Sergii Khaiba_Design Thinking Exercise

May 20, 2018 · 4 min read

Whole Bank is a SMALL bank in a SMALL town(Framingham,MA) that ant to play BIG role in financial operations of this town. It has basic style website with regular set of options and features that all banks have, like: account access, balance check, wire transfer ,deposit check etc. Since town getting bigger, young families moving into it and technologies going up, Department of Innovations of the bank launching a new app for customers that will help to access their accounts on a go with any mobile device. The app how the same kist of functions as a web version + finger print id.


  • Some shops doesn’t have card terminals
  • people got used to pay with cash or card, so i need to engage my users to use app in the right direction.
  • Some shops doesn’t have card terminals
  • Elderly persons don’t like clicking on mobile screen to much and try to avoid using that kind of gadgets.
  • Cards can be damaged or broken or lost during trip.
  • Some Shops doesn’t have NFC technologies.


  • is to find good alternative solution for bank customers that could help them to pay for things using the mobile app.


  • create a new way how to manage virtual money for them without use of physical cards.
  • implement this new feature in existing mobile app.
  • build user friendly design for Whole bank customers.

Step 1: Identify your Audience.

Getting a good user research data relies on interviewing the right people. So I start on googling what and where Framingham,MA is. What kind of people live there and so on. I find out that it’s really small town (68 000 ppl), one part of them are people 25–44 y.o. and another one are ppl 65 +. They have very strong ties with UK and Brazil culture, because of very huge immigration waves in 1900’s. Brazilian immigrants have a major presence in Framingham. Since the 1980s, a large segment of the Brazilian population has come from the single city of Governor Valadares. So we can consider Brazil and UK as potential countries for our app user’s to travel.

Step 2: Building personas. Narrowing the scope.

I decided to sketch out some of the key characteristics of our target audience, ‘coz as you remember from previous lesson Design is not for me, Design is not for portfolio, Design is for people”. So made up 5 different personas. Take a look who they are and what they do:

  • Paul (71 y.o man) retired Navy captain. Likes hockey, traveling and wife’s apple pie.Source of income:Gov. pension plan.
  • Antony (25 y.o guy) cable guy. Likes box and parties.Source of income: FT salary
  • Dimitry ( 19 y.o guy) student at Boston state college. Likes extreme sports and girls. Source of income:PT salary+pocket money from parents
  • Barbara (41 y.o woman) housewife. Likes wine, cooking and TV shows.Source of income: family budget (husband problem)
  • Mary (30 y.o woman) teacher at local school. Likes kids and biking.Source of income:FT salary

Step 3: Prepare questions.

I used 5 W’s and H technique and interviews went well for me. Ppl were exited about our talk and actually wanted to help. They were trying to think how to improve the app with me.Giving some thoughts and ideas about this or that. So I had a very good time with them. It was no difficulties during all interview process. Only thing that was hard for me, is to explain to older people all advantages of new paying method.

Step 4: Accumulating all info into the one main idea of the project.

I made some conclusions, brainstorming and picked top solution.

Step 5: Prototyping.

Based on my top solution i did some work and came up with this :

Step 6: Testing of prototype.

I tested prototype with all 5 personas. Testing results was great, all personas went through payment process and finished it within 2–3 min. So my next step will be presentation of my project to Carol Holmes and discussing it with developers and shareholders of Whole bank.

Basically, new feature in the app could do next:

  • payments without use of physical card, based on NFC technology
  • automatic currency converter will show you amount in USD and local currency
  • option to get cash from any ATM only with a help of your bank app.

I learned a lot from this exercise. I learned how to listen and hear people. I mastered my interviewing skills. Played deeply with prototyping.I figured out how to find and expose all pain-points that potential users have with product or service and how to fix them. I understood that listening is a key. If you have a problem with a product just let your user talk about it and you just sit and listen to him. During your talk you will notice how solution is popping up by itself, you just need to shape it and move it to the right direction.


Written by


Design therapist. Ukraine raised & Miami based. Creating experiences🖱🖱

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