User experience or what lessons can bankers learn from... customers

The initial working title of this piece was “What a student can learn from a banker” but if you think about it, more often than not it is modern banking learning from students, housewives or pensioners.

The latest transactional banking platforms that we can access from our smartphones or desktops are products of insights and comments from hundreds of target users. This approach makes Poland’s banking a leader in global innovation.
A large room is almost empty... a few chairs and a desk with a bottle of water, tumblers and a laptop and a mouse on it. Silence. A smart-looking 50-year-old female in front of the computer taps the keyboard looking intently into the display screen. The facilitator watches the progress carefully, making notes. “That’s weird... why does it display here... and what am I supposed to click now? Who conceives such things?” she comments agitated while navigating the website.  
Latest Citibank Online version design was created based on focus groups with customers.

Latest Citibank Online version design was created based on focus groups with customers.

The facilitator smiles with understanding but a drama ensues in the adjacent room, behind the one-way mirror. Designers, developers and division leads all tear their last hair out and take criticism from yet another tester hard. Their work fails right from the start with the key decision-maker, the Customer. It seems like a long road to improvement ahead. Luckily, the project uses the so-called Agile methodology which comes from the Silicon Valley and is designed to enable flexibility in making improvements at every stage of work on a system.  Under this approach, the customer engages with a prototype rather than a final version. And this is one key to the growing popularity of the Agile methodology: making any changes at the stage of a final solution would cost a hundred times more than early testing. To find out more about Agile methodologies origins go to: 

Manifesto for Agile Software Development

We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. These are our values and principles.

Citi Handlowy was among the first banks in Poland to apply that method of work to banking to design its Citibank Online platform.  By building off on Design Thinking combined with the Agile methodology, bankers managed to leverage a range of tools and rules of conduct to help them gradually improve the design at almost each stage of the process. The author of the Design Thinking approach is David Kelly and for more go to:

David Kelley on Why Design Thinking is Relevant - IDEO U

“Design thinking is not a linear path. It’s a big mass of looping back to different places in the process.” –David Kelley, Founder of IDEO As founder of IDEO, f

Nobody knows everything from the onset and bankers look at the world of finance through different lens than the most of us. The art of designing outstanding digital services is about aligning great ideas with expectations and skills of the target users so ability to deliver on customer needs is vital.  The high-end level of banking services in 2018 is largely a consequence of readiness to embrace innovation and empathy for people using banking services and their habits.
We are at the point where valuable lessons about innovation in Poland can be learnt from... bankers as the banking sector can boast best practices in user-oriented digital service design. More on design thinking, agile methodologies and other leading trends I will be speaking to SGH students, where from October 1st starts new post-graduate course dedicated to business services centers.

Nowoczesne usługi biznesowe | Szkoła Główna Handlowa w Warszawie

http://oferta.sgh.waw.pl/pl/studiapodyplomowe/nowoczesne-uslugi-biznesowe/Strony/default.aspx

Citi Handowy Magazine is a blog for retail clients, pressroom for media and an online magazine with banking experts. Important information about the character of materials published on Citi Handlowy Magazine you can find here