Financial Services is very suited to the style of guidance enabled by Cincom MiGuide.
Whether it’s guiding an agent through a complex process or delivering self- service guidance on the web Cincom MiGuide enables the subject matter expert, rather than the programmer, to build sophisticated guides quickly and easily.
To demonstrate what I mean I have used the UK Stakeholder Pensions Decision Trees created and published by the UK Financial Services Authority; they have been available for some time, are tried and tested and show how MiGuide can meet the needs of the financial services advisors in a “real” situation.
Just like the published Stakeholder Pension Trees the guides are broken down into sections – this makes building, testing and maintenance very easy.
The guidance trees are built up of Questions, Possible Answers, Actions and Results. Each of these elements can be dragged from the menu bar to the tree in the left-hand panel by clicking on the appropriate icon and then the text created in the panel on the right-hand side. There is additional information about this in Stakeholder Pensions – part 1
Fig 3 below shows how a Stakeholder Tree is constructed of simple to follow Questions, Possible Answers and Actions – if you want to see any of the examples more clearly please click on them!
Actions are where the real power of MiGuide is unlocked and is how a rich exchange is constructed between the guide and the user. There are a wide range of actions which can be selected from the menu of options in the right-hand panel as shown in Fig 4 below:
Many Actions have been used in the construction of the Stakeholder Pension Guidance trees and will be seen in the following examples and screen shots.
The menu of possible Actions is extensive and some of the most powerful ones are:
- Ask user for data
As the name suggests this is how user provided data is collected so that it is available for use during the guidance process and storage afterwards
- Display Message
During the guidance process it is useful to be able to display a message to the user – there are many examples of this in the Stakeholder Pensions Guidance trees
- Display message from a file
This is an easy way to build a standard message and then display it anywhere it is needed in the guidance
- Call an external application
Particularly useful in financial services where an existing application can be called in the guidance process
- Load questions from a separate file
For ease of testing and maintenance it is good practice to build the guidance in sections and then link them together using this action
- Go to a URL Link
Enables information to be displayed from sources external to the guides
- Send email message
Probably self-explanatory! – can be used to email results, a synopsis of the guidance process or alert a third party (maybe a supervisor) that guidance is in process.
Here are some examples of Actions in the Stakeholder Trees:
Fig 5 – if the answer to the question is “I am employed” load questions from a separate file – takes the user to the current pensions – Employed Tree
Fig 6 – If the answer to the question is “I would like help in understanding whether I am employed or self- employed “ – displays a help message then takes the user back to the question so they can make the appropriate choice now they have more information.
Fig 7 – If the answer to the question is “I would like to read more information about the trees and Stakeholder pensions” – the URL link takes the user to a PDF of the FSA Factsheet on Stakeholder Pensions – this can take the user to the start of the PDF or to a specific page or paragraph.
These are just a few examples of how Actions can be used to enrich the guidance experience – more of this later!