May 8, 2020

Making Digital More Human

The digital usage numbers are big right now, with analysts saying much of that uptick will stick. But I’d like to look at this through a different lens for a moment… taking a more human perspective, both on future expectations and behavior.

Just because customers are using digital channels more, doesn’t mean that they will automatically be satisfied with their experiences. In fact, they will come to expect more from digital experiences. The pandemic has been a digital forcing function for consumers and businesses, with many people becoming familiarized with experiences they haven’t used much in the past. Once they get acclimated, that’s when the expectations rise. Especially when they continue to use other digital experiences as the benchmark — not just financial institutions.

As people’s lifestyle and behaviors are changing across work, home, and social interaction, so are their behaviors related to the products and services they use, enjoy, and find valuable. While some people’s lives have been adjusted or evolved, some have had their worlds turned upside-down. And with wellness taking center stage when people take stock of what’s important, a part of that is financial wellness.

How does this change our mindset in how we approach our work? How does this shift what is important in the experiences we deliver to our customers?

As customers’ priorities and lifestyles are re-evaluated, how does that influence their behavior going forward and what do they expect from us? What should they expect from us? How will we evolve with the changing landscape to best meet their needs in this new world? How do we make digital more… human?

From virtual parties to ordering food, how Americans are using the internet
JD Power Covid-19 Pulse Surveys
5 Human Truths That Experiences Need to Address (pdf)
A gigantic experiment reshaping how we work and live
The Virus Changed the Way We Internet
Remaking banking customer experience in response to coronavirus
This is how COVID-19 could change the world of work for good
COVID-19 Is A Before-And-After Moment In The Digital Transformation

February 28, 2020

Design is a Business Tool

As we evolve to an environment where design is a verb, organizations move into a level of maturity that peels away from Design is form-giving and a service, to Design is strategy. It’s no longer simply designing the app or the website, making the thing — it’s crafting the end-to-end customer journey and experience.

To our clients, all of our touchpoints are one experience — one brand.

This is an important POV to remember as we partner across the enterprise to raise the bar, focusing on experiences that truly resonate with our clients, and foster a customer-centric culture at its core.

Design is a business tool that makes strategy visible.

January 31, 2020

The Tech Movement into Financial Services

Last August, I mentioned that people are concerned about fintechs/techfins getting into banking, but the real ones to watch are tech companies moving into financial services out of a necessity to remove friction in their process, improve their customer experience, and enable increased sales. As this signal gets louder, the interesting thing to note is how some are moving from the fringe and closer to core FS experiences.

  • Uber started by enabling more drivers to work on their platform by providing car loans and bank accounts, and is now looking to keep riders [and cash] in the ecosystem through Uber Money/credit card.
  • Amazon started providing small business loans to enable more sales on their platform, partnered on a credit card, and now also provides Amazon Cash for the unbanked and Amazon Pay to reduce online purchasing friction with more to come.
  • Apple started with Apple Pay and then moved to partnering on a credit card to keep money in the ecosystem, turn PFM into a lifestyle choice, and leverage the power of the default.
  • Microsoft is working on a retirement platform.
  • Google started with Android [Google] Pay and now announced a partnership to launch consumer checking accounts.

As we look to solve client needs across our companies, it’s critical to use a first principles approach vs. design by analogy. It’s not enough to digitize current processes — we need to innovate by deeply understanding our clients and solving problems that set the experience bar across industries. Experiences that meet clients where they are and integrate into their lifestyle, are relevant and timely, and align to their mental models of how things should work.

January 17, 2020

From Products to Experiences

The move from consumer products to consumer experiences is upon us. Customers see their interactions with brands as one continuous experience, and we need to design them accordingly. Understanding and designing for the end-to-end customer journey is now a requirement, not a nice-to-have. So what are the best ways to connect the dots? How do you orchestrate a seamless experience in siloed organizations? And what needs to change about the way we work to make that a reality?

