Virgin Money – an established bricks and mortar bank – wanted to bring to market a digital-only challenger bank. Building the product and back-end infrastructure from the ground up, Virgin Money worked with 10x to both help design the mobile apps and build the infrastructure.
Working in the mobile team, our challenge was to understand how user’s thought about their money, and subsequently what a ‘new’ bank could look like if designed from scratch.
Our approach was to tackle the project in two streams. The first stream defined the overall look-and-feel of the app, and formed the gatekeepers as designs moved from inception through to development. The second stream would work through individual user stories and task flows of the banking app – starting with low-fidelity wireframes and iterating towards production-ready designs.
We began by taking a step back from the individual features to understand how users thought about their finances, and what outcomes they were trying to achieve. We utilised VM’s testing team to speak to banking customers and understand what they wanted to achieve. This allowed us to redefine features to be more user-centric, and come up with entirely new ones (such as money pools).
As elements of the product took shape during the inception phase, they were absorbed by a ‘feature team’. These comprised of Product Owners, UX/UI Designers, Business Analysts and Solution Architects, all of whom worked in sprints to develop the requirements, user stories and prototypes necessary to review and test our assumptions. Throughout this process we worked in constant collaboration with both Virgin Money and the back-end infrastructure team to ensure our designs were feasible.
As the designs approached completion – i.e. once the feature teams considered the user needs met, and the infrastructure teams were ready for the user stories to be built – the emphasis shifted to the core design team. Within this delivery phase, each feature team worked with the core design team to review the designs, make sure the designs matched the UI pattern library, and prepare the assets for the development team.
Towards the end of this project, Virgin Money were bought by CYMB - who already had a challenger bank to market. Unfortunately, as such the project itself was cancelled - however much of the design work was retained and incorporated into future app releases.
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