Custom Preclearance


User Research UI & UX Product Design Prototyping Product Management




Developed a template creation system for the product enabling the user to create a custom form for submission, complete with custom workflow rules and exporting.

Executive Summary


The product's rigid structure limited user flexibility, hindering data tracking and customization across forms and user groups.


I designed a custom template generator, empowering users with unlimited form creation options, custom approval workflows, user-type-specific variations, and an automated rules engine.


  • Enhanced satisfaction: Intuitive design led to a more streamlined user experience.
  • Reduced support burden: Clearer functionality decreased customer service inquiries.
  • Future-proofed the platform: This solution created a scalable foundation for further innovation.


COMPLY helps thousands of clients navigate the often convoluted world of financial regulation. In this high-stakes environment, hedge funds, private equity firms, investment advisors, and broker-dealers must all ensure timely and compliant pre-clearance for employee actions. Pre-clearance essentially means that every stock trade, business gift, or political contribution by an employee requires prior approval from the compliance department at the firm to ensure it meets internal policies and regulations set by agencies like the SEC and FINRA. These agencies create rules to keep trading markets fair and to prevent things like insider trading, bribery, and unfair political contributions intended to sway lawmakers. A "one size fits all" approach doesn't work here. The specifics of how regulations apply can vary greatly based on a firm's unique business focus. The complexity of regulation, coupled with the diverse needs of our clients, created a significant challenge with the current pre-clearance system.

Identifying the Problem

Through months of engaging with our Customer Advisory Board, a recurring theme emerged: frustration with the limitations of existing preclearance types. A key account considering a switch to our platform from a competitor highlighted similar struggles. Our sales team corroborated a genuine market opportunity for expanded options. The picture became more clear thanks to customer support flagging this as a recurring pain point for specific user groups. This convergence of evidence solidified the need for a more diverse and user-centric approach to preclearance types.

Users of COMPLY's pre-clearance system often faced frustration and inefficiencies due to limited customization options. The system locked users into 8 specific types of information. Compliance officers couldn't track additional data points critical for their unique regulations, leading to incomplete records and potential compliance risks.

Additionally, the mechanism to customize forms for specific employee groups was convoluted and scattered throughout the user interface. A survey of client requests revealed that 60% of users wished to track custom data points relevant to their firm's specific regulatory requirements, but the system lacked support to do so.

It became clear that a solution was needed to empower users with greater control and flexibility. We needed a system that allowed:

  • Accommodating diverse use cases: The solution should be flexible enough to cater to the varied compliance needs of our client base.
  • Tracking any number of custom data points: This would give compliance officers the ability to track information specific to their regulations and business needs.
  • Adapting forms and workflows: This would allow compliance officers to tailor employee pre-clearance requests to specific groups and regions, streamlining the approval process.

By addressing these challenges, we aimed to create a more efficient and user-friendly pre-clearance system that would ultimately enhance compliance effectiveness and reduce risks for our clients.


User Story Map

To kickstart the project, I mapped user journeys for both primary user groups: Compliance Officers and employees. This revealed two distinct workflows: template creation and handling submissions, each with its own needs and challenges. Compliance Officers needed an intuitive form builder with comprehensive configuration options, while employees required a streamlined submission process accessible on any device. This user-centric approach fostered shared understanding within the team, enabling us to:

  • Efficiently address technical questions: Mapping out the process helped anticipate and resolve potential technical challenges early on.
  • Define high-level project scope and prioritize features: By visualizing user flows, we could clearly identify essential features for the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and defer secondary functionalities to later iterations.
  • Achieve rapid consensus: Collaborative exploration of user journeys facilitated quick team alignment on project priorities and the development roadmap.

By prioritizing user needs and leveraging user story mapping, we established a solid foundation for the next stage of the design process.


Beyond conceptualizing features, wireframing became the crucial bridge between idea and reality. Through these low-fidelity mockups, we achieved several key objectives:

  • Intuitive User Experience: By visualizing the layout and controls on each page, we identified the optimal placement of elements to solve user pain points effectively.
  • Streamlined Navigation: Visualizing user journeys through connected screens revealed the most efficient navigation paths, ensuring users could intuitively complete their tasks.
  • Development Clarity: Providing the development team with a tangible "skeleton" facilitated accurate work estimation and informed roadmap planning.
  • Shared Vision: Stakeholders and colleagues gained a clearer understanding of the feature's functionality, what it looked like, and the potential impact, fostering further alignment and buy-in.

