Reducing client onboarding time by 50%.

Gmail label: "Client onboarding- follow up" with 999+ unread emails

The problem

Users were submitting inaccurate data, requiring us to manually follow up.

Our solution

Mitigate erroneous responses by making it easier for users to understand requirements and error-proofing the form.




Dwolla offers an API that allows businesses to transact on the ACH network.


Interaction design prototype; copy.

My role

Sole product designer

Time frame

July to August 2021




There’s a lot of back-and-forth with support staff because clients aren’t filling out their onboarding form accurately.

This is costly for both us and our clients.

Can we solve this with some design changes?

These “chatlogs” are for illustrative purposes. They are summaries of actual conversations I had.


"What else can we do to make the user’s experience easier?" I asked myself


What are your unnecessary interactions with onboarding clients from?

Client support

We’re having multiple back-and-forth emails to collect the correct information from clients who submit contradictory responses in their onboarding form.

How can we reduce these errors?

Gathering requirements

Research with the stakeholders of this feature.


I want to make the user’s task as easy as we can accommodate. What barriers can we remove?

Info security

We need to minimize our liability from clients’ security practices, so we need to know x, y, and z.

Distilling pain points

I assumed that users were submitting forms incorrectly because they didn’t understand what was being asked of them.

They didn't understand because:

  • The copy was dense and complex.

  • Access to the documentation wasn’t offered.

Both the business and client suffered inefficiencies from back-and-forth client interactions.


With these pain points in mind, I solved for goals:

  • The client wants to start transacting (finish onboarding).

  • The business wants to mitigate unnecessary client support interventions.


Solution 1

Make the UI error-proof

Eliminating incorrect submissions

Proposal 1: Progressive disclosure

Display additional questions depending on the response given (progressive disclosure). Only relevant questions are presented.

Proposal 2: Accurately represent allowed responses

option 1: Mix checkboxes and radio buttons

Pro: conforms to user expectation that only one radio button may be selected

Con: confusing interaction pattern

option 2: Self-correcting checkboxes

Pro: hidden error-prevention behavior

Con: violates user expectations for checkbox behavior

Solution 2

Reduce the cognitive load of answering complex questions

Making it easy

Proposal 1: Simplify content

Make copy easier to understand.

View static comparison. I converted in-line lists to unordered lists, introduced liberal paragraph breaks, and replaced URLs with hyperlinks.

Proposal 2: Provide (better) help

Create direct links to the relevant documentation. The previous state had only one link to the documentation index for the whole form.

UI showing link to specific help documentation


I discussed usability pros and cons with UX colleagues and engineers for different solutions to select the best one.

Screenshot of various iterations that were explored

I also discussed with my cross-functional team to weigh engineering tradeoffs of different implementations.

I ensured compliance with info security and legal requirements, making specified changes.


Product manager

We’ll implement all of your proposals except for progressive disclosure because it’d be costly (in dev story points) to implement, for little predicted impact (it would’ve improved only two questions significantly).


Problem-solution fit

Eliminated most unnecessary client support interventions.

Reduced clients’ average time to go-live (onboarding + implementation) by 50% (110 days to 55 days). 

The improvements I designed successfully solved the user and business problems. 

With the opportunity to do it again…

I wish we had the resources to validate my assumptions first to ensure that I was solving the right problem.

I would have loved the opportunity to run usability tests on my progressive disclosure solution. It could be worth it in the future and learnings could have led to other solutions.


This was my most impactful and successful project to date.

Through this project, I learned that I’m most interested in problem-solving—because even though the content of the project itself isn’t inherently fun, I enjoyed working on this project. ※

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