At this time, in Online Banking’s market it’s possible to found some good developed experiences and many others that can’t be even explained to the user. Or in worst case even couldn't be categorized such as good or bad user experiences, because many of them are not possible to be understand.
So, with this idea in mind I’m pretty sure that 2018 year could be a good one to reach millions of users just thinking in them as part of a centered user design process, and making changes in Online Banking Services to attend theirs needs first, and after of that trying solve or fix business problems.
The idea is let behind in the past that old stories where Online Banking Services provided by a financial institution such as a bank, was designed by a small group of people inside of a dark meetings room and never were asked to the final user about it.
To comply with my TCS’s NDA, I have omitted any reference to our clients, and in this case study I’m sharing my personal thoughts and personal point of view that does not necessarily is the same of the company or reflects the views of TCS.
As a Senior UX Designer, I’ve worked every day thinking in the best way that we can offer a more useful, usable and desirable online banking services for all the customers with no exceptions, but not all the time it’s possible offer to a customer (Banking company) a brand new and fresh online experience for their services A.K.A Online Banking Services.
So, in this case 2018 year could be a great one to begin the journey to finally develop a real new experience to users or at least try to.
During this process I’ve developed user persona based on several interactions with project managers and other professionals, partners and colleagues. The info that I was using was translated to concepts that cover features and address customer behaviors and motivations.
TIn this case study, Persona users' I’ve delivered helps me to developed frameworks and prototypes that I could used to share the vision, design principles and content strategy to be applied.
Planning & Scope Definition
I've defined the product, thinking in the minimal scope to be targeted with a minimal effort. My main idea was to target just the necessary services to get an online banking with just one single transaction available.
Create a useful Online Banking
During the years, traditional Online Banking Services was populated by so much variants of the same old idea about the user needs, or at least what the bank or any other institutional finance company thinks that the user needs, but in many of these cases bank’s never asked to the final user about that.
Is in that way, I try to solve this problem using some simple questions probably no one's asked before, or never used as a base for a UX research.
- What is happened when the user uses Online Banking Services?
- How, the user is doing what he’s doing?
- Why?, this is about user's motivations and emotions
Good, Fast and Cheap
During the years, I’ve learned about how the people works in a bank how do their job. And many of them, usually have not enough time to sit and discuss about to take decisions, in fact is a time to market question, and that’s the reason why, many Online Banking Services are displayed to the customer.
So with that approach, the idea of uses a whole new transactions list, services or even flows was dropped back in trashcan. The idea is continue using the same old services but make changes at the user experience side.
In the other side, it’s necessary to understand that millions of users visit Online Banking Services daily and millions of them using their services in regular basis. So whit this insight the idea was not to captivate a new market or open a notch.
Google Design Sprint (GDS)
I’m pretty sure about this is my favorite part of this job, because is a new way to solve design problems and create products, so with this two goals in mind I decide to start the job using GDS.
Google Design Sprint Key Ideas
No laptop, phone, or iPad was allowed in my exercise. And when I need one of my devices, I leave the room or wait for a break.
A tight schedule builds confidence in the sprint process. I was using a Time Timer to create focus and urgency. Each task I’ve done in 25 minutes with 5 minutes break before the next one.
Plan for a late lunch
Drinks lots of water, and take a snack break around 11:30 a.m. and lunch around 1 p.m. This schedule maintains energy and avoids lunch crowds
As I wrote previously, many of the information about the user I’ve collected was shared by confidence team members and with that in mind I’ve worked in personas users.
Single Sign On as Easy as possible
I’m pretty sure about many security engineers or teams are thinking about it’s impossible to give access to Online Banking Services using a social profile credentials, but the thing is in the near future this will be a must in User Experience and the reason why is so simple.
In the next few years Online Banking Services will be moved to social networks using all the potential that these ones offer to the user specially in Artificial Intelligence related fields. So, the security things related to the users will be part of the social network job, not yours.
Ok, I’m there but how to know how much money do I have?
Another common mistake that many Online Banking Services does very frequently, is the fact that the user needs to know in a just one single overview how much money they have or have not.
But, apparently this is not a priority for many Online Banking Services and forget the way to show this very useful user’s information, letting the user begin a search each time for the amount of money they have at their accounts. And the worst part of this story is that they (the users) needs to make some several clicks to obtain that info, because for any unknown reason is not accessible in easy way
Let’s accept this. I need money!
Ok, finally the user login in the application, make some payments of basic services and now, he understands that he hasn’t enough money as he wants or needs.
