Canara bank . Online banking platform . redesign

Professional Work, 2018 | Focus - User Research . User Interface


The Challenge

The current online banking system is too complicated

for their current customer base [the older generation ] and too outdated for the target group they wanted to attract [the younger generation ] 

Who is the current demographic and what do they think of the banking system?

What does the current online banking system look like? What works and what doesn't? 

Questions to be asked

Who are the people currently involved in maintaining and running the online banking platform?

What online banking services other than Canara Bank are currently popular and why? 

Research phase 1

This was the phase where we got to understand the current state of affairs by using various design tools.
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Heuristic Evaluation of the current website to understand what the current issue was, what can be improved and how.
Personal Interview with the customer-facing teams and back end teams and users to understand not only the customers but also the people in charge of providing the services.
 Market Comparison to understand what others were offering.

Heuristic Evaluation


Summarized Findings: 

Overload of information.

The current online banking platform was very outdated and hard to use. Various heuristics were violated and errors like random logouts and glitches made the product seem unreliable and not trustworthy, which are all important factors for a platform dealing with finance.  

Interviews and fly on the wall

Abishek, 29

"I'm not sure where to go from the first page. By the time I figure out where to click next, I could have just gone to the bank and come back." 

Insight : Unclear user architecture and an overwhelming amount of information.

" We are talking about money here, I'm not entirely sure if it went through to the right person or if I've made a mistake"

Insight : No clear confirmation of action and broken feedback loops

Janani, 58

James, 65

" It takes me a lot for me to get a task done, I don't know if it is my internet connection or if I'm doing something wrong but I always feel like I've done something wrong or like I'm stuck."

Insight : Tasks take too much time to complete. Too many windows and too much time loading pages.

Summarized Findings: 

Users did not want to feel overwhelmed, Unsafe or slow. 

Speaking with users from various age groups and socio-economic backgrounds made us realize the various needs they had and the shortcomings of the current system. The older generation often voiced concern about the unreliability of the platform while the younger generation pointed out the time required to complete simple tasks.


Market comparison


Summarized Findings: 

The top market contenders all placed a high priority on safety, time, clear brand language and ease of use.  

We compared 3 top banks - ICICI, SBI, and CITI bank.  They all had multiple platforms with well-defined uses and a clear brand system that was shared between them all. The information was not cluttered and well distributed according to need and use.

Research phase 2

We invited the user base, people in the industry, bank tellers and engineers in charge of maintaining the current platform to sit with is for a co-creation based design thinking session. Using everyone's input we made the following -

• Personas

• As-is Journey Maps

• Empathy Maps

• Big Ideas

• Hill Statements 

• Ideation Sketches

personas and as-is journey maps

The information from the personal interviews and the design workshop session was used to create two main personas and their current journeys. The main target groups were the elderly population who have been using Canara bank for years and often have pension accounts with the bank and a younger demographic who had an account because their parents introduced it to them, but were not active users due to how inconvenient the system was. 
Personal account and fund transfer were the main areas where we narrowed our concentration to. 
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Empathy maps | big ideas | hill statements

We formed groups and each group ideated on one of the personas and their journeys. The combined outlook of users, bank personnel and engineers gave us rich insight into real requirements and roadblocks. 

Key Insights and Identified problem areas

The landing page has an overwhelming amount of information and the users couldn't find what they needed.

The personal banking page needed to have less information and more easy links to what the user uses frequently. 

The payment and transfer process needed to be made simple, more accessible and faster. 

Low and mid-fidelity explorations and testing

Rough sketches, paper prototypes, and quick iterations were made and tested on the spot with the focus groups. Various suggestions were added in and techniques like card sorting were used to determine the hierarchy of things. 

The final artifacts

After working back and forth with the team, I created a new interface that addresses some of the major themes that we had discussed during the design workshop.

The “Don't Make Me…” factor –  Anxious | Confused | Slow

The “It Should Be…” factor – Delightful | Simple | Easy

The “We Are…” factor – Compassionate | Caring | Meaningful

Easy login

Tackled problem - The previous version had a login button that was hidden and the users had to search for it.

Clear content 

Tackled problem - The users were often overwhelmed by the amount of content flashing on their screen.
Tackled problem - Information was often arranged on the screen with no allignment or uniformity in branding elements thus making the experience of online banking more unpleasant for the user.

finding answers or help

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New and improved landing page

Hierarchy, flow, and consistency

Tackled problem - Modal windows and constantly swiping carousals caused distraction and confusion to the users. Finding the content they needed or asking for help was never an easy task.
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Personal Dashboard and payments

Customizable content

Tackled problem - Features that were never used by users would often populate their personal dashboard, leaving the user annoyed and confused.
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Quick and fast money transfer

Tackled problem - As a platform often used by an aging population to send and receive money, the process was long and had multiple steps that often deterred users from online banking.
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Confirmation and feedback loops

Tackled problem - Users would often get agitated or scared when they do not know if their payments went through. The lack of immediate feedback was a big reason for users to prefer face-to-face direct banking practices over online banking.

Mobile payment transfer

Quick Transfer Page

Intent - A clear transfer page with payees listed according to various categories. 
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Picking Payee

Intent - Pick the desired payee and cross-check account and brand information to quickly confirm if it is the right person. 
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Account Confirmation

Intent - A quick confirmation to pick the account the money is being transferred from. If the user only has one account with the bank then there is no choice to make at this stage. 
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Final Confirmation

Intent - Final confirmation with all the required information, from the account that the money is being transferred from to the person it's being transferred too and the amount along with remarks.
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Personal pin

Intent - Before the money is transferred, the pin number is confirmed once again for security purposes. 
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Intent - A quick note to let the user know that their action was successful. 
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Success Metrics

 60 sec 
- Time taken to complete a payment process.
- Increase in people under 40 joining Canara Bank.
- Increase of transactions online vs manually. 

Learnings and takeaways

• Having the right group of people for design research is very critical as it determines the outcome of the project.
• In industries where there are multiple parties at play and laws, rules and systems that are beyond your comprehension as a designer, ALWAYS find industry experts and talk to them and co-create with them.
Information architecture is key to making sure that the right information is reaching the right people a the right time.
Constant communication with engineering teams is necessary to understand and build products that are not only aesthetic but also functional.

The end.