In 8 months, I was able to: align my Product, Design and Engineering team around new collaborative processes; integrate deep and rapid empathetic research into the product development process; and deliver an intuitive, future-ready iPad app platform that is still used by Capital One frontline associates today. (Note: I was a full-time employee at Capital One for the duration of this project)
Prompt & Context
As a lead designer at Capital One, Consumer Bank division, I was tasked with researching and envisioning the future of the customer-facing associate’s digital experience. Several months prior to my hire date, an internal technology review had determined that due to issues of highly variable wifi quality across the then-over 500 different banking locations, in addition to the preexisting footprint of associate iOS-based tools, it made sense to pursue a native iOS app strategy rather than a purely web-based one. Up to that point in time, Capital One’s “ONE Design System” (ODS) primarily addressed web use cases.
This situation presented several interesting challenges:
We were not designing a stand-alone app, but rather an app that was also a platform for all or most future tools for all customer-facing associates; this required that the app that could “host” very different experiences, while remaining simple to navigate and use by any associate with minimal training.
We were designing for different types of associates, some of which would be more familiar with certain tools than others. In addition, the Capital One Café locations did not host all the same functions as a bank branch (this was the eventual vision, but had not yet been realized this early into the new Marketing Experiences rollout), so we needed to keep this in mind.
Information security was obviously a huge concern, especially given that some tools or activities would encourage or even require the associate to physically turn the iPad over to the customer they were servicing, for them to interact with it semi-independently -- naturally, this meant that we had to design “speed bumps” into the process so that a non-associate would never be able to intentionally or unintentionally access another customer’s information.
Deep User Research: Ride-Alongs, Observations & Interviews
We conducted extensive in-branch and -Café interviews and observations, in cooperation with location managers.
Calling out observational and perceptual differences between the "Branch" and "Cafe" spaces
Actionable Insights from research
Main Menu information architecture and segmentation that made intuitive sense based on description of existing and future tools (activities used includes interviews, card sorts & timed interactive prototype navigation)
Open Card sort results
Pass/Fail Category Association Tests
Establishing a fundamental state switch between “Not in session” and “Active Customer Session”
Understanding the need for some sort of indicator that is readily seen to identify whether an iPad has accidentally been left “In Session” given that many locations have lower than a 1:1 tablet-to-associate ratio, so tablets sometimes need to be shared. For accurate reporting on session lengths, closing a session is very important.
Understanding what the most important pieces of information on a customer are for an associate to know BEFORE the session begins, or AS they are walking over to begin a session, and may only have a few seconds to glance at checked-in customer’s profile.
Language and card-sorting research for LOBBY MODE state of the iPad, where it would act as a completely unguided, customer-facing check-in UI that allows for an efficient, informative but easy check-in experience