a zero-to-one mobile product design experience

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Pholiyo is the brainchild of the fin tech startup, ThreePie. Pholiyo is a news aggregator mobile application that consolidates financial news into a curated space for review. Staying on top of your investments has never been this easy.


The Challenge

Create a zero-to-one design of a mobile app focused on simplifying the way intermediate investors stay on top of financial news.

My Role

User Research/ UX Design/ UI Design/ Content Strategy

Final Result


The Research Process

Competitor Analysis

Seeing as none of the team was familiar with finance, we hit the ground running with a thorough competitor analysis. We identified strengths and weaknesses, such as:

  • Curated product

  • Personable tone

  • Fine aesthetics

  • Long onboarding

  • Ad heavy

  • Use of jargon


Generative User Interviews

We spoke with investors and traders across the spectrum to understand what they prefer in a product. The problem space revealed itself through engaging conversation and tangential insights.



Thanks to this valuable insight, we dove into synthesizing our results by both affinity mapping and creating a 2x2 diagram. We decided to focus our efforts for the first iteration solely on the product’s unique value proposition, adding additional features to future versions.



To really flesh out our product, we had to better understand our target user. We created an assumptive persona as well as an anti-persona. We scoped out our persona’s needs and aimed to create a product that would address each one.


Task Flows

We set off to create a comprehensive flow that showcased how the user would engage with the app in a range of situations, from onboarding through bookmarking an investment news article of interest.



Once the basic tasks for the product were identified, we dove into a wireframe brainstorm.

We completed a dot voting session and whittled down our options to a select few.



Once all of the final wireframes had been approved, low-fidelity mockups were created and a prototype was stitched together.


Comprehension Testing: ROund 1

Through our initial round of testing, we learned that our product’s information architecture was intuitive for the user.

However, we realized that the value prop was not clear simply from using the product. Too many heavy-handed features at onset can confuse the users - to address this, we simplified the Explore section in order to emphasize the importance of the news present on both the curated Portfolio and Home screens.

The copy, primarily within the onboarding screens, was also tweaked to make the value prop extra evident.


Branding and HIFI’s

While fleshing out our content, we dove deeper into the visual design and branding of the product.

With a streamlined flow, succinct copy, and defined brand guide, we created our hifi prototype.


usability testing

Through a round of usability testing, we discovered that out of 8 users:

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could easily locate news about a given company

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could identify news linked to a current investment

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utilized the Explore feature to discover new stocks

Final Thoughts

I am so thankful to have had this opportunity to work on a zero-to-one product design project; it was incredibly intense though very rewarding.

Through this project, I learned the importance of staying calm under pressure and the intense value of user interviews. I also learned how to work with a remote client. Although scheduling can be difficult, video conferencing really does make all the difference.

I sincerely hope to be engaged in another zero-to-one design experience in the future.