Survey of Finance Companies

Every five years the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors surveys non-bank finance companies to collect data on the landscape of the lending industry. Unfortunately the survey’s first phase was behind schedule and stuck. Bank and departmental leadership asked me to help get phase one back on track. I did by leading the design and development teams, especially through the early months of the pandemic.

After we successfully launched the first phase, or screening phase, of the survey, the product owner invited me to immediately join discussions for the second phase. In total the survey, what we called the QQ, became a two-year long partnership between the Board of Governors and the Philadelphia Fed.

My Function

  • Creative director
  • UX researcher
  • UX/UI designer
Project Team

  • Product owner
  • Project manager
  • 3 Designers
  • 3 Developers
Skills Applied

  • Design leadership
  • Design management
  • Brand design
  • Editorial design
  • Product design
  • UX/UI design
Internal spread of the Survey of Financial Companies

Designing a Visual Identity

Unlike the first phase, for phase two my team began at the beginning. The time between phases allowed me to address the need to ensure the second phase looked like a publication from the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors.

Unfortunately, the Board could not provide us any style guides because, in part, the Board was amid an update of its branding for publications, surveys, and printed material. They did, however, provide examples of design directions under consideration, but assured us we need not follow any guidelines. Nevertheless, I wanted the survey to leverage the gravitas of the Federal Reserve and consequently I collected numerous examples of published and printed materials for reference.

Next I collaborated with the product owner, who wanted something more legible and cleaner than the existing designs. I developed a simple visual identity system for the printed materials, leaning on Franklin Gothic and a green and copper colour palette. In particular I opted for a version of Franklin Gothic with condensed weights as the survey would require large numbers in small spaces.

For the web side, the Board had a clearer colour direction, a navy blue palette, and I chose to use this to link the Board’s website to our survey’s landing/log-in page before entering the bespoke experience of the survey.

The quick reference guide for the Survey of Finance Companies' visual identity.
The landing or log-in page for the Survey of Finance Companies.

Phase Two or QQ2

After weathering some delays due to the pandemic, we successfully launched phase one in October 2020. The product owner invited me back to lead the design and development of the second phase, a much larger survey than phase one, which we successfully launched in summer 2021.

Whereas the first phase consisted of a screening survey tasked with identifying the appropriate companies with whom the second phase would follow up in more depth. Thousands of recipients completed the screening survey either via a print or online form, for which LimeSurvey had been selected and partially developed by the previous team. Whilst COVID-19 delayed the launch of the screener survey to October 2020, the delay allowed us the time to develop a special section of questions specific to the pandemic in the following phase.

Because my team was brought in at the start of phase two, I had time to bring aboard both a summer intern dedicated to the survey’s development and a third-party consultant. Additionally, I interviewed the data processing team to find areas where we could improve the survey’s data collection and its processing. For the online survey I added a navigable table of contents and running spot-checker that validated the sums of the user’s inputs. Additional COVID-19 delays provided me time to test and refine the survey throughout its development before our successful launch in summer 2021.



  • Screening survey
  • Detailed survey
  • E-mail reminders

  • Screening survey
  • Detailed survey
  • Envelopes
  • Postal reminders
The front and back cover of the print version of the Survey of Financial Companies
Interior spread of the print version of the Survey of Finance Companies
Interior spread of the Survey of Finance Companies
Internal spread of the Survey of Financial Companies