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Design Thinking pays off for BBVA

08 November 2017  |  12192 views  |  1 BBVA HCE

BBVA is attributing a new approach to Design Thinking and continuous customer feedback to a massive uplift in usage of its mobile banking app since its relaunch in mid-September.

The