Mifos - MicroFinance OS
Capitalizing on the success of Grameen Foundation after a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, Mifos modifies the microfinance platform to accomodate many different types of community needs.
Mifos was originally designed around the Grameen microfinance process, for which Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. With Grameen’s success, the field of microfinance grew, and with it, the needs of the communities it serves. While microfinance institutions (MFIs) in India and Bangladesh strictly and successfully follow the Grameen process, other communities in South America, the Philippines, and Africa, wanted more flexibility and functionality from Mifos.
What I Explored
After travelling to Bangalore and Nairobi to follow the loan officers and study their loan process. It wasn’t until I saw these operations that I fully understood how different the India and Kenya operations are, or the adversity they sometimes deal with like power outages and low-bandwidth Internet connections.
The biggest change I made to the Mifos UX was to introduce the concept of a user or login-based dashboard with portlets containing large text or graphics calling attention to particularly important information for a given user.
In the original design, there is tab bar across the top to navigate to major regions of the UI, a left navigation bar guiding the user to common tasks, a dashboard on the right, and the main content region is used for an explanation of how to navigate. Additionally, there is a lot of white space in this home page that is left unused.
This design was also translated to mobile, keeping in mind the needs of users in the field (creating new loans, entering collections, and adding new clients rather than administrative tasks done in the back office) and the abilities and limitations of responsive design.