Envisioning Products as Holistic Experiences
Give Your Customers an Experience, Not Just a Product
You Sell Experiences Whether You Realize It or Not
Customer Experience Is The New Brand
Building a design-driven culture

December 6, 2019

Anticipatory Design

Anticipatory design is all about creating delightful experiences by understanding user needs and reducing decision fatigue. Design that’s one step ahead of you, leveraging past choices to predict future decisions. But how much should the system lean in — how do you ensure it feels smart instead of creepy? How do you balance autonomy and clarity? What is the cost of being wrong?

The Next Big Thing In Design? Less Choice
Crafting Smarter Interfaces with Anticipatory Design
Anticipatory Design: How to Create Magical User Experiences
The Psychology of Anticipatory Design
Anticipatory Design: The Future of UX Design
UX Patterns of the Future: Anticipatory Design
How to Get Anticipatory Design Right
Anticipatory design — Create smart, delightful user experiences (video)
Anticipatory design in financial services

November 22, 2019

CXSF Keynote + Interview

This week, I’d like to share my recent CXSF keynote and interview (October 2019).

The Secret To Transformational CX Design: Your Org Chart  [podcast]
What does it take to design truly transformational, human-centric customer experiences? On this episode of What It Means, Bank of America’s Rachel Kobetz shares her insights, recorded live at CX SF.

Leading Innovation 
Innovation isn’t an idea problem. It’s everything else that gets in the way.

October 25, 2019

Setting the Bar Across Industries

Because of liquid expectations, customers compare the ease and use of an experience against the best in all industries. This means that being the best in financial services is no longer enough. Customers are comparing our experience to Google, Amazon, Uber, Nordstrom — that’s where the bar is. How does that change how we benchmark ourselves? How does it change the way we evaluate what great looks like?

Customer Expectations Hit All-Time Highs
What To Do When Consumers’ Expectations Outpace Their Experiences
Consumers Expect Everything On Demand, But Banks Are Slow To Respond
Getting Ready Now for the Future of Customer Experience
Living Business: Design-led Cultural and Organizational Transformation

October 11, 2019

Human-Centered Design Drives Transformation

Human-centered design and innovation drives transformation. It’s based on the observation that the usefulness and desirability of a product or service isn’t determined by its technological sophistication, but whether people experience it as a valuable addition to their lives. It doesn’t just embrace customer-centricity, but puts designing for people at the heart of the entire process. It goes beyond designing for form and function, and extends the potential by designing for experience (e.g. meaning). Design becomes a key competitive advantage.

One of the challenging aspects of becoming design-driven is that it requires seamlessly streamlining people, processes, technology, and funding. It requires fundamentally transforming the way an organization is structured and how it works, but also demands a cultural mindset shift. A transformation that yields measurable positive impact to both customers and the business.

Competing on customer experience: How the value proposition of design is changing
The forgotten step in leading large-scale change
The Digital Transformation is a Design Transformation
Building a design-driven culture
6 Ways to Build a Customer-Centric Culture
The Right Way to Lead Design Thinking
5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Design Team

September 27, 2019

Behavioral Science in Experience Design

Changing behavior doesn’t happen overnight. Behavioral science is having a popularity surge as more realize its importance in designing experiences. As part of that trend, behavioral economics is gaining headlines highlighting that human decisions are not always rational — especially when dealing with money. How can we create experiences that will encourage people to make better financial decisions? What role do we [or should we] play in that aspect of people’s lives?

Coming soon: Netflix-style nudges that reward retail bank customers
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
Designing for Behavior Change: Applying Psychology and Behavioral Economics
Leveraging The Power of Behavioral Science in Banking
Why Behavior Change Is the Key to True Financial Wellness
With Timeful Acquisition, Google Aims To Supercharge Its Apps’ Time-Management Smarts
Two Years Later, Walmart’s Prize Savings Helps Customers Save $2 Billion
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
Dan Ariely Ted Talks

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