5 min read

Investing in ourselves: How we’re building a better online investing platform

You’ve been asking us for the NZX, dark mode and improved portfolio viewing, and we’re letting you know, they’re on their way! Our product design team was keen to tell you in their own words what they’ve been up to and how they’re working to sweeten your Hatch investing experience. So here it is.
Published on
February 24, 2022

At the end of last year, Hatch flew from our Kiwi Wealth nest and landed in a slightly bigger home, FNZ. Embedding our small but mighty team of 70 bright-eyed Hatchlings into a 4,000 person, global behemoth has been no mean feat. As you can imagine, it’s been a huge focus for us over the last few months. But now we’ve got our feet firmly under our new desks and reckon 2022 is shaping up to be a pretty darn exciting year. 

A huge part of why we chose FNZ was because they bring a superpowered engine room that runs behind the scenes - not just in New Zealand, but globally. They’ve got access to the stuff of (our) dreams and power some of the world’s leading financial institutions. They’re just really quiet about it. Now we’ve got our wheels spinning at FNZ, we’re ready to dial it up! The top priority is connecting Hatch to the shiny new FNZ backend. A kind of ‘Hatch 2.0’. And it’s going to be worth the wait! 

After we’re connected, we’ll gain access to a range of benefits FNZ has to offer. Meaning, we can turn on more markets (yep, that includes your local fave, the NZX, and managed funds but also internationals, like the ASX and beyond), plus currencies and new investment types at the click of a button. 

No more having to manage your investments on 99 different platforms; you’ll just need one: Hatch! 🙌

So, what’s Hatch working on in the meantime?

You’re probably wondering what the heck we’re doing while you’re ‘waiting’ to be hooked into these sweet new tools and investments. You could say we’re investing in ourselves… pun intended.

A large part of what our team’s been working on over the last 12 months (while you were getting used to wearing fabric on your face) is how to enable our design and development teams to add new features faster than you can say limit order. 

One tool that big design teams use to enable speedy outputs, like those at Spotify and Airbnb, is implementing what’s called a Design System.

What’s a Design System (and why should I care)?

Let’s strip it back to those feels you get when you open a new box of Lego. After your exuberance ripping off the packaging and scattering your new coloured pieces all over the floor (with a sword flinging under the couch never to be seen again), you’ll probably find yourself turning to the little instruction booklet that came with it. 

A design system is the instruction booklet used by our teams at Hatch for all the new things we design and build. Like Lego, a design system (aka instructions) guides us as to which pieces go where and prevents catastrophes… like the Renault 900. 😬

More than how things look, a design system reminds our designers to make investing easier for you. Like including nuggets of helpful gold designed to help you along your investment journey. Aka, our design system aims to make your investing life better.

For example, it makes sure that we don’t fall down a rabbit hole and start using dry investing acronyms like EPS or P/E ratios without explaining them first. Which means you get an enjoyable investing experience without tripping over wordy financial terms.

A design system makes everything look sexy, simple to use, and accessible to everyone who wants to invest.

What about dark mode, a mobile app and improving how we show total returns?

Yep, we hear you! We’ve been thinking about those too. And over the coming weeks and months you’ll see more updates that’ll improve your Hatch experience. Everything from little things - our buttons changing from blue to purple (😱) - to giving existing features a makeover. We’ll be improving a plethora of little niggles that have kept us (and you) up at night, which have been waiting for some sweet lovin’.

And yep, we know that loads of priorities at once can bump other things out of the way and make them feel less important (Oh, we know!). But we have been listening to you, and the things that bother you bother us too!

Dark mode

Yes, we want it too! We’re a team of night owls ourselves. But we haven’t been able to look into it until now because, well, a couple of other things have taken priority (like adding NZX, ASX…), and it’s not something we can easily switch on overnight. Implementing dark mode means every colour on the entire platform needs to be inverted and adjusted to work on a dark screen. Instead we took the opportunity to bring you access to the Allbirds IPO. 

But leveraging a design system makes adding dark mode a whole lot easier and a whole lot of other improvements.

Mobile app

Yeah, we know… an app would be real nice. But again, it comes down to opportunity cost. If you had to make the call right now whether you could have a new stock exchange, like the NZX, or a mobile app for the exact same experience you already have in semi-app form, odds are you’d choose access to more markets! We are, however, working towards making your mobile web experience a whole lot better, like removing the URL bar and improving the navigation to be more, well, app-y. 🙃.

All the things

As we’re rolling out our new design system, we’re using it as a chance to update current features. Like browsing newly listed companies and ETFs, tracking your investment performance, and improving your Hatch investing experience. Things like:

  • Portfolio - fixing up the total returns calculations and giving you better tools for tracking the performance of your investments 
  • Accounts - making switching between (and managing) your personal, trust and kids accounts easier 
  • Discovery - adding and improving ways to discover and browse investments the way you want to
  • Tax - waaay better tax reporting, including even more help with FIF tax and reports your accountant will love #TaxTimeMadeSimple
  • + lots of little things - everywhere!

We’re absolutely fizzing to integrate with FNZ’s flash systems. It’s going to unlock a raft of cool things and, as your Hatch design and development teams, it’s our job to bring them to you in style!

2022 is gonna be a game changer, and as always, you’re a key player. Our job is to deliver the investing platform that helps you successfully hatch your big (and small) tomorrow goals. So don’t be shy, if you’ve got any feature requests, questions, or want to just say hi, email us or let us know a good time to call.

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We’re not financial advisors and Hatch news is for your information only. However dazzling our writing, none of it is a recommendation to invest in any of the companies or funds mentioned. If you want support before making any investment decisions, consider seeking financial advice from a licensed provider. We’ve done our best to ensure all information is current when we pushed ‘publish’ on this article. And of course, with investing, your money isn’t guaranteed to grow and there’s always a risk you might lose money.

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