HSBC: Home loan application space

Design the experience for an online application portal that can be easily completed by customers to provide them with an Approval in Principle.

Business objectives

 

Challenges

Running discovery, concepting and prototyping phases in 5 weeks.

Learning the ropes of home loans with no previous experience working with them.

Persuading the client and agency to invest more time in the project.

Discovery phase

Gathering requirements

HSBC had a huge document outlining everything they needed to do in order to digitise the home loan application form. Within that I sorted out everything relevant to this project and confirmed it all with the client. This also involved speaking with their brand GUI team in the UK.

Analysis of existing forms

I went through their existing methods: a paper form, their staff system and the UK's online form and analysised the flow and experience of each of them.

Customer interviews

I interviewed customers by running through the process of filling it out HSBC's existing paper form. As they filled it out, I asked them questions about whether they understood what they were being asked for, how they would find the information and where they would get stuck and need help. This greatly informed my design work going forward.

Competitor analysis

No banks at the time had a fantastic experience, but there were a few that had the beginnings of a great solution to this industry-wide challenge. I found some great examples from UBank, KiwiBank, Nationwide and Yorkshire Building Society.

Customer journey mapping

Bringing all of the research I had done together, I created a customer journey map with one of my colleagues that helped to point out the major pain points and brand opportunites.

Discovery phase report presentation

As I worked through the discovery phase, I compiled my findings in a report that I presented back to the client before moving into concepting.

Concepting phase

Idea workshops

With just one week to run a full concepting phase, presenting on the Friday afternoon, it was important that I gathered ideas a quickly as I could. I did this by inviting my colleages at AnalogFolk to two workshopping sessions. The first one a really wide idea capture session, and the second a change to narrow in on 4 concepts. I picked the two concepts I was most happy with and quickly mocked them up in Axure to convey our ideas over to the client at the end of the week.

Sketching

Each of the workshops lead me to sketch the suggestions onto magic paper. Visualising them helped us to discuss the ideas further as a group.

Concepting phase report presentation

Throughout the week I captured my work with photographs and wrote rationales to present to the client. They were really happy with both directions but had a preference for one of them which lead me into the prototyping phase.

Prototyping phase

UX sprints

This phase was split into 3 sprints with usability testing part-way through and a client review scheduled at the end of each one. I took the main user flow and divided it into 3 logical parts for me to focus on. The pace of the sprints was incredibly fast, with a steep learning curve about how home loans work. I worked closely with an experience Relationship Manager throughout who taught me all about home loans. Together we merged the business requirements with customer needs.

Usability testing

I ran tests with participants during each of the sprints. This was a great opportunity for me to see the site through the eyes of consumers and work on my interviewing technique. Each interview gave me a set of feedback which I documented and used as my task list to complete the sprint.

Prototype presentation

Presenting my work is something I really enjoy and luckily I got to do a lot of it during this project. I had to present in a way that made my work understandable and provide rationales for my design decisions, whilst taking feedback from the client.

 

Links

This project has not gone live yet so stay tuned!

 

Team structure

Myself - UX Designer, AnalogFolk
General Manager, AnalogFolk
Project Manager, AnalogFolk
UI Designer, AnalogFolk
Head of Direct, HSBC
Digital Proposition Manager, HSBC
Business Implementation Manager, HSBC

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