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Mobile Redesign Case Studyβ€” Spring 2024

My role

Product Designerβ€” Research Design, Interviews, Feature Scoping, Visual Design

Team

  • Mehedi Hasan Fahim, Product Designer

Timeline

6 months

overview

EBL SkyBanking is a digital banking services provided by Eastern Bank Limited (EBL), a commercial bank based in Bangladesh.

Through this project, I had to immerse myself in the nuances of the Bangladeshi banking sector, its regulatory environment, user behavior, and cultural context.

This case study is a comprehensive approach towards a mobile redesign to meet the needs of both local and potential global users.

Context

Maximizing Impact.

Limited Scope

EBL Banking is a commercial bank service based in Bangladesh. Currently their services are primarily designed for customers within Bangladesh and may not be available to individuals outside the country.
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❔

HOW MIGHT WE?

How might we optimize the app's functionality to support global accessibility and seamless interactions for users managing finances across borders?

SECONDARY RESEARCH

Account Error.

Competitor Analysis

To understand the the feature set, user interface design, and best practices prevalent in the Bangladeshi market, three competitor applications were examined.

🀏

Worth every cent.

While Citybank is known for user-friendliness, EBL can differentiate itself by integrating innovative features like financial literacy resources or budgeting app connections.

🧠

Invest in the long run.

With a focus on financial education through in-app resources and explainer videos, EBL can cater to a wider audience seeking financial literacy tools, potentially lacking in DBBL's app.

Heuristic Evaluation

Heuristic evaluation played a vital role in the EBL Skybanking mobile redesign project by systematically identifying and addressing usability issues.

Visibility of System Status

Does the app keep users informed about what's happening, through appropriate feedback within a reasonable time?
Unclear loading time indicators or error messages was observed which may leave users confused.

Recommendation

Implement progress bars or informative messages during loading times. Provide clear and actionable error messages

Match Between System & the Real World

Does the app allow users to easily undo and redo actions, without accidentally getting trapped within a process? Can they easily exit unwanted actions or screens?
The app lacks confirmation steps before irreversible actions and the Back button is unclear or difficult to find.

Recommendation

Implement confirmation prompts before critical actions. Ensure clear and consistent back button placement throughout the app.

Error Prevention

Does the app speak the user's language, with terms, concepts, and metaphors familiar to the real world (e.g., financial terminology)?
The app uses technical jargon which could be unfamiliar to some users, particularly novice.

Recommendation

Use clear and concise language throughout the app. Consider offering tooltips or explanations for less common financial terms.

Consistency & Standards

Does the app follow platform conventions and user expectations?
The application consists of inconsistencies in terminology or iconography across different sections of the app.

Recommendation

Adhere to design patterns and iconography familiar to Bangladeshi mobile app users. Maintain consistency in terminology and layout throughout the app.

Flexibility & Efficiency

Does the app cater to different user needs and skill levels? Can users frequently used features be accessed quickly?
To some users, the application might lack shortcuts or customization options for frequent tasks.

Recommendation

Consider offering a customizable dashboard with frequently used features. Explore options for quick access menus or shortcuts for common tasks.

Aesthetic & Minimalist Design

Does the app prioritize usability over excessive visual elements?
Interfaces are cluttered with overwhelming amounts of information and visuals which could distract users from their goals.

Recommendation

Focus on clear hierarchy and visual elements that enhance usability, not just aesthetics.

User Dialogue

Does the app cater to different user needs and skill levels? Can users frequently used features be accessed quickly?
The application lacks informative messages and guidance within the interface.

Recommendation

Include clear instructions and helpful tooltips within the app. Consider using confirmations or informative messages to guide users through tasks.

Help & Documentation

Does the app offer easy access to help documentation or support options?
The app lacks a clear and easy-to-find help section.

Recommendation

Provide a readily accessible help section with FAQs, tutorials, or contact information for customer support.

Google Reviews

Google reviews were important to examine as they revealed recurring user complaints and suggestions for improvement, providing valuable insights into usability issues, security concerns, feature requests, and performance issues with the EBL Skybanking app.
review

PRELIMINARY RESEARCH

It shouldn’t be this difficult.

User Interview

4 one-hour-long interviews were conducted with existing users to delve into their experience with the app, revealing common pain points, user expectations, and specific needs that are unique to the Bangladeshi context.

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404: Funds not found

Users consistently reported difficulties in navigating the app. This feedback is crucial as it points to the need for a more intuitive and user-friendly interface. Additionally, the use of unclear terminology and unhelpful error messages was a significant pain point.

😨

Interest Interrupted

Users expressed concerns about the limitations of certain features and the lack of transparency in the app's functionality. Addressing these concerns is vital to build trust and ensure that users feel secure when using the app. Enhancing transparency in operations and providing detailed information about security measures can reassure users about the safety of their transactions.

πŸ™…β€β™‚οΈοΈ

Finance Fumble

The interviews revealed that users face significant limitations when conducting transactions abroad or interacting with international contacts. This is an important insight, as it suggests a need to enhance the app’s functionality to support global accessibility.

πŸ“ˆ

Deposit Dilemma

Users expressed a strong desire for features that promote financial literacy and efficiency. This indicates an opportunity to integrate educational content and personalized financial management tools into the app.

Hit the Books

Structured interviews with Cornell minority STEM students provided firsthand accounts and humanized our understanding, revealing the need for a versatile platform that nurtures both academic and social connections.Β 
Research

πŸ—ΊοΈ

Low Awareness

The fact that 83% of participants had never heard of the EBL Skybanking app highlights a significant challenge in brand awareness and market penetration. This indicates a need for better marketing strategies and possibly enhancing the app's visibility in the market.

