UX in Finance
Design and banking are terms that have so far been incompatible (and when I mean design, I’m not talking about flashy brochures featuring pretty women sporting a broad smile. To their credit, banking institutions have been relentless in that regard. The notion of design that I’m talking about is featured in the passage — brace yourself!). Banking, an omnipresent sphere that has been prevalent for centuries is inherently tendentious in its approach to frame the problem and design experiences from the expert’s point of view. On the other hand, design helps to conceptualize the problem situation from the point of view of the customer, and then provide holistic solutions to mitigate those very problems by “allowing” the experts to participate.
From the above read, if you deduced that I’m an iconoclast whose sole motive is to calumniate the BIG BANKS for their dogmatic approach, then you’re wrong (not completely wrong though). What I meant to say is, this is the age of democracy (JK. Remember China?!). By that, I mean products and services are built not to pander to the base instincts of customers but to truly empower them. Businesses that seek to play by their rules are losing out on organization-wide innovation which positions them in an improvident fashion and risk falling behind the surfeit of ever-evolving competition out there that would appease the needs of the customer. This holds true for banking as well.
What it looks like:
Banks have traditionally taken to adopting rules and guidelines from the top down and give less emphasis to the way it impacts the folks who experience it. Take, for instance, the long queue that are visual indicators of banking (Ticket no.63, Counter #5.. That’s Right!). Although they’ve taken contingency measures to tackle the situation by deploying more personnel to tend to these queues, it’s not a viable solution. In an age where novel solutions have seeped into conventional systems, holding vast, high overhead infrastructure which houses numerous employees tending to clerical tasks and stages a raft of customers forming queues and employing more people to tend to these queues sounds somewhat redundant.
The Design Approach:
Let see how to approach this issue with design
It starts by defining the problem:
Designer: So we’re talking about queues. What are those queues comprised of? Animals, Plants, Microbes?
Expert: (utterly confused) I must say it’s an animal.
Designer: Great! What type of animal are we talking about reptile, mammal, arboreal, terrestrial, nocturnal, diurnal?
Expert: (Now at the point of implosion) It is a terrestrial mammal which operates diurnally.
Designer: We’re getting close now. Are we talking about lions, deer, monkeys,…?
Expert: Ok! I’ve had enough. They’re humans. Simple, ordinary people who have day-to-day stuff to take care of.
Designer: Ok. Do these people like waiting in a queue?
Expert: (Perplexed) Ughh. No.
Designer: So let’s try and design an experience that helps these people go about their task without slogging away in a queue. That means to design a Web experience that is simple and easy to navigate and accessible from their devices at the convenience of their home. Incorporate BOTS at the point of sale which enables consistent service and streamlined experience and provide the end users with the means to navigate these BOTS by using structured replies and path to human assistance (if need be).
There you have it! The first instance of empathy being employed in a design problem results in a rather profound solution for a traditional organization that has not got over Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection.
Why Design ?
Design is at an impasse when it comes to dousing the voice of the customer that it caters to. It instead seeks to unlock the potential of the customer’s feedback and build services that are positioned to help better their experience. I read somewhere “User Experience can be defined in a compressive (or practical) manner as anything that stands between customer and business; and customers’ rational and emotional judgment of how good the interaction was.”
A fitting definition that traditional institutions can draw from.