about the project
Clube FII is the most relevant website of Real Estate Investment Trust ( REITs ) in Brazil. The website provides daily information for more than 250k subscribed users through forums, online courses, articles, interviews and a set of advanced tools for investors to learn, build, track their portfolios and reach their financial goals.
my role on the project
My role as a founder and head of design consists of leading the entire creative and design direction in the disciplines of design systems, user experience, digital product, collaterals, branding, advertising, motion, video, and social media. I design a lot of things on my own and lead a team of collaborators, like front end developers, motion designers, video editors, creatives, and other kinds of professionals that contribute full time, part time or in special projects.
In 2015, Rodrigo Cardoso, a friend of mine who is a developer and a REITs investor, created a software for his personal use to help track and manage his investments. So he came with the idea of transforming his initial software into a digital product and platform that could be used by many other investors and could be the go-to place for people in Brazil who invests in REITs to exchange information and track their portfolios.
He needed a partner to lead the creative and design direction along with the product design. I decided to accept the challenge and started this company with him. In the beginning, we didn't have much money or resources, and he invested from his pocket the bare minimum to cover the basic costs of starting the business.
ux and product design methodology
The method we use to conduct UX research, usability tests and prototyping is with our real users. First we build a feature and test ourselves for bugs. Then we launch and get feedbacks live, measuring the results of the actions taken from the users and iterating in real time.
Because we have a design system in place, it's easy to make changes directly on code eliminating the need of creating a fake prototype and conducting a fake usability test. If something doesn't work live, we change it fast. We also constantly get feedbacks from our users by keeping an open and direct communication channel with them to discuss new features, usability issues, bugs and suggestions. We receive a lot of feedbacks every day.
creating a remote work culture
Since it’s a startup and an online business, we created a very agile environment, with constant iterations. The entire team works remotely since the beginning of the company and we use the latest tools. I created a design system that works online and offline, with assets, components, and modules on SketchApp and also on InDesign, so the same design and patterns could be used across the entire project saving a lot of time.
I've created a workflow using Sketch App and Invision to provide the assets to the front end developer and have a library that is seamlessly synced each time there are updates with the components. With a design language in place, it became very easy to build new pages. In specific cases, the designer doesn’t need to design anymore. He can work with the developer by verbally mentioning the components, module, colors, and spacings and building the page together.
Initially, instead of investing in marketing, we invested in building a good product with features that were innovative and useful to the hardcore investor. We created forums, online courses, articles, interviews, and a set of advanced tools for investors to learn, build, and track their portfolios and reach their financial goals. Because we created something that didn't exist before, we grew very fast attracting loyal users who helped us a lot testing the products and giving us feedback and suggestions for new features. We quickly ranked to the top of Google's search and were invited to showcase the product on different specialized media channels.
branding and design system
I created a design system that works not only on the digital platform but also on presentations, eBooks, magazines, videos, and social media posts. There's an ongoing effort for the same brand elements to be used on each media through the project. We have one typeface, 5 icon categories, patterns, different styles of illustrations, and one style of photography.
Information plays a crucial role in the product, but to keep it interesting and engaging, contemporary art and illustrations were created and added to the visual language in different parts of the project.
To illustrate the headers of the tools inside the website platform, I created a series of artworks resembling contemporary paintings.
I've also worked with different motion designers to create intros for our youtube shows
I designed books, magazines, flyers, financial reports, presentation templates, certificates, a mug, usb flash drive, notepads to give away to clients and partners, wallpapers, business cards and even an exhibition stand.
Our youtube channel plays an important role for the company. As we keep growing the number of subscribers, we keep adding new shows. Also, we use instagram, facebook and twitter to promote all the new things we create, like tools, partnerships, interviews, quotes from famous investors, and different kinds of content related to REITs.
In 2021 we launched an advertising campaign created by the agency Tech and Soul called Brick Coin. Produced in limited edition and with a design signed by Isay Weinfeld, Brick Coin is a piece composed of stone and metal, with embedded technology: each unit has its value backed by a fraction of a REIT, which the investor knows exactly where it is, and it has a unique QR Code that indicates the share price of this fund linked to it.
In 6 years we created a product that disrupted the REITs market in Brazil, and that everybody from the financial indutry knows and uses it. As of 2020, the company have 10+ employees, 250k subscribed users, 125k monthly first time users, 3 million monthly page views with an average of 6:30 minutes session duration, and 5 pages per session, 50k instagram followers and 40k youtube followers. As we keep launching new tools and growing our client base, we keep hiring new people to collaborate with us, always with the mission to be the best online resource of REITS in Brazil.
many thanks to
Rodrigo Cardoso, Felipe Chaves, Júnior Morais, Thiago Otuki, Nathan Otávio, João Pádua, Eduardo Alcantara, Hebert Quiroz, Sérgio Wontroba, Beethowen Souza, André Silvestre, Flavio Waiteman, Isay Weinfeld, Marcelo Corrêa, Daniel Magri, Guga Dias da Costa, Renan Bulgari, Rogerio Gonçalves, Mariana Nakiri
© Leo Ehrlich 2020