Envisioning a digital bank for the Gen-Xers

Barclays US

About the project: Barclays US wanted to create a digital-only, branchless bank to increase its presence in the American market. The retail banking offerings are gateways into the Barclays consumer finance ecosystem that includes investments, personal loans, and credit cards. Note: This App is still currently in progress.

My role: I was the Associate Creative Director for experience design responsible for the product design, the usability, crafting the user connection with Barclays and managing a small team of visual and ux designers. Working alongside my counterpart on the visual side, product owners, the client’s executive stakeholders, we set about to achieve the goal of “creating a banking app that did not feel like a banking app.”

The sea of sameness in mobile banking

Challenges: The biggest challenge was to create a key differentiator among the sea of sameness of banking apps already on the market. Between all the doughnut charts, line graphs, and foundational banking, there really wasn’t anything different besides the branding and the company names. The other challenge was to target Gen-X’ers–especially the ones considered as Mass Affluent Improvisors–who don’t fully trust online banking nor fully engage with financial services apps other than checking their balances a few times a month.

Metaphors for "Thrive, Effortlessly"

Concepts: With industry trends heading towards open and API banking, we jumped on the idea of using customers’ existing financial health data to provide insights. Cognizant of not providing actual advice, we went with creating nudges for the users to remind them of their financial health and provide offerings into how they can “thrive effortlessly.”

Explorations: Along with studying the competition, we drew inspiration for user engagement and satisfaction from other sources such as omakase, meal kits, and even Pokémon.


Design Deliverables: Design system, behavioral guide, style guide, Sketch library

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© 2020 Jonathan Chan