Apparently Online Banking Services are forgotten the idea about to have a banking account for many users, specially in LATAM markets where the people or at least many of them don’t have an account for savings, many of the traditional or offline banking services users have an account just because they need a loan, the reason why is because the only way you obtain one of them (a loan) is being client of a financial institution such as a bank.
So, whit this in mind the idea about to have an Online Banking Services that offers in a very simple way how to get a loan, is a must for the company and for the user. That’s it!
I need to talk with someone. Could I?
In Online Banking Services users wants to talk with another human being for very specific questions, but as we know online chatting services are not the solution for many reason that includes having one single human attending this channel to the most important, no one likes the idea that someone else is watching our banking accounts even when we know that many people could do.
So, in that way the idea about to have a chatbot inside of our Online Banking Services is very acceptable.
Show me, how much you know about me
Even when this is a very common customer question, it looks that Online Banking Services are not enough smart as the looks or at least want to be.
And the mainly reason why is because all the users has the same options in their same Online Banking Services.
Online Banking Services needs to go hand in hand with activities.
This another very common questioning about Online Banking Services, and the reason why is because the users needs/wants more smart online banking services working for them all the time
For example, if a user is at the movies and their need to pay some snack food using their saving account, they want that their bank knows what are they doing or at least where are they and suggest some ideas about, for axample:
“Hey Juan, it looks at the movies, do you wants to pay your snacks?”
Using a push notification … and please forget the idea about SMS, just forget … seriously.
Getting a new Online Banking Experience
My personal vision about how the Online Banking Services will be done, is not a me-too on redesign visual experience for the users.
I would like to offer a totally new concept about Online Banking Services, in fact I’m talking about a complete new platform. A safe place where the user can go and feels the experience of a financial institution that wants to makes easier their lives and that’s is possible just learning from your customer.
I didn’t want to offer an exhaustive catalog of services, rather want to focus on helping users discover the way to obtain more of their Online Banking Services. And, the only way to do that is trough personalized Online Banking Services. That’s it!
Introducing the New Online Banking Platform
This is a service available to online banking’s users thought the internet with out no additional cost to them, clients & users can review their accounts statements, make online transfers, payment of services, get online loans or apply for credit cards on line just filling the form. All in one single place and of course at hand trough their mobiles.
The best way to do this is just doing it. So, even when the idea about to use social credentials to login at your banking account comes out, it’s sounds a little bit insecure, but after take time to made some search about this topic, I understood that it’s possible for two well documented reasons.
- Users want this feature from many years ago.
- At this time, social profiles are so much more secures than many login’s banks around the world
I know, probably many people would like to start a discussion panel about if there’s a good or not too good reasons (the two exposed previously) to use social login in online banking accounts, but when this happened in my case study I decides just move on the discussion to another point, because that technical part was not the focus of this exercise.
This is one of the features that many people ask about for many years, and just with the introduction to the market of online assistance such as Siri, Now, Cortana and many others, the users understood that it’s necessary to create a baking assistance that really helps the customer to do the right things. One of them smart search.
The thing is, after login to your account just probably that you just need make some payment or just to review the last movements of your saving account, and the only way to do this is making at least three clicks to find the information you’re searching for. But, if you’re using a smart search field where you can write it down some kind key words used as commands to the platform, it will help you in better way.
Some examples are:
- I want to make a wired transfer.
- I need detailed info about last 10 movements
- Check this out XXXX ID card info
- I need a $ 500 loan
Off course, the level of communication with the platform needs to be updated in future to make better decisions, but it’s possible and for sure this is just first step, in automation services.
Get a loan at anytime
Who wants money as soon as possible?
I know, at this time in many baking services get a loan could be a serious task. But, if you’re a good payer and are part of the prequalified customers to get a loan, why banking services didn’t an easy way to give you the money?
So, with this think in mind I’ve decide to create the concept about loan at any time in the same way you make some purchases on line.
Just one click, introduce the amount and that’s it. 10 second latter you’ll have the money at your account.
How I got there
Even when many online banking platforms was developed to attend people, in most cases you as a user, didn’t feel as the center of the experience and in very specific steps of some features, users currently said they feels like a witness just watching how the application by itself works in a lonely-mode. Of course this is not so bad, but it’s not the way to work in a user centered mode.
So, with that idea in mind I decide to work using the user as central point of the experience and the best way to do it, was using a central help assistance that could be invoked form any place at any time in the way as an input text field. Or even voice recognition chatbot.
