Transfer Timeline Graphic

An improved design to better describe product options

Explaining a complicated product through design

Dwolla is a financial tech startup that connects businesses to the ACH Network with a platform that moves money. They offer several different transfer types depending on the funds flow of the customer. These transfer types are notorious within the company for being incredibly hard to explain to customers — so I created a completely new design that improved clarity.

The problem

The existing graphic showed the transfer types on a week schedule, which explained the timeline but failed to explain the difference between the transfer types. It was also convoluted and hard for Dwolla customers to understand.

The whiteboard information I was given to start with


I outlined several goals before redesigning this graphic:

  1. Improve clarity
  2. Separate key transfer types
  3. Communicate speed
  4. Update visual elements


This graphic required a complete rethink. I had to imagine myself as a Dwolla customer and be honest with myself about what I could actually understand. After pages upon pages of sketches, I landed on a style that explains both the speed of the transfer types and the difference between them. I referenced some code examples that I've seen in textbooks before, where simple blocks are shown in a flow diagram on a dot grid. I liked this system because it can explain the transaction process and communicate the actual time it takes for the transfer to complete.

The full Transfer Timeline graphic


This improved graphic was a huge win for the marketing and sales teams at Dwolla. They are now able to clearly communicate the transfer types they offer with existing and prospective customers. Customers can now clearly understand the differences between the transfer types and choose which is right for their business.