Problem faced in the current banking scenario

Namrata Das
Nov 7, 2018 · 7 min read

Module targetting research intensive problem-solving @nationalinstituteofdesign, Bangalore

This project is part of understanding a gap in the current scenario and coming up with solutions to validate the same. The area of interest for me was Branch Banking, while the banking industry is in midst of a revolution. Communication between bank and consumer is now carried on across various platforms. Banks are delivering multi-channel experiences, but delivering omnichannel experience is the key to maximum customer satisfaction.

Developed a Design proposal on banking , addressing to required timeline

The research started with understanding the need for people to visit a bank branch. Some of the key insights were :

To deposit cheque, to avail one to one solution from bank advisers, for bigger transaction, to apply/consult for Loans, for filling forms for FD or PF , to open new account etc…

Few important questions which evolved during the brainstorming session were :

will the bank be needed ? will branches be needed? will bank deal with something more than money? Will technologies eradicate the traditional need served by the banks?

To understand the user base , I created an interview guide and the results were insightful. The most important outcome was that people preferred branch banking which involved fast transactions and less involvement of paper and writing… leaning more towards digital introduction.

Research has proved 90% consumer prefers face to face advises for complex products.

Long Term Goal: Focusing on Future of branch banking and making it more comfortable and less intimidating.

The key points which initially played an important role in for the long-term goal

Few HOW MIGHT WE questions were formed from the following brainstorming session:

Broader HMW questions, this questions needs to be narrowed down further

The interaction was studied for bank branch context, the interaction was divided into three main categories, i.e. Human-Human, Human-Machine, Human-Furniture.

These were the main key interaction/ touch-points which were considered initially
Analyzing touch points across branch banking
Bank as a secure value store addresses to the following needs of customer

Through customer journey mapping , trying to understand all the touch points a person goes through in a branch banking experience.

Journey Mapping various touch points across the branch banking

Overall Research Methods Followed are :


personnel interview

Customer Journey

Card Sorting

Process followed to conclude research insights


Turning design learning & insights into opportunists for design

After the research phase the HMW questions changed and narrowed down to simplify the banking process related to writing and documentation .

The Final Brief came out as :

Designing solution which transitions into the future for enhancing the branch banking experience thus creating a whole new way of banking. The solution aims to streamline the writing and documentation process , targeted for white collar segment by designing customer-facing systems that are accessible, based on consumer needs which can also be adapted to other customer segment over the time.

Branch Banking Research

Research Focus: Activities involving writing/form filling

Research Problem:

Sensitizing Concept: Designed object, designed system, users of design, ergonomics, aesthetics, visual literacy, digital literacy, private and public space, movement, emotional security, engagement


Observe writing patterns of consumer

Focus group interview

Research solution in other banking environment

Material Research — Durability, Ergonomics etc

Design options- Style, color , finishes etc..

Prepare and test prototype, involving focus group for feedback

Identify aspects that need revision and redesign

Data Collected

Mapping of user pattern

Interview Data

Results of material & styling research

Design in action in other parts of the world

Focus group feedback

Bank and their role in future

Banks no longer pretend to be mainstream retailers, complete with branches as channels. Instead, banks act more personally and more informally. As a result, branch design has shifted emphasis. The overall fabric of the branch remains important — but the bigger issues are seating that sets the right posture, acoustics that allow for privacy, rooms and work areas that make for rapport, media that are readily intelligible.

So, after poll and interview the important question which I focused on are:

Which segment of people visit branch and why? also why certain segment of people prefer not visiting branch?

A: People visit branch if their problems are not solved online/over phone or if they are not comfortable with digital media.Branch banking also provides them with one-one interaction.though, not happy with the level of engagement.

How do you make an environment immersive? How do you make an environment intrinsically more pleasant? How do you make an environment such that customers want to stay? How do you make an environment paper free and accurate?

Despite recent advances in India’s banking infrastructure, the Indian public remains largely disengaged with its country’s banks. The branch experience which tend to be sterile, formal places that look like hospitals and have long lines, needs to be addressed to create a more immersive and expressive environment.

The assignment is to design a furniture/ fixture which solves the problem being addressed. Thus using the necessary aspects from the research to design a solution for through that medium.

Persona & Job Stories

Why Job Stories? Because, Refining a situation by adding contextual information. “Stories come from real people and not Personas”

Detailed Analysis of user journey map

As a User Experience Designer, I believe in catering to the needs of the user . When a user uses a product they hope to be taken from their current situation to a better situation. From standing in long queues or waiting , or writing on a small desk or getting confused with which form to fill or how to access . I asked myself “What happens in between?” then “How can I help them.” To design great solutions you need to “bridge the gap” and pay attention to users patterns and small details.

Affinity Mapping — Organizing the Research Data

To summaries and make sense of all the data from research, user flow diagram and heuristic analysis I decided to create an affinity map:

Problem Areas

From the research and interview the problem ares were identified , these are the following estimated solution for the same:

problem areas identified and their solutions

Maslow’s hierarchy

A Theory of Human Motivation,To achieve happiness, we must first satisfy our physiological needs; an inability to do so prevents us from dedicating the time and energy required to satisfy our more complex needs.

As designers, I wanted to consider the types of needs I will be targeting with the products so as to grab the customer’s/user’s attention and accentuate the positive aspects of both owning and using them.

Improvised according to my brief and needs, Author/Copyright holder: Jon and Barb . Copyright terms and licence:CC BY 2.0

It is very useful guide to developing products which deliver high-levels of value to the user. Keeping the design hierarchy of needs in mind during the design projects will result in better user experiences.

Mental Model

When a mismatch between people’s mental model and system happens it makes them feel bad. Internal representation of external reality , based on learning and experience.

A mental model represents a person’s thought process for how something works (i.e., a person’s understanding of the surrounding world). Mental models are based on incomplete facts, past experiences, and even intuitive perceptions. They help shape actions and behavior, influence what people pay attention to in complicated situations, and define how people approach and solve problems.

Thus, for designing the solution following aspect had been kept in mind:

  1. understanding what the users’ mental models are (with task analysis, observations, interviews, etc), or
  2. designing a conceptual model to fit the users’ mental model (fixture design, iterations, validation testing, etc).

Thus focussing on Maslow and Mental model concept

Thus, the project got Re-briefed .

The final brief was to focus on the future , the future of banking which let’s you personalize your needs and information requirement.

A system of space, service, content, digital components, inclusive that created a fresh experience for customers — elevating expectations by providing high-touch service and providing personalized financial information .

you can read about it in the next article

thank you :)

Namrata Das

Written by

A badass human , who likes to keep things simple and rolling! Interested in collaborating with creative geniuses , here for “ Lifelong Learning !! “ ☺️