A story behind the user
Every user has their own history, and anyone goes to online banking services for different reasons. But according to my initial research, there´s out two mainly reasons why the user goes online frequently:
And if an online banking services works with that idea in mind a 100% of the users will be very happy people, but a bank or financial services company has a lot of additional services that must be offered to the customer, and online banking services is without a doubt the best and economical place to put all in there, but the challenge is make them visible to the customers but at the same time it will be transparent to avoid create a distraction for the main reason she or he was in there.
Loans, loans, I see loans everywhere.
So, dear Bank, if go to your online banking services to use them just for makes some kind of payments, and in the very first page you will se a big banner telling you. “Hey I have the money you need” probably is not the best way to aboard the customer. In some cultures, it could be considered offensive or rude.
So, the best way I found to do this task – makes visible the online loans application- but in a non-intrusive way, was thinking in the concept of sexy services.
How it works? Ok, the idea is offer the same service in all the possible places but showing no so much, just a little sexy button (some kind of) that invites you to click on it.
The same thing as in the real live. If you see a little bit of anything, your imagination works and probably completes the whole scene in your mind, doing a lot of things that in real live probably could no.
The controversial: Ok, Give me the money
At this point what we know or do?
- User and the reasons why they are using online banking services.
- How make an online banking services more useful, desirable and usable.
- Story behind the users and why they are login to online banking services.
- We found the way to offer a service in a sexy way.
At this point the customer just needs a clickable button to say Yes! Yes! Give me the money, and for sure we do that!
Using Google Design Sprint like a Pro
Google Design Sprint – Day 1 – Monday
I kicked off the sprint understanding the problem and choosing a target for the week’s effort. Probably for many of us the idea of spend a whole day taking notes and thinking about how to face the problem could be sounds crazy, but it’s necessary to understand that a slow down begins, will helps you to prioritize in right manner the tasks to be done.
In my personal case on Monday I did:
- Define the long-term goal of the case study.
- Challenge’s roadmap.
- Getting knowledge from external partners.
- Define an ambitious but manageable piece of the problem.
And the winner is! Yup, I decide to work in most simple flow that every single online banking service around the world has. Landing page with my accounts, and a second one with the transactions details.
So, for this exercise, I’ve worked in a simple flow as this one.
User -> Social login page -> validate data (social network) -> Landing Page (My accounts/products) -> Transactions details.
Google Design Sprint – Day 2 – Tuesday
This day in my case study I was focused in problem’s solving using five steps of Design Thinking during the next few days, starting with:
- Empathize: One of the best practices I’ve learned is avoid interviews when you’re doing User Research and instead of that it’s better to start conversations. So, if you’re talking with the user, you’ll empathize with them and their needs. But for this case study I didn’t has real-human interviewers but I’ve had 3 personas … user personas.
- Define: The best advice I’ve ever received before was define the problem as a problem statement in a human centered manner, something like.
- Younger online banking users need to access easily to loans and credit cards submission forms.
- Ideate: Now it’s time to think and Worst Possible Idea is definitely the best way to do it.
And the winner is: As simple (obviously is not so easy as I wrote it down) but effective call to action button (sexy services) in landing page (My accounts/products) and another one in Transaction details.
Google Design Sprint – Day 3 – Wednesday
On the third day, it’s necessary to work in the next Design Thinking step, knows as Prototype. So, in this, day I’ve started to test my ideas about how to make easier to younger online banking user access easily and fast to a loan or credit card submission form according to the data obtained in research step (users persona).
During this day I´ve worked on scaled down versions (called LoFi version) of the product, and with this early version I was worked in problem’s solution, doing storyboards with the sketches I’ve done before.
The idea about story telling step in Google Design Sprint is create a step-by-step flow that could be understated easily by the people, just that. And in my case the idea behind this step was try to make sense to myself about if I was considering all the possible scenarios including the failure ones
Google Design Sprint – Day 4 – Thursday
Just I was planned, during this fourth day I’ve finished to prototyped my proposal using the storyboard I’ve done on Wednesday, and here’s comes the final step on Friday. Testing.
- I made a research about the user needs.
- I define a reachable goal to my case study.
- I ideate how to solve this problem in the best way possible.
- I made a storyboard with this idea.
So, as you can see I had all the necessary thinks at hand to works efficiently.
Google Design Sprint – Day 5 – Friday
Probably this was the most complicated step in GDS applied to my case study, and not necessary because I didn’t feel comfortable or self-confidence about my work. The main problem was to find the “user” to testing my prototypes, but after some calls and work in a more relaxed environment (lunching at McDonalds) finally I have my testers.
Two young guys (M/F) tested my prototype, but if think in more detailed level these two guys were testing my entirely week job. Because if something fails is not the prototype. At this point these guys was reviving all the steps and … everything was fine and that’s the reason why this case study was published