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Design Thinking for Financial Services in the Mobile Age

Authored by: Alexander Zaky, Head of Experience Design at Synechron

A recent Gartner report, The App and its Impact on Software Design says, that App design requires an approach "fundamentally different from a traditional application. Its key characteristic is purposefulness. CIOs and application leaders must understand the changes necessary for software design and development practices to produce this next-generation software."

Many financial institutions have embraced a mobile-first strategy or omni-channel strategy, placing mobile design as a critical component of their UX and CX strategies. The report suggests that these businesses will need to consider an enterprise approach to mobile app design.

Design Thinking, which has been around now for over a decade, is a design methodology that helps businesses understand their problem statements better by rooting it in end user research and uses that research to influence a more impactful design solution. As financial services organizations look to elevate their brands, communicate authenticity and engage with their customers, design thinking can deliver meaningful data to support those initiatives.

Brand According to the Design Management Institute, design-led companies like Apple, Coca-Cola, IBM, Nike, Procter & Gamble and Whirlpool outperformed the S&P 500 by 219% over the past 10 years. This is a significant finding in that it suggests that design has the power to impact the financial performance of a company. With that mindset, rather than design the company’s website, app or other engagement channel based on an isolated understanding of the project’s goals, financial services firms can elevate the experience they are creating by using an iterative design approach that takes in consumer data and uses it to implement an agile design methodology.

On a recent project, we worked with a well-known global bank to re-imagine their online customer banking portal. We knew the design needed to give the bank the ability to offer the customer to understand their spending patterns by category, their savings history and a number of other features that It seemed consumers wanted based on the rise of personal financial apps like Mint. Design thinking played a critical role in this project, allowing us to speak with a sample group of customers and A/B test different visual placements of data to survey which features achieved the most interaction in the final rollout.


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