Wellington Scoop

Chrometoaster wins award for Smart Investor digital design

Press Release – Chrometoaster
Third-time winner Chrometoaster has won again at the industry’s benchmarking Good Design Awards, for the Sorted Smart Investor website. Its ability to turn complex government financial information into an accessible empowering tool for everyday Kiwis is proof that good design is ultimately worth investing in.

Awarded the big tick

Sorted Smart Investor received a prestigious Good Design Award Winner Accolade in the Digital Design category in recognition for outstanding design and innovation.

Sorted Smart Investor empowers everyday Kiwis to explore investments, clarifying and comparing them to other offers registered in New Zealand. With the goal of supporting alternatives to conventional investments, Smart Investor has been designed with both the novice and expert in mind using a customer-centric approach and cutting-edge technologies.

The Good Design Awards jury commented: “There’s a great use of multiple open source technologies combined into one seamless surface experience. The basic premise of the design is really strong. The clarity and simplicity of information provided is very good, given the category of information. The addition of quick links made searching as an expert easy, and information was displayed in a way that made it easy for a beginner to understand the process. Great work.”

Smart Investor, about time

Investment within New Zealand is in the midst of radical change. Kiwis need an independent and impartial source of alternatives to consider alongside KiwiSaver and other managed funds, bonds, shares and investments. In collaboration with project partners Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, Commission for Financial Capability and Financial Markets Authority, this project utilised the information held in the Government’s Disclose Register to create a user-centric solution that makes complex information simple, for novice and experts alike.

“Using design to not show everything to everyone, but help them see as much as they want and the important stuff first. Reams of information, but compressed down, made usable, made understandable.” — Tom Hartmann, Managing Editor for Commission for Financial Capability

Flipping the focus

Taking a design-led approach in an intensive discovery phase spanning a full year, all possibilities were explored before the true problem was defined. By reframing the problem as one of cognition, rather than comparison, Chrometoaster flipped the focus from information to explanation. Pared-back UI, plain English context and non-judgemental support were fundamental in supporting raw data, tables and graphs.

Innovation in the invisible

Some of the most innovative features of Smart Investor aren’t visual, though they incorporate a great amount of design. Offering unprecedented transparency into all investments in the New Zealand market, while intense to design, is vitally important for the audience to make informed comparisons. With hundreds of data points to choose from, which ones make the most sense to visualise? How can novices gauge what’s right across providers and investment types? What data needs to be added and which augmented? How can the tool remain impartial?

The invisible disciplines of content design, data management and information architecture were tasked with answering these questions, whilst creating new schemas that transform daunting spreadsheets and legislative reports into an inclusive, accessible, visual, interactive, educational and rewarding experience for everyday people.

Innovation in its DNA

Built on the second generation of the Government’s Common Web Platform (CWP2), Smart Investor utilises the latest innovations in SilverStripe 4 CMS architecture and structured content design. Optimal search functionality was made possible by the use of custom metadata, cutting-edge software and APIs. Its user experience has been created with modular components, decoupled web apps dynamic graphing and mobile-first user interface layouts. Built entirely with open source software, it is designed to be fast and highly accessible.

Proof in the award-winning pudding

Trusted and visited by 30,000 people in the first month, with 4-minute average visits and a low bounce rate of 10%, Smart Investor has become the preferred guide for people to explore,

compare and determine the smartest place to invest. It has succeeded on delivering Sorted’s mission of being independent, impartial and dedicated to helping New Zealanders get ahead financially.

“Smart Investor flawlessly matches data with design, allowing the public to compare complex information easily and effectively put it in context.” — Tom Hartmann, Managing Editor for Commission for Financial Capability

“Nice! Have been waiting for something like this… super useful for Gen Ys

like me who are not sure where to start in Investyland” — Sorted user

Chrometoaster’s winning streak

This year’s award to Chrometoaster follows their 2018 Good Design Award Gold accolade for ‘Renters United’ branding, and their 2017 Good Design Award of the Year for ‘Game of Awesome’, a learning resource. Three projects that are doing New Zealand and the world proud. Chrometoaster remains the only Kiwi design firm to have won the top honour in the 61-year history of the Australian Good Design Awards.

About the Good Design Awards

The annual Good Design Awards are Australia’s most prestigious international Awards for design and innovation with a proud history dating back to 1958 and a record number of 700 submissions this year. The Good Design Awards jury evaluated each entry according to a strict set of design criteria which covers ‘good design’, ‘design innovation’ and ‘design impact’.

“Australia’s Good Design Award is more than a symbol of design excellence, it represents the hard work and dedication towards an innovative outcome that will ultimately improve our quality of life. These projects showcase the brilliance of design and the potential it has to improve our world.” — Dr. Gien.

About Chrometoaster

Founded in 1998, Chrometoaster is an award-winning, independent, multidisciplinary design firm that specialises in solving complex problems with leading-edge design and digital engineering. Based in Wellington, Chrometoaster works with a diverse range of public and private sector clients in New Zealand and Australia to address worthwhile problems and promote the value of good design.
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