Natwest - Bankline

Building a single source of truth for user testing and development
Building a single source of truth for user testing and development

RBS approached us to produce and deliver a prototype of the new Natwest Bankline online business banking solution. They had a clear vision to simplify the existing user experience across Bankline without compromising its functionality and service offering for businesses of every shape and size.

How we did it

  • Front end development
  • Prototype
  • User testing

The objective

The objective was to work collaboratively with the in-house design team to create a living, breathing prototype of the future ‘to be’ Bankline experience. We took a function-first approach, focusing on creating the most capable possible site that streamlined its extremely granular functionality with the best possible user experience.

Keen timescales meant we had to prioritise our objectives to make sure we delivered on deadline, so we initially focused on key user areas including payment processes, account information and the user dashboard, and the journeys that would interconnect them.

The challenge

With a ten-week timeframe to deliver a working prototype, we had to work extremely efficiently in collaboration with the bank’s internal teams. That meant creating, testing and iterating quickly and effectively and prototyping along side work-in-progress UX and design assets. The designers appreciated seeing their designs in code, enabling them to make quick design and functionality decisions.

The sheer scale and scope of the Bankline service provided an equal challenge where we had to clearly and rigorously prioritise each stage of the prototype’s production. With extremely wide-ranging functionality and multiple complex user journeys to chart, drilling down into each and ensuring every aspect catered to all possible scenarios was time consuming. And then we needed to user test them. For example, payments may sound like a simple area to tackle, but in business terms it’s a wide ranging function that caters to single and multiple accounts, recurring, multiple and one-off transactions, multiple currencies, and much more.

What we did

This was a project founded on and structured around deep collaboration with the RBS UX and design team. Our team worked closely and iteratively with experience designers, visual designers, business analysts and product subject matter experts to build out the Natwest Bankline prototype.

Due to the nature and pace of the project an agile methodology, constantly reviewing not only the product we were building but the conversations we were having with the RBS team. Changes to design or the project scope would have an immediate impact on our deliverables and timeline, so it was critical to stay on top of every detail and maintain a clear daily dialogue.

RBS provided us with the relevant UX and design assets so we could start developing the prototype immediately, building out a clickable front end prototype ready for user testing. We had the key testing journeys pre-prepared so we could test each Bankline function in detail, drilling down into every aspect of its functionality and engaging all possible business banking scenarios.

We captured and fed in feedback and incorporated new features and RBS requests to the prototype iteratively as we developed. The big challenge with this approach was prioritising the feedback and external input according to the current workload at any point in time.

To maintain progress and mitigate any possible wrong directions, we ran weekly show and tells with key stakeholders within RBS and fortnightly prototype releases. We hosted all prototypes on a secure server for user testing and provided the RBS integration teams with interactive access to all elements of its functionality, from which they could develop and integrate.

What we delivered

  • A living, breathing Bankline prototype that does much more than demo static specifications, wireframes and visual design
  • The functionality to realistically and rigorously user test many Bankline elements
  • An easy to test prototype that meant RBS could fine tune the user experience before starting costly integration
  • A single source of design truth for the RBS integration teams

The big wins

  • Collaboration – this was a project that lived or died by continued collaboration, clear communication and quick decision making
  • Real-world verification – rigorous user testing with real business owners exposed and helped mitigate complexities and points of confusion
  • User experience – refusing to reduce functionality while simplifying complexity has significantly streamlined overall user experience

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