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Frequent Technical Issues

With 70% of participants indicating frequent technical issues, it's clear that the current app suffers from stability and performance problems.

πŸ₯΄

High Difficulty in Usage

The finding that 54% of participants found their experience very difficult underscores major usability issues. This validates the need for a comprehensive redesign to simplify navigation and enhance the user interface.

🌟

KEY FINDING

The current application presents usability challenges, deterring users from utilizing the application and prompting them to seek alternative banking solutions, particularly when managing finances across borders. This leads to the loss of user adoption and loyalty

User Persona

User personas humanized research findings, guiding the design process towards a more tailored and user-friendly banking experience.

Meet

Johnny.

Businessman led by efficiency.

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Background

Johnny David is a 38-year-old marketing professional living in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is tech-savvy and relies heavily on mobile banking for his everyday financial needs. John juggles a busy work schedule and appreciates the convenience of managing his finances on the go.

Understanding Habits

  1. Starts his day by checking his EBL Skybanking app to review account balance.
  2. Uses the app during lunch break to transfer money to a friend for their weekend getaway.
  3. Pays utility bills and performs a mobile top-up through the app in the evening.

Painpoints

  1. Difficulty navigating the EBL Skybanking app to find specific features.
  2. Time-consuming process for frequent tasks like bill payments and transfers.
  3. Lack of personalization options within the app.
  4. Unclear error messages that hinder troubleshooting financial transactions.

Meet

Fatima.

An aspiring entrepreneur

Imageflowchart

Background

Fatimal is a 22-year-old entrepreneur running a small clothing boutique in Dhaka, Bangladesh. While comfortable with technology for basic tasks, she finds mobile banking apps can be overwhelming. Sarah prioritizes security and appreciates clear instructions when using financial apps.

Understanding Habits

  1. In the morning, Fatima checks her EBL Skybanking app to review her business account balance before opening the shop.
  2. Throughout the day, she uses the app to monitor incoming customer payments and make occasional bill payments for the store.

Painpoints

  1. Difficulty understanding financial jargon and terminology used within the app.
  2. Feels apprehensive about using new features due to a lack of clear instructions or in-app guidance.
  3. Worries about the security of the app and the potential for fraudulent transactions.

User Journy

A user persona was created following cognitive and pretest interviews to distill qualitative data into a tangible representation of the target audience.
Map

SOLUTION

Bounced Back.

🌟

HOW MIGHT WE?

The redesign of the EBL Skybanking app introduces personalized features, streamlined navigation, enhanced security measures, and clear instructions, distinguishing itself in the market by addressing the specific pain points of users while prioritizing user-centric design principles for a more intuitive and secure banking experience.

Concept Brainstorming

Concept brainstorming encouraged the generation of diverse ideas to address specific user needs and challenges identified during the interviews, such as improving app navigation, enhancing security and transparency, providing global accessibility, and offering personalized financial education content.
Flowchart

Card Sorting

Card sorting addressed prior issues mentioned in the project by exploring content groupings in a way that made sense to them, thus ensuring that the redesigned information architecture was aligned with users' mental models and navigation preferences.
CardSorting

Information Architecture

Information architecture was crucial in addressing the needs of users by organizing app features in an intuitive manner, reducing navigation challenges, and improving accessibility, thereby enhancing their overall banking experience.
Information

Lo-Fidelity Sketches

Low-fidelity sketches helped in visualizing and refining design concepts before moving on to more detailed design iterations.
Sketch

Hi-Fidelity Screens

The redesign aimed to refine the user interface design by addressing the identified usability challenges, security concerns, and lack of clarity in financial terminology, while also integrating features tailored to the needs of Bangladeshi users, such as improved transaction history, simplified fund transfer processes, and enhanced security measures like biometric login options.
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Component Library

By providing a standardized set of design elements and patterns, the Component Library ensured that users could easily navigate the app and understand its features, thereby improving usability and reducing frustration.
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TAKEAWAYS

Interest-ing times... okay, that’s it for bad puns.

Challenges

Delving into a completely foreign financial landscape demanded a steep learning curve, where I had to immerse myself in understanding the intricacies of a banking system unique to another country. Here are some challenges faced:

πŸ“

Across the globe.

One of the most prominent challenges was the significant time difference between regions, complicating communication and coordination efforts across different time zones. Juggling meetings and collaborative sessions while bridging these temporal gaps required careful planning and adaptability to accommodate diverse schedules.

☎️

Beep beep!

Recruiting participants for user research presented its own set of obstacles, as language barriers, cultural nuances, and technological accessibility varied significantly from what I was accustomed to in America. Overcoming these challenges involved creative approaches to engage with potential users effectively, ensuring that their voices were heard and their insights were integrated into the project.

Reflections

This project reinforced the importance of empathy, curiosity, and adaptability in design for global users. Here’s what I’ve taken away from this project:

πŸ’₯

New Territory

Navigating through unfamiliar banking territories reminded me of the perpetual learning journey inherent in design. Every new project offers an opportunity to expand our knowledge, challenge assumptions, and explore innovative approaches.

🎒

Loving Differences

I felt a strong sense of responsibility in designing for a global audience in mind, realizing that thoughtful consideration of accessibility and inclusivity is paramount. Adapting the app to embrace diverse languages, currencies, and cultural nuances not only broadens its reach but also deepens its impact and usability.