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Redesigning the Mobile App for United Bank for Africa (UBA)

United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), is a leading pan-African financial services group headquartered in Nigeria. It is one of Africa’s best and most resilient banking Groups with operations in 20 African countries and offices in three global financial centers: London, Paris and New York.

A Friend of mine drew my attention to how difficult it is to use UBA’s Mobile Application and I decided to check the app out and ask other friends that use the App also, I noticed almost the same feedback from them all and decided to further study and find a solution to it.

“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.” — Ralf Speth

I adopted an evaluation-based human-centered design approach putting the users in mind and also the fact that the app should serve as a replica of the bank when the person can’t go there physically.

During the course of this redesign, I worked alone researching and validating hypotheses in order to create a solution that tackled the issues I discovered from the research phase.

I interviewed 5 people that fit the target audience of the Mobile App, all of which were present customers of the bank and used the mobile app frequently. The research helped me to discover a variety of issues, confirm a few hypotheses also and a space for a new feature.

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Personas I developed from my interview participants
  • The Items in the hamburger menu were too much
    (15 items) and this would distract and confuse users that is if they check it in the first place.
  • The top 3 tasks done were Mobile recharge and data, account transfer and account balance check.
  • The Transaction History section is confusing and it isn’t easy to understand.

To support my research, I also went ahead to search and study articles and reports within the banking Industry and from these I was able to confirm my second hypothesis on the top tasks people used the app for, this helped me in my redesign process, making these features easier to spot and use.

For this, I used the card sorting technique to arrange and sort the 15 items in the hamburger menu into 4 bottom tabs eliminating duplicates features with different names, making the items visible on opening the app unlike when it was hidden.

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People want to track how their money is spent, in my interviews, I noticed a trend with 4 of the 5 participants that they usually go over their transaction history to confirm previous transactions because sometimes they are confused how they spent their money.

This made me think of a better way to represent this data to them.

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When thinking of how to viewing the history easier I thought of adding a feature that I call Labels that helped users sort their transactions immediately they did it.

So the Labels can be Family, Food, Office, Snacks
If users were to go over their transactions they would be able to know immediately where the money went and it would help inform them where which labels consumed more money over a period of time.

In Action

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This being my first case study, I was able to put what I have learned from the Interaction Design Foundation to good use.

Online courses have their own place but so do actually working on a study.

I also learned that the kind of questions you ask during interviews are important and can lead to actually knowing your users or getting things messed up.

What can I do better?

  • Prepare and plan ahead for better research
  • Select participants of different age range.
  • Usability test of the prototype with users.

In order to show my progress in the past few months, I challenged myself to rewrite this case study after previously writing it in July 2019, you can read the old one here (It’s crappy but it’s my success story)

Attention: This is unsolicited and as such, I don’t have access to Internal Data from the Organization.

Data drives Design anytime *smiles* that’s why I don’t fancy redesigns but the hack was the research I did to validate my hypothesis and back up my design decisions.

Special thanks to Tunji Ogunoye for bringing this to my attention.

Written by

Experience Designer | Writing to see if there are people out there thinking in the same manner.

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