Streamlined, user-centred prototypes help Hodge Bank successfully bring their savings account application process online.

When it comes to digital transformation, it’s not just what technology to use that you need to consider, but how you’ll use that technology to better serve your users, too. Hodge Bank understands this – which is why they asked Box UK to apply its User Experience and Design (UX&D) expertise to support their on-going transformation programme.

Examples of development of designs from sketches to wireframes

Working on-site as part of the team responsible for the savings account application process – a key revenue generator for the financial institution – we delivered interactive prototypes detailing how to bring this crucial service online, alongside a raft of additional recommendations to further improve the digital customer experience.

Hodge Bank now has a fully-online application process that’s streamlined, convenient and highly usable – helping drive revenue growth and process efficiencies, and providing the ideal platform for future work.

Targeting activity for best results

With Hodge Bank’s digital transformation strategy still developing, there was a wealth of opportunity for making UX improvements throughout their business. It was important therefore that this initial project was carefully scoped to ensure our consultants concentrated their efforts on the highest-impact activities possible. We would then not only be able to demonstrate success more quickly, but also help enhance the customer experience and enable Hodge Bank to maintain momentum for the wider initiatives.

We therefore began our engagement with a two-day exploration session that saw us speak to a range of stakeholders from across the organisation, out of which came the decision to focus this particular piece of work on the process of applying for a personal deposits account. This process had previously been managed exclusively offline – offered only via phone or post – and there was consequently huge potential to deliver efficiencies and provide a new channel for customers to deal with Hodge Bank by making the service available online.

Streamlined and usable prototypes

Armed with this brief then, our UX consultants began creating prototypes for an online version of the account application form – working on-site so as to be fully embedded into the team Hodge Bank had set up specifically to manage these products. This not only facilitated more effective communication and quicker feedback loops between Box UK and the client, but also provided us with greater insight into Hodge Bank’s specific organisational structure, context, and requirements.

This incredibly valuable information complemented both our existing domain knowledge regarding the finance industry and our understanding of UX good practice, and so helped us ensure the prototypes we delivered were optimised for maximum usability and performance. This included:

  • Streamlining the customer journey by removing or consolidating unnecessary steps
  • Using progressive disclosure so that form fields only display when (and if) they’re required
  • Providing valuable supporting information and guidance at each stage…

… plus, of course, ensuring that the whole process worked just as well on mobile devices as it did on a desktop.

Adding value where it matters

Discussions with Hodge Bank continued throughout this activity, as our consultants and the client team explored additional initiatives that would enhance the financial institution’s digital platform still further – including implementing a portal for customers to save applications and check on the status of applications already submitted, and plans to redesign supporting product pages in line with the new UX approach. To ensure these bespoke development projects could be effectively supported, and balanced with on-going improvement activity, we adopted a highly flexible approach where a set ‘pot’ of UX time was made available to Hodge Bank, who could then allocate this out to specific tasks as business requirements and priorities dictated (guided by our consultants where required).

This agile way of working was further supported by the lab-based usability testing activity that was employed to validate and refine our prototypes. Providing qualitative, representative feedback, this testing ensured that the final designs served real-world needs and use cases (and subsequently Hodge Bank’s strategic aims), and helped secure the buy-in and engagement of senior Hodge Bank stakeholders, who observed the sessions on-site.

These final designs were then implemented with support from our UX consultants, who worked closely with both the development team and the third-party agency acting as ‘brand guardian’ for the bank to confirm that all elements of the design remained consistent with the bank’s core values and messaging, while continuing to adhere to UX and technical good practices.

A giant leap forward

The new savings application process has brought Hodge Bank’s digital offering firmly up-to-date, giving prospective and current clients the ability to interact with the financial institution where, when and how they want.

So, if you want a partner you can trust to deliver top results, get in touch with a member of our team today.

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