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BBVADesign 25 Jun 2020

Design principles: a compass to guide the creation of each BBVA product

BBVA presented its design principles – a set of ideas that make it possible to unify criteria for the design of any of the bank’s products or services in line with the Group’s strategic priorities. These principles serve as a compass to guide and inspire the design team’s work and represent another step toward BBVA’s commitment to consolidate design as a fundamental pillar in the bank’s strategy.

Design has become a strategic function at BBVA. By incorporating these principles, the bank aims to consolidate a unified set of criteria that serves as a compass to guide the work of design teams on daily basis. Thanks to these principles, which are based on five ideas, the decision-making process is easier and faster during all stages of the design process so that each of the bank’s products and services are in harmony with the Group’s strategic priorities.

In line with its purpose “to bring the age of opportunity to everyone”, BBVA has established a design vision that seeks to help people make the best decisions with their money, turning it into a source of opportunity to satisfy their needs, ambitions and desires. “We believe that design is a key tool to put people at the heart of all the products and services we offer. Our design principles help us to ask ourselves every day if we are doing this well,” explains Margarita Barrera, the Global Head of Design at BBVA.

To achieve this, BBVA’s design team considers it fundamental to define a set of principles that serve to inspire their daily work and allow them to pay attention to what they consider truly important in each stage of the design process. Furthermore, these new principles allow them to organize themselves and work in an aligned and uniform manner, given that the team has grown significantly. In recent years, it has gone from a small group of designers to more than 400 professionals in seven countries.

The principles

  1. We pay attention to what is important: We take care to understand people and detect their needs. The content we offer is always useful and valuable to them.
  2. We are honest: We have no reason not to. We see transparency as the right to be able to decide with freedom. Therefore, we inform about the advantages and consequences of everything we do.
  3. We treat people like humans: Which is how we see our users, our clients and the companies we work with. We create services centered around people, our aim is to have an adequate and natural exchange with them.
  4. We let them make their own decisions: We make the most of the power of technology and data to make financial matters an everyday thing. We guide people so they can take control of all their economic decisions.
  5. We start locally, to build globally: We design for a local context, but from a global reality. We take the opportunity to scale the best design practices in all the countries where we are present.

These principles are short, direct phrases that have been jointly created by the team, taking into account the interests of all those involved. They should be present and serve as a compass in all stages of the design process, which takes place in distinct moments of customer experience for each product or service: discovery, purchases, first use, service and cancelation.

This way, if a designer is in the first use stage, for example, the principle “we treat people like people” would lead him or her to ask questions about how to create processes that build trust from the first use; or the “we look out for what is relevant” would lead him or her to question how to accompany the use throughout the entire process.

“Our design principles help us to ask ourselves every day if we are doing this well”

To come up with the principles, the design team referred to the Group’s four branding pillars:

  • Create products that are well designed, using data intelligently, offering personalized and intuitive experiences that help people manage relevant aspects of their lives, not just their finances.
  • Engage with people in a way that allows them to understand the bank’s proposals, and to remember and explain them easily.
  • Connect with customers, making their interaction with the bank and its products simple at any time and place.
  • Impact their lives by accompanying them and offering tools that empower them to take control over their finances.

The creation of these principles joins the Group’s other efforts to foment the global and uniform development of digital products and services, such as the launch of BBVA Experience, a pioneering tool in the banking sector that makes it possible to reuse components to design the same digital banking experiences in all countries where the bank operates.

The determination to use design as a strategic function within the bank and the work these professionals do has received recognition, such as the award from the international consulting firm Forrester Research, which named BBVA’s mobile banking app the best in Europe and the best in world for the third year in a row.

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