With the user journey mapped and a shared vision of screens to be created established, the project smoothly transitioned into more formal estimation and planning stages.

Visual Design & Prototyping

Building upon the established wireframes, I translated them into high-fidelity, interactive prototypes. This crucial step involved leveraging our style guide to ensure visual consistency and user familiarity. These prototypes served multiple purposes:

  • Gathering Final User Feedback: By interacting with the realistic prototypes, users provided valuable feedback on the user flow, clarity, and overall user experience.
  • Facilitating Internal and Sales Demos: The prototypes served as powerful tools for demonstrating the new feature's functionality and user experience to both internal stakeholders and prospective clients.
  • Guiding Development: The prototypes provided a clear "blueprint" for the development team, minimizing ambiguity and ensuring the final product mirrored the intended user experience.

Key Solution Design Features

This extensive project overhauled several key product features, resulting in a more adaptable and intuitive solution that dramatically enhanced the user experience.

  • Unlimited Custom Forms: Compliance officers gained the ability to create as many custom forms as needed, eliminating limitations and tailoring forms to their specific business requirements.
  • Automated Decision-Making: We introduced customizable rules for automatic approval or denial based on employee responses. This eliminated the need for manual review of thousands of submissions each month, saving compliance officers valuable time and resources.
  • Centralized Review & Notifications: We streamlined the review process by centralizing pending requests in a single, easily manageable table. Both employees and compliance officers received clear notifications on the status of each request and any required actions.
  • Enhanced Reporting: We implemented improved export options, allowing compliance officers to easily include relevant data points in reports for external processes and audits.

This combination of enhancements empowers compliance officers to focus on strategic tasks, reduces manual workload, and ensures efficient preclearance processes.

Bridging the Gap Between Design and Development

While well-defined plans are crucial, successful execution requires constant adaptation. I actively participated in every grooming session and stand-up, ensuring the team understood the design intent and underlying user goals. More importantly, I served as a bridge between design and development, addressing roadblocks and iterating on the approach. This involved:

  • Collaborative problem solving: By actively engaging in discussions and brainstorming sessions, I helped the team overcome technical challenges while staying true to the core user needs.
  • Adapting for efficiency: When opportunities for a more efficient technical approach arose, I advocated for adjustments while maintaining design integrity.

This collaborative approach ensured the final product met user needs and was technically sound.

Post-Launch Learning: Refining the User Experience

A product's journey doesn't end with the first release. I actively gathered user feedback post-launch through user interviews and collaboration with customer success representatives. This valuable feedback shed light on early adopter experiences, identifying areas for improvement:

  • Streamlining data integration: Connecting preclearance data to certifications was a key area for enhanced platform connectivity.
  • Accessibility enhancements: Several customer interviews highlighted the need to improve how employees accessed the forms from their dashboard view.
  • Facilitating collaboration: Improved back-and-forth communication tools and workflows between employees and supervisors to streamline submissions emerged as a theme for improvement
  • Data capture and workflows: Suggestions included linking preclearance and disclosure forms for efficient auditing and reconciliation, and improving the form builder experience with new field types, data reference capabilities, and rule enhancements.
  • Version control and historical data: Users reported challenges with how data was exported after collating submissions over time. This led the team to discover an underlying challenge with how forms underwent version control, prompting the exploration of a more comprehensive solution for version history and reporting.

This rich user feedback and design exploration informed the creation of a robust backlog and roadmap, outlining priorities for future platform enhancements. The strategy also addressed the long-term vision for coexistence between the new custom preclearance module and the existing preclearance workflows for the product.


Ultimately, the beta release of this feature was a success. The initial feedback validated the huge improvements in usability and the power of our customization options. This release positions us to further streamline compliance processes, empowering our customers to save time and resources. The sales and customer support team successfully showcased this capability, leading to the closure of our largest client in terms of Annually Recurring Revenue (ARR) to date. This work laid the foundation for the future vision of the platform.

No items found.
Portfolio Webflow Template - Canada - Designed by and