When a customer takes money out of an ATM, pays a bill with an app, or sells stocks online, it’s a key moment in their relationship with a bank. That’s why designers (design researchers, service designers, design strategists, UX designers, etc.) are playing a vital role in the digital transformation underway in the banking industry.
We are at a crucial moment in everything related to the design of banking channels. Now more than ever, the way customers feel when managing their finances is a decisive factor in whether they stay with a bank. Hassle-free transactions are vital, and the experience must be as pleasant as possible for users. Banks have had to “get with the program” in the last few years to meet these expectations. As a result, there’s been a push to hire fresh talent to help banks define the ways users interact with websites, apps, ATMs, and whatever comes in the future.
Designers in banking too
Although a bank might not be a designer’s first choice of workplace, if you look a little closer you can see that they are ideal for helping these professionals develop their careers. The days of customers interacting with banks only in person are long gone; now, people do a lot of their banking online. The not-so-new channels have forced the sector to redesign its products and services to place customers at the center of the decision-making process.
At BBVA, we have a special team that crafts customer experience by age group: BBVA Global Customer Experience. They work to ensure that BBVA stays at the top in terms of customer satisfaction across its footprint.
Hassle-free transactions are vital, and the experience must be as pleasant as possible for users
Toward this end, BBVA opened a Creation Center in Dallas, Texas, where almost 60 experts in software engineering, data analysis, and user experience (UX) work, which shows just how important the digital world is to BBVA. Customer experience and product usability are the beginning and end of its business model. This is how Global Head of Customer Solutions Derek White explained it: “The employees of the BBVA Creation Center are going to be asking how to make our customers’ interactions with us easier, how to dismantle any technological roadblocks so clients have a smoother ride to their goals. And then they’re going to execute that vision and create amazing.”
Could you be a designer?
Designers are made, not born. That means that by dint of hard work and enthusiasm, almost anyone could do this job well. Given that it’s a question of putting yourself in the user’s shoes, empathy will always be highly valued in any hiring process. This trait takes on even greater importance if you bear in mind that one of the main design tools focused on people is user research, whether it be interviews by telephone or in person. Outstanding verbal communication skills are also essential.
Designers must also know how to translate their knowledge into original and attractive products for every channel and device, including email, websites, smartphones, and tablets.
In the case of UX designers, they have to know how to create new concepts, usually through brainstorming techniques that redefine the limits of the bank’s products. Likewise, candidates should be well versed in wireframes and prototype design. They should also be able to provide sound feedback on existing ideas.
Design is a crucial component when it comes to making experiences tangible and visual according to the users’ needs. That’s why this job requires an expert sense of visual design, with the main goal always to ensure ease of use, simplicity, and consistency.
UX designers always work closely with engineering and product and business development units. This triangle is the model that the BBVA Group uses to create what we call “amazing experiences” for our customers. This means good UX designers must navigate between design strategy and execution, with a 360º view of the entire experience.
The not-so-new channels have forced the sector to redesign its products and services to place customers at the center of the decision-making process
Last but not least, a designer has broad knowledge of the latest technological developments across multiple platforms. That’s why designers are always up on what is happening in other companies in their sector or related industries.