Getting to know Tony Pantello

Tony Pantello

Moneytree has always been a powerful and accurate platform that users have relied on to provide financial planning services to their clients.

Foundationally, the platform is still all about precision. But with Moneytree’s new platform, you interact with that powerful core system in a way that is more satisfying, more time-effective, and more impressive for advisors to share in front of their clients.

The new Moneytree is a game-changer in terms of client engagement across the age spectrum. You can deliver the involved experience that young wealth-builders want while crafting complex plans to help the Baby Boomer generation achieve their lifestyle goals.

The user experience is already receiving rave reviews from Beta testers and people who have seen it in action.

Senior UI/UX Designer, Tony Pantello, along with Mia Zhao, UI/UX Designer, led the redesign efforts with a focus on making the platform faster and more efficient, and to improve measurable outcomes for users. Tony holds a business degree from Taylor University and has been with Moneytree for four years, having previously managed digital marketing for a financial institution.

What is UI/UX (user interface/user experience) design?

Tony: The perception I push back on all the time is that UI/UX designers simply “make things look good.” Aesthetics are of course part of a great user experience, but the real value designers provide users is understanding their needs and designing intuitive and efficient ways for them to accomplish their goals.

So, yes, we want products to be aesthetically pleasing, but the value we provide users is the outcome that matters most. For example, one of the primary value metrics we monitor is time on task. If it took you a certain amount of time to perform a task in a previous UI, how much can we improve that in the new design and save users time?

We don’t want advisors spending more time than they need to in Moneytree. We want them to spend more time with their clients.

How did you get into UI/UX design?

Tony: I started in marketing, and I taught myself to do web design at a former job and that led to my UI/UX design journey. One of the reasons I transitioned away from marketing and toward UI/UX design was that I wanted to be closer to the product. I wanted more agency when it came to improving customer experiences versus creating marketing campaigns around those experiences.

Marketing and UI/UX design, though, are not all that different. You’re always trying to understand your audience and what they need. You’re putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.

What motivates you?

Tony: At the core of it all, I’ve always been a problem solver. I like adding value to people’s working lives. And I like working with a team who shares that same dedication to make the lives of our users easier. That’s what intrigues me.

What can you tell us about the new Moneytree?

Tony: Our understanding coming into the project was that Moneytree already had capabilities and features advisors found useful. We wanted to take the foundation of precision that Moneytree already had and make it easier for users to get to the insights that help serve their clients better.

Mia Zhao, the designer who produced the majority of design production work for this project, deserves so much credit for bringing that vision to life.

One example is the digital presentation of data. We have built a lot of data visualization into the new platform where users can view insights on the screen and on the fly, instead of having to export a report. You can see changes and impacts immediately based on data entered.

All these real-time data visualizations can make meetings much more engaging between the advisor and their clients.

If a client asks a question or makes a suggestion, you can go into the application and see the impact right there. And with the modernized aesthetics, advisors can have confidence they will be well represented showing the software to their clients.

The launch is almost here. How do you feel?

Tony: What I want to communicate to users is this: The launch is just the beginning.

We will keep the discovery and development process going so that we learn, we validate, and we improve.

What do you do when you aren’t redesigning Moneytree?

Tony: I am an avid “Shark Tank” watcher and idea generator. I have many, many ideas for businesses. Some are really stupid. Some, I think, are gold. The key is quantity.

I have three young nieces that I love spending time with. And, unfortunately, I’m an Indiana University basketball fan but this year’s team has some promise!

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