The problem — The goal of this project has been to design a new tool which represents and show the new grouping of customers the bank was going to adopt. My job was to develop a new tool that displays the new clusterization. This work implicated to create a fluid and consistent connection between the intranet and the other instruments used by the sales network.
The commitment — My commitment focused on the concern of creating a simple and intuitive user flow. The project spanned six months. In this time I delivered the first concept, a high-fidelity prototype that shows some iteration, and the final interface with the interaction specs.
When I started my work in this bank was the end of 2015. Headquarters was asking for an instrument to highlight a new clusterization of clients. Therefore, for someone with predefined assets situations, there was the chance to activate promotions and offers to persuade them to invest more money in the bank's products, such as mutual funds or insurances. At that time there wasn't an instrument that was able to show this changing.
A well-known user — The user of the tool is a member of the bank's network. He was a familiar user. We had a lot of data about him. We knew that the network counts about 5000 people, that they were for the most part male people, that they had an average of 50 years, and the most of them had a problem with small characters, because of their age. His primary need was to inquiry his customers' group; discovering in which cluster was each client; know if there were customers in a critical situation; propose actions of up-selling and cross-selling.
I worked together with bank's people. We also worked closely with the sales network. Our team was one manager, two project managers, one UX designer and me. My primary role was to propose the best ways to go ahead with the project. I suggested which steps in UX design process we should adopt, and together we chose which methodology was more suitable to our path.
Business requirements and user' limitations — The limitations were mostly related to business requirements and user's characteristics. The most challenging request had been to put the tool on the intranet and then inherit its interactions, and other features.
Our commitment was to develop a straightforward and usable experience. Although the tool must fill with an enormous quantity of data, our goal has been to provide an easy way to browse the complexity. We built the tool from scratch. We had to study and understand business requirements, discover user needs, be sure that the interactions adopted were usable for the entire sales network. We split the process into two main parts, the research phase, and the design phase.
Research phase — We used several methodologies and techniques to investigate users' needs and pains.
We got start our research work with users. We talked with them; our focus has been to gather information about their needs, goals, and motivations. We interviewed them at the bank. In this way, we figured out more precisely who was the real user, his concerns, and his requests.
We arranged an open card sorts study to understand how users wanted to organize the tool in sections. This study allowed us to define and refine our organizational structure. In the result, there were five sections: "Dashboard", "Leve & Promo", "Management fees", "Studio & analisi", "Clienti in lavorazione"
We arranged a meet between users, designers, developers, and other business decision makers. We made a participative brainstorming. This approach allows us quickly identify user needs and issues, business considerations, and technical limitations.
Customers' inquiry — The user need to discover the customers distribution. Also he needs to know other characteristics about the customer as the assets distribution, if he was an opinion leader or if he has more than 27 years, etc..
Level of criticality — Some clients are in a potentially critical situation. Dangerous conditions are due mainly to the assets allocation. The user needs to know who is in a critical situation.
Customers' profitability — There were several contests and revenue return models, actions taken on clients could generate different revenues. The user need to know which were the more profitable activities.
Promotions and leverages — Users wanted to know if there was among their clients, someone with the possibility to activate promotions or other financial advantages. This because the headquarters selected clients with particular assets conditions and enable to them the opportunity to receive a promotion or a leverage.
Learnability — The user didn't want to learn all over again. He intended to use the tool in the same way he used the others tool available to him. The tool had to be coherent with the interactions and flows of others tools in the intranet.
Clarity and conciseness — The user showed a concern every time was in front of a new feature. He needed to understand what he was dealing avoid too many pain.
Legibility — Users were typically over 50 years old. They have a problem in reading small text. The most of them asked for a more prominent font compared to the font used in the others tools available for them on the intranet.
In the design phase, we thought about the best way users could interact with contents. We tried to keep the experience the more simple as possible. We decided to use the more as possible the interactions of other tools available to them and ensuring the most coherence and consistency possible.
Wireframes — With the architecture built in the research phase, I put down the first flows. I jot down the first key pages to these flows, keeping in mind the coherence and consistency with other tools on the intranet. I worked on wireframes and iterated them on a weekly basis, testing solutions with every stakeholder involved in the project. A huge advantage has been the possibility of meet promoters every time we needed.
After we finished with the wireframe phase and after we shared our concept with the other stakeholders, we were ready to test the first prototype. Our focus in this session of testing was on readability and satisfaction of the user.
Usability test — We decided to evaluate the results of the design phase with some usability tests. We asked users to use the tool. In order to do that we built a prototype. First of all, I wrote a test protocol, and I've been the moderator of the study. I asked the participants to perform tasks. I observed where they run into troubles, and I asked them follow-up questions to understand their concern about the flow.
Results — After the tests, we understood that some areas of the tool were too complicated. When we designed the tool we split the dashboard into two sections, one that shows the criticality that affected customer and another one that shows available promotions, but users preferred a unique section for both.
In the management fees section, things were too messy for users, we had not enough information and time to improve it. We decided to turn off this section for the first wave.
Another section in which the users found some troubles in performing their tasks was the feature that allows them to collect customers classified as interesting and saving them in order to do work on them in a different time. This feature was postponed for a second wave.
This has been a very extensive project. We had to give up some features. Our design choices relied heavily on the research phase and required multiple design iterations. I feel that I could still use more opportunities to improve the final result. After our final presentation, our team was very happy with the results of the project. I have to say that we worked in an open environment, and there weren't particular obstacles in our design work. Our team worked well with each other, and although my motivation for the project was tested a couple of times, in the end, I still love what I do.