Research | Strategy | Design | Design Thinking | HCD

One of Australia's LEADING BANKS partnered with us to definE THE product strategy AND DESIGN for a market leading investment platform. This case study is an overview of some of the activities conducted over a 6 month period.

To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted confidential information in this case study. The information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of the client.

 
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The challenge

One of Australia's leading banks partnered with us to define the product strategy and design for a market leading investment platform.During the earlier stages of the project I was conducting depth research, helping shape personas and research artefacts, as well as early concepts, ensure the outputs were working towards a product/market fit.

 

the approach

Using a human centred design approach ensured all decisions were underpinned by research insights and customer needs. The research was split into two key stages; generative and evaluative. The generative phase helping to define the personas and product strategy, followed by evaluative research where various concepts and prototypes were tested with target customers. The approach was lean, with insights from the research immediately being fed into design iterations which enabled the team to pivot where required. Multiple sprints were conducted as the product took shape.

 

DISCOVERY

We set out by identifying assumptions and hypotheses, which would be validated as we spent time with people (customers and non-customers) conducting in home and phone interviews. The exploratory research enabled us to get a better understanding of who the target customers were and their underlying behaviours and motivations. The insights from this were used for various artefacts such as personas, empathy maps, customer value proposition canvas, and draft persona journey maps.

The hypothesis driven design helped the team take calculated risks and move forward in designs and explore alternate solutions. 

One of the many research outputs: Empathy map

One of the many research outputs: Empathy map

 

a look at the landscape

The current landscape was reviewed to get a sense of competing offerings, gaining insight to design patterns currently used in market. Some of these were integrated into the research to help validate initial hypotheses against different user types. The insights were continually fed back into the conceptual design which was running in parallel to the exploratory research.

 

PROTOTYPE, TEST, validate, ITERATE, repeat

Conducting iterative design cycles enabled us to continually work on design concepts and narrative of the product. Involving customers in each design sprint was critical in ensuring we were focussing on the right problems. Each iteration of design typically started out as a debrief from the day of customer testing before getting into sketching out potential solutions. The sprints really help to crystallise product/market fit and narrow focus for content and design decisions.

Left:  Content sort .                     Right:  Wireframe iterations   

Left: Content sort .                    Right: Wireframe iterations

 

process & JOURNEY MAP

The insights obtained and artefacts developed were used to map behaviours, pain points and how the customer experience unfolded over time through key life stages in the form of a combined process and journey map. The map visualised not only activities undertaken and corresponding insights, but some of the key deliverables such as personas, insights and opportunities, wireframe design iterations, design principles and visual designs.

Combined Process and Journey map

Combined Process and Journey map

 

WHAT I LEARNED

Throughout this project I learnt the value of having a cross functional team following a truly customer centric design process. Having the upfront research and customer feedback define what we were building and importantly ensure we were building the right thing was critical throughout the length of my time on the project.

There were times of conflicting interest which was to be expected with multiple stakeholders and interest from the business, however, using an iterative and inclusive approach kept the focus on the customer and their unmet needs, which was crucial in moving forward across project milestones.

As the designs progressed into detailed and visual design phases, I'm proud of the fact the team consistently referred to research insights and opportunities when making important design decisions.