway was that the new design was an improvement, however still lacking context and help text. A lot of users were still confused on specific terms.


Showing what you own upfront, but helping you plan for the future.

The final edits addressed all the concerns from the initial and second round of user testing. We ensured actions were exposed, relevant information above the fold and all crucial information wasn't hidden.
Final design
Refined design after testing and iterating.


Ensuring it's accessible on iOS

The dashboard wasn't available on iOS. After refining our direction we translated the designs into a mobile-friendly version.

We balanced displaying the right information upfront vs. keeping it clean and less overwhelming. With that, we decided to design an interactive chart that exposes information when needed.
Animation diagram
Outlined how the donut will animate for engineering.
Results & reflections


After launch, Charles Schwab saw an increase in 2% adoption. They received less customer support complaints and the dashboard is still live and working today.


Due to scope and the fact they just launched the new product, we couldn't redesign the entire dashboard. This was a great lesson in teaching me the value of working alongside business goals and scope.

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