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Human By Design – Building Better Banking Experiences

Senior designers from the Temenos Design Center of Excellence share the seven Design Principles they follow to ensure every digital banking experience is a human experience.

Blog,
Houman Omidifar – VP – User Experience, Infinity Digital Banking

Casual definitions of digital experiences can evoke images of algorithms, device screens, or perhaps even task automation. And while these definitions may not be wholly incorrect, they do miss the mark because of tendencies to emphasize the technology side of the equation at the expense of focusing on who these experiences are created for and designed by – humans.   

In banking, digital experiences have the power to form and strengthen emotional connections with customers. Achieving this requires that institutions recognize, appreciate, and act on the individuality of each person. That means understanding where individuals are and the choices they’re facing, respecting their preferences and privacy, and helping them get to where they want to go.

At Temenos, digital experience designers dedicate themselves each day to making digital banking more human and less complex. Working directly with financial institutions to accomplish this aim, these changemakers center their work on seven design principles that every digital experience should adhere to. Below, we examine each of these design principles and hear from the designers in their own words about what each means to them.  

Every Digital Experience Must Be Customer-Centric

Connective digital experiences put customers first. They leverage design thinking methodologies that empathizes with customers and uses experiential insights to drive technology applications, not letting the reverse happen – when technology forces ill-fitting interactions that provide little or no customer benefit. Kalyan Chede, Senior User Experience Designer at Temenos shares why he is an ardent advocate of Customer-centric Design:

Customer-centric Design is great because its research and design tactics focus on the user in each stage of the design process. This helps me deeply understand users, what they want and don’t want from the design, and how they’re ultimately going to interact. Keeping them actively involved and at the forefront of design decisions helps me tailor solutions specifically to their needs.

Kalyan Chade, Senior User Experience Designer

Every Digital Experience Must Be Intuitive

Intuitive digital experiences enable seamlessness and simplicity. They follow best practices and human interface design guidelines that reduce friction for any customer type and provide natural, logical paths for customers to complete actions. David Courtney, Senior UX Designer at Temenos, expands on the principle of Intuitiveness in design:

Intuitiveness is important in design because user experience (UX) is the measure of friction between the user and their goal. Great design removes cognitive, physical, and emotional frictions from the user’s experience and results in products that are self-evident, self-explanatory, and not physically difficult to use.  In turn, customers feel cared for. Remember the saying: People ignore design that ignores people!

David Courtney, Senior User Experience Designer

Every Digital Experience Must Be Consistent

Establishing uniformity that results in met or exceeded expectations for customers across all channels eliminates confusion and prevents the frustration that forms when things just don’t work as they should. Robin Newman, Principle UX Designer at Temenos, expands on the importance of consistency in design:

Having a consistent experience improves the learnability and usability of our designs. Consistency applies not only visually, but also to the location and behavior of different elements as well as the phrasing, language, and tone of voice used in user communications. We don’t want users to be confused or frustrated. We want them to feel empowered and in control.

Robin Newman, Principle User Experience Designer

Every Digital Experience Must Be Innovative

Innovation focuses forward, recognizes the constancy of change, and surfaces undiscovered customer wants and needs. Innovation also goes hand in hand with disruption and the belief that the way something has always been should not dictate how it will be in the future. Alex Botos, UX Design Manager at Temenos, tells us more about incorporating innovation in user experiences:

Most of UX design is about science, data, and feedback, but innovation is the one area where breaking the rules and leveraging your creativity is key to generating new ideas. Be like a sponge, get inspired by everything around you and keep experimenting. Your mind will dream up great ideas and some of them might become the next big thing!

Alex Botos, User Experience Design Manager

Every Digital Experience Must Be Functional

Digital experiences that focus disproportionately on form can inadvertently introduce complexity and shift focus away from what customers are ultimately trying to accomplish. Digital banking experiences need to be practical and useful, not just pretty and polished. Here’s Syed Rafi, Sr. UX Designer at Temenos on the importance of functionality:

Functionality advances and strengthens features that help users more easily achieve their banking and financial goals. Continuous research and analysis of interactions for different use cases and users help me identify more practical paths and design approaches that make digital banking experiences better every day.

Syed Rafi, Senior User Experience Designer

Every Digital Experience Must Be Visually Appealing

Appealing designs that are crisp, clean, and aligned with a bank’s personality and positioning form important first impressions. Conversely, clunky and unappealing designs result in lower customer engagement, resistance to adopt digital experiences, and interactions that fall short of customer expectations. Har Ram Singh, UI Designer at Temenos, shares his perspectives on the importance of visual appeal in design:

Visual appeal is what meets the eye. It’s the colors, objects, imagery, fonts, spacing, and overall visual balance that shape user perceptions and behaviors. The trajectory of a bank’s relationship with a first-time user is influenced in only a few seconds. Visual appeal promotes a positive first impression that supports brand affinity and emotional connections.

Ram Singh, UI Designer

Every Digital Experience Must Be Engaging

Engaging digital experiences invoke feelings of accomplishment, understanding, resonance, completion, delight, and more. They feel personal and tailored to the individual, fostering satisfaction, repeat usage, and strengthened loyalty.

We design our banking applications to keep users engaged through each and every step of a task by providing timely help, useful information, a guided approach and proper feedback.

Yogish Shettigar, Senior Manager – Application User Experience

Design With a Human Touch

Design that holds individual needs, wants, preferences, milestones, and emotions at the highest level of importance translates to exceptional experiences that feel every bit as human as they do digital. The seven principles of designing digital banking experiences adopted by Temenos’ Design Center of Excellence team serve not only as tenets for the exceptional experiences they create in partnership with clients, but also as an excellent construct that other institutions can use to assess how well their experiences are meeting customer needs today and how they can make banking better tomorrow.

Discover Temenos' Seven Design Principles

Put into practice through the Temenos Design Center of Excellence to achieve consistent, human, digital banking experiences.

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Houman Omidifar