Lithys 2018: Morningstar, Inc. - Digital Design Excellence

Lithys 2018: Morningstar, Inc. - Digital Design Excellence

Company: Morningstar, Inc.

Company background: Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research. Our mission is to create great products that help investors reach their financial goals. We offer an extensive line of Internet, software, and print-based products for individual investors, professional financial advisors, and institutional clients.

Contact: Ryan McClelland

Title: Customer Engagement Manager

Related URLs:

Lithy category: Digital Design Excellence

Our Digital Goals
Morningstar is built around serving individuals – both by helping them reach great financial outcomes and by providing outstanding customer service. With the launch of Morningstar Community this year, we are thrilled to partner with Lithium to modernize the support experience, provide greater transparency around product development, and enable our customers to connect with each other. 

Morningstar Community home pageMorningstar Community home page

What Makes Our Community Stand Out
At Morningstar, we're obsessed with design. We have a chief design officer, a proprietary font, and a detailed design system. We want every piece of software we create to be beautiful. When we partnered with Lithium to build our community, one of our biggest challenges was to make the Lithium platform look like something Morningstar built from scratch. In collaboration with Morningstar designers, the Lithium team drew inspiration from Morningstar's retail site and developer site to create a clean, elegant interface with the look and feel of a Morningstar product. 


Product Integration 

It doesn't matter how cool our community looks if our customers can't find it. We worked with our product team to place links to the community within the user interface.

 The Help menu guides customers to different areas of the communityThe Help menu guides customers to different areas of the community

 We also implemented an API to surface community content in the product when a user searches for help. 

Community search results in Morningstar DirectCommunity search results in Morningstar Direct

Product Associations 

At launch, we targeted users of two of our main software platforms. Building a separate discussion board for each product would not be scalable as we expand the community, so we needed a way for customers to view only content that's relevant to them. We became beta testers for Lithium's new Product Associations feature, which allows community content to be tagged and filtered according to productWe continue to work with Lithium to refine Product Associations so more of our products and services can join the community. 

The Product Associations widgetThe Product Associations widget

Morningstar Office product pageMorningstar Office product page

Responsive Design 

At our annual conference in June, our CEO spoke about the community during his keynote address. Not surprisingly, we saw our largest number of mobile visits on that day, accounting for 74% of traffic. It's a good thing our community looks great and works well on mobile. 

Morningstar Community mobile experienceMorningstar Community mobile experience


We are certainly not the first community to use digital badges as a gamification element, but the Morningstar design team created badge images with a unique look. 

Morningstar Community badgesMorningstar Community badges 

How Are We Doing?

We don't have before/after statistics to share because our community just launched a few months ago. However, since mid-May 2018 we have had 43,113 page views from 3,757 unique visitors. To put that in context, there are roughly 3,000 monthly users on our Cloud software platforms. About 19% of visitors have registered on the community.

Morningstar Community trafficMorningstar Community traffic


 Morningstar Community registrationsMorningstar Community registrations