Digital “Tool Belt” (iPad App) for front-line Banking Customer Services Reps



Executive Summary

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

Actionable Insights from research