Investment Banking:

Introducing market insights for portfolio managers and traders.

One of the largest banks of The Unites States asked us to design a new mobile application for their institutional clients to reach market insights. As the senior interaction designer of the project, I contacted research to find opportunities for the new experience and design the new application in multiple design sprints.

 

Research

For 6 weeks, we did stakeholder and customer interviews, shadowed branches, conducted customer intercepts, did trend reframing and hosted a large workshop.

 
 

Customer Interviews

We conducted research to understand how customers interact with banks and how they manage their finances. We talked to 16 people and explored what is important to them in order to understand how we can improve their current experience and strengthen their relationship with the bank.

 
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The example that inspired our client the most (as it challenged their traditional segmentation models) was the 70-year-old doctor who told us she needed a better app to do everything herself. We called her the “digital granny”.

 
 

Customer Intercepts

We also did 5 minutes intercepts in 3 branches with 40 people. We were trying to understand the tasks that brought them to the branch, what their perceptions and frustrations were, and how comfortable they are using mobile banking. Armed with this information, we communicated their pain points to the client.

 
 
 

Stakeholder Interviews

We wanted to understand the status quo inside the bank, how they work, and what the relationship is like with their clients. In one of the interviews, I was impressed with the close relationships brand managers seem to have with their customers. They even chat with their clients on WhatsApp!

Workshop

In our two-day workshop, we shared our insights, mapped the current journeys in detail and created over 100 service concepts together with 40 employees of the bank from different business units. In parallel to the adult's workshop, we also ran a workshop with children. The things that the kids came up with was incredible. We brought them to the workshop area to present their ideas, which really inspired our client.

 
 

Presenting the Insights

We gathered all the findings in an Insights Report which I presented to the CEO and the top management of the bank. It was incredibly well received and ushered in a new era of design within the company.

 
 

Experience Design

Customer Journey

We put our findings on the wall during the research to create the as-is end to end customer journey. We did some more work on that in the first days of the experience design phase. We defined our design principles based on customer and business needs by combining them with cross-industry trends.

 
 

Concepting

We clustered over 100 ideas that came out of the workshop into 20 groups. We ended up with enablers that affected other concepts, service concepts which were a bit more tangible, and specific concepts for the digital products; public website, e-banking and mobile app. We sketched the concepts, created storyboards and listed the features needed to develop the concepts in more detail.

 
 

Co-Design And Prototyping

Together with the product owners and designers in our studio, we designed new digital services and prototyped new scenarios. Thanks to the input of the subject matter experts within the bank, we rounded out our concepts, and at the same time created new design champions within the bank. They used the prototypes to collect feedback, and promoted the power of design inside the company.

 
 
 

End To End Customer Journey

We mixed the main phases of the customer lifecycle (awareness, subscription, use, assurance) with the main products that needed to be considered. Each phase had its stages and actions that matched the customer’s emotions and thoughts during those actions. We also mapped out the main pain-points, active channels and opportunities. At the very last part of the customer journey, we outlined the 20 service concepts in detail for each stage of each phase of the customer journey. 

 
 
 

Product Design & Prototyping

Structure

We designed the main interaction paradigm of the app and the home banking by clearly separating two main visit reasons, checking (most of the time) and doing (very rare). In the home section, users can swipe horizontally to have an overview of all their products. When they want to complete a task or apply for a product, a contextual button allows them to go inside the process. The actions in the contextual button re-organises the tasks by time (e.g. if they need to pay a bill, pay bill option comes first) or by the product that they are reviewing (e.g. if they are in credit cards sections the first action is "pay the debt" or "block the card").

 
 

Design Sprints

We are currently in the design phase and are designing the screens for six selected use cases. I lead new working sessions with the client at the very beginning of the sprint in order to define the best flows and then we quickly prototype it for the project owner to gather feedback for us. With their feedback, we iterate the flow and the visual design.

 

Recap

Creating digital products for a Romanian bank was a fascinating experience. Their fast growing digital adaptation created unusual challenges for our design team as we are mostly used to working in the European or American context. We learned a lot.