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DIY Hive

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We redesigned ValuesAdvisor's website to incorporate themes of trust, empowering investors to connect with financial advisors & create social/environmental changes with their investments

THE Problem

Users were reluctant to book sessions with financial advisors listed on their site.  While the website offered in-depth information about the advisors' values and specialties, users faced challenges in finding a trustworthy financial advisor who can understand their investment priorities, values, and financial constraints.

THE Solution

The website redesign involved renaming the call to action (CTA) buttons, rearranging/revising copy, and adding additional onboarding pages, advisor bios, quotes, and testimonials. These user-centric solutions were aimed to simplify terminology, prioritize information relevant to the user, naturally guide users toward the CTA, and finally, encourage trustworthiness between advisors and investors.

THE Impact

ValuesAdvisor aids investors in finding a financial advisor with a proven track record of success and expertise. With personalized and transparent advisor profiles, users can trust advisors to help make informed investment decisions - allowing them to begin a strong client-advisor relationship.


ValuesAdvisor's current website deters new clients from contacting the advisors listed on its website. We wanted to know why.

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ValuesAdvisor is a non-profit devoted to helping high-net wealth investors, foundations, and endowments match with advisors who specialize in sustainable and impact investing to help create the world we want to see.

When we first met with the ValuesAdvisor team, we were informed that their website users and prospective investors were reluctant to contact the advisors who were showcased on their website. Our client had suspected that their current onboarding process, filtering features, and copywriting may have been the source of users' frustrations and may not be totally user-friendly.

After discussing objectives and goals with the ValuesAdvisor team, we set up a project plan and timeline for deliverables. But before we could begin our user research, we knew we had to do some industry research on sustainable investing.


We began our investigation with industry research, exploring and defining sustainable & compact investing before turning to user interviews for additional data.

We began our study with industry research. After reading various financial articles, we found that impact investing seeks to generate a social & environmental impact in addition to financial returns, allowing the investor to avoid industries and companies that do not align with their values.

Then, we conducted a heuristic analysis and took note of the website's errors to ensure usability and best practices, and came away with some key errors:

Text Errors

  • Complicated, technical copy

  • Misaligned text

  • Text overlaps with lines

Filter Errors

  • "Sort by" filter unclear & ambiguous

  • Unclear filter titles

CTA Error

  • Call to action (CTA) button directs user out of the website

After doing our industry research, we decided to go straight to the users and get their opinions on investing. 
We were interested in learning about their investing habits, understanding their general attitudes toward investing with advisors, and how they feel about values-aligned investments.


After interviewing 12 users, we found some reoccurring themes that revealed they:

Prioritize the impact of their investment

Invest either for themselves or on behalf of others

Feel that some advisors have limitations

Prioritize financial returns

Primarily use referrals to find advisors

But the most prominent & reoccurring testaments we received from our interviews revolved around TRUST.

Our users said they:

Value transparency & communication with their advisors

Value their advisors' track records and performance

Feel the need to build a relationship with their advisors


The most prominent and reoccurring testaments from our interviews revealed that investors prioritized trust.

Through our interviews we saw consistent themes of mentioning the want to relate and build a personal connection with their advisors or needing to be able to trust them and further, understand their needs and wants from investing

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Putting their feedback together, we made a persona to synthesize and communicate our users' thoughts.

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THE Problem

Irene is facing challenges in finding a trustworthy financial advisor who can understand her investment priorities, values, and financial constraints.

Additionally, she struggles to comprehend technical investment terminology and is finding it difficult to make progress in the investment process.

Investors like Irene need a trustworthy advisor with a
proven track record who can not only provide transparency in their investment strategy and performance but also help them build a strong client-advisor relationship, so they can work towards their financial goals.

THE Design

After synthesizing the data, we incorporated UI solutions such as: increasing text contrast, revising copy to simplify complex financial terminology, and adding profile bios, quotes, & testimonials to advisors’ profiles to humanize advisors and promote client trust.

After identifying Irene's problem, we were still stuck with finding a solution -- how do we address Irene's concerns and needs throughout ValuesAdvisor's website? We started asking ourselves, "How might we" (HMW) questions to begin brainstorming potential solutions.


HMW help investors easily find the information they need on the website?


HMW improve communication between financial advisors and their clients?


HMW build investors’ trust in financial advisors?


HMW cause less hesitation for users when reaching out to an advisor?

Asking ourselves HMW questions gave us a bigger picture of what a few solutions could look like. This helped us put our questions onto paper and start sketching n a design studio - aka a brainstorming sketch session. After 15 minutes of working independently, we regrouped at the end of our design studio and reviewed our proposed user interface solutions.


After putting our ideas together, we created a MSCW chart to prioritize the features and solutions we would be implementing into the website redesign.

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THE Solution

ValuesAdvisor connects investors to financial impact advisors with a proven track record of success and expertise, who understand users’ unique investment needs and preferences.

To promote
trust and encourage a positive user experience, we adjusted our copy to simplify terminology in a human-centric and understandable manner, therefore prioritizing information that is relevant and easy to comprehend.

Additionally, with a personalized and transparent advisor profile, ValuesAdvisor will help investors find a financial advisor they trust to help them make informed investment decisions - allowing them to begin a strong client-advisor relationship.

Since our users claimed that trust was the main factor they were looking for in an advisor, we made several changes to the copy and layout to the website to encourage trust throughout the user journey. But most importantly, we made drastic changes to the advisors' profiles to humanize the advisors and make them sound personable & trustworthy.

Below is our proposed user journey map, which outlines the user's pathway from opening the website to taking the desired call to action - contacting the desired advisor. 

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From here, we developed our first iteration of wireframes, honing in on language that would clearly demonstrate transparency in the company's mission, as well as who the advisors were.

Our first iteration of wireframes

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Next, we tested the usability of our first prototype and asked 5 users to use the website. We found the following insights.

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3/5 users were confused at what happens after using the sort by feature

3/5 users expected to see a search bar feature in addition to filters

4/5 users were surprised when the "Contact Advisor" button led them offsite

With these usability testing results in mind, we decided to add labels to the advisor cards to distinguish the “SORT BY” feature. This was done so that users can easily distinguish different hierarchies when utilizing the sort feature. By adding the orange square labels, users are able to see exactly how advisors are sorted.




We also added a search bar so that users can search for filter options directly or find specific advisors without browsing through all the filters. This is to reduce the number of clicks the user needs to take in order to find what they are looking for.

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And finally, the last change we made based on our usability testing results was to the “Contact Advisor” button.


We created an on-site chat function so that users won’t be unexpectedly redirected off of the website. We found that in some of our usability tests, users couldn’t even find where they were being redirected to. Additionally, the chat function also allows users to track who they’ve reached out to and what conversations they’ve had.





THE Deliverable

The final mockup included numerous changes, including renamed CTA buttons, rearranged and revised copy, additional pages within the onboarding process, and bios, testimonials, and quotes for the Advisors listed on site.

In total, we made 19 different changes which are reflected in the slides below.

Home Page

Original Design

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Final Mockup

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“You Have the Power to Create Change with Your Investments” was added as the heading text. When users open the website, they will immediately see the header and understand what differentiates ValuesAdvisor from other competitors, and that ValuesAdvisor is focused on empowering investors to allocate their money towards impactful causes in addition to financial returns





The phrases, “Perhaps you want your money to support..., Sustainability and Climate Actions, Racial and Gender Equity, and Affordable Housing” was added to the header. This gives users a quick visual & clear understanding of what values investing is.





The “Subscribe” button was changed to “Get Started,” & the “Sign In” button was removed. Industry research shows that “Get Started” is more commonly used on financial platforms; it's a less sales-y CTA and it elicits trust vs skepticism. Users don’t feel like they have to commit to signing up without learning more first. With 1 CTA button, users are less confused about which button to choose.

Project takeaways

The timeframe we had to work together was challenging. We were mostly able to gather data on individual investors, but ideally, we would’ve loved to spend more time researching the needs of institutional investors as well.

Lastly, we would’ve liked to integrate more human-centric copy throughout the site so that the voice of the brand and the concept of trust is consistent throughout the website.

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