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San Francisco, CA 94107
United States

Design the simple


The Setting

In a Very Large Bank, I worked in the Small Business Design Team leading a group of designers creating and improving lending service and product experiences for bankers and customers. For several months we concentrated on a consumer facing loan application experience with mostly automated processing. Mid-year our unit pivoted to take on much larger loans requiring magnitudes more documentation, risk policy, and manual processing involving dozens of bank employees. Learn more about my skills in design facilitation, management, and hands on design.

The Challenge

Radically improve the entire service experience of a loan application currently taking months to fulfill.

The Process

This process was received with skepticism at first. To generate interest, we set up in a long hallway in which our new partners had to pass by during a leadership meeting. Creating the blueprint in "their space" invited them in, first to comment, next rolling up their sleeves to  actively participate, and finally to get excited and evangelize the groundbreaking work across the entire company. See some artifacts from this work.

Joining as new partners in late 2016, we spent the early part of 2017 building trust and creating small, shippable wins. A comprehensive service design blueprint of the current smaller product helped bring everyone together to unpack our shared responsibility in a great customer experience, which we used to generate an elegant digital loan application—a new product entirely for this bank.

We mirrored and expanded our current state service blueprint to envision an aggressively improved future state experience solving for our new large loan challenge. In doing so, we identified that the strongest short term customer win was our Business Bankers—who sold high value products, were paid the most, and whose time and happiness were critical to the success of the bank.

This design sprint was one of my most tangible successes in 2017.

Using this future state as our goal, we gathered partners in all disciplines, brought in research insights to stand in for user input, as well as a panel of Business Bankers. Over three days our team and partners immersed ourselves in context, we led workshops to empower our partners with sketch tools to generate options, and then generated multiple prototypes for our panel and other users to help us move forward. Over the course of the next 2 weeks we honed in on a long term solution, and extracted a no-regrets short term win our engineering team was excited and confident in building over the next four weeks. Learn more about this design sprint and my design facilitation skills.

After socializing the roadmap, we rooted out the questions and concerns, then helped partners across the organization generate and implement experiments to help us close the gaps.

As we continued to socialize our plan we discovered other teams across the org working on related ideas, so we mapped areas for our teams to co-create, saving the company time and money.

The Result