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Banker Desktop Experience

A global wealth management firm wanted to create a new retail bank in addition to their wealth management branch. I was engaged to help them standup the banker experience to support their goals in increasing their market share by targeting their ultra high net worth clients and deliver a white glove retail bank experience.

A global wealth management firm was looking to create a new retail bank and needed to stand up a brand new bank from scratch. This meant that both the client and employee experience was largely undefined and were being created in parallel across a large mix of in-house and consultancies. 


When we were first engaged, we were informed that the strategy was already defined, the research had been done, we want it to all be out of the box, so let’s start coding.


With this being an area that my company typically doesn’t involve experience design, they had asked me to tack myself onto the CRM and software engineering team’s 6 week assessment to see if the strategy and requirements were in fact ‘done’.



As part of that first engagement, I slowly started to peel back the layers through building strong relationships with the product owners and business stakeholders. I facilitated design thinking workshops where I used the existing user journey maps that were provided to me and asked probing questions

  • if this is the optimal client experience, what does the banker need to see? 

  • What is the next best action for the banker to take? 

  • What additional insights to bankers use in order to make the right decision?


Over time, the gears slowly started to turn that we were not in fact ready to start coding, and canned out of the box user stories were not exactly useful.

The client was feeling that they were at a bit of an impasse with the building frustration that they had made a considerable spend with nothing built. I then stepped in with an experience-led approach for getting us over the hump. In essence, lets start drawing.


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I then shaped a lean team of UX designers, BAs, and functional architects to take a closer look at each respective workstream (sales, service, onboarding) and start sketching some high level journey maps and wireframes. Knowing full well that our first few passes at the wireframes were likely to be mostly wrong, we encouraged the team to quickly iterate and put the wireframes back in front of stakeholders to get them thinking. 


This approach paired with a technical architecture blueprint and a mobilization approach gave the client’s business stakeholders a clear picture of what it’s going to look like and what it will take to get us there, helping the business gain confidence that we were the right partners and the right team in place to make this happen. 

From there I shaped a team of approximately 40 individuals to design and develop MVP. We constructed three interdisciplinary pods consisting of user experience designers, BA’s, functional CRM designers, development leads, and offshore developers. These three pods were led by a cross-functional leadership team consisting of a business architect, tech lead, integrations lead, scrum master, project manager and UX director (myself). 

Our process was driven by creating detailed wireframes and holding reviews several times a week with business stakeholders to help drive consensus across the organization. This set us apart from a process perspective as historically and across the other work streams the crews were working off of spreadsheets of user stories and journey maps, but the pictures empowered stakeholders to have a common understanding an expectation of what it would look like and how it would behave, leading to a ‘no surprises’ result when it came time to sprint playbacks. 


These wireframes were also a useful tool to socialize the progress to other parts of the business, empowering our product owners to build confidence within the organization. We also engaged in a few rounds of user testing to gather feedback from bankers to ensure we were continually hitting the mark. 

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Throughout our journey I was thinking through ways in which we can scale this approach across our business as this CRM is typically not an area in which design is heavily engaged. CRMs can often be seen as restrictive, a poor user experience, and frustrating for designers as the UI components are typically ‘on rails’. However, we were able to shift the mindset away from ‘make it pretty’ to ‘make it useful, functional, and smart’. My all-star designers worked tirelessly with their technical counterparts to find ways to make the platform sing, whether that included exploring customizations to meet the business requirements or finding creative ways to keep the build ‘out of the box’. 


I then took these learnings from the team and crafted a 2-4 week accelerator program to enable my sales team to more effectively pitch and win CRM projects by plugging in a lean experience design team early in the sales process to help sketch out how a CRM would work for our client’s specific business needs. 


This approach has been presented and supported by my global leadership including my CEO, and has since been evangelized as ‘the way we want to sell CRM’ across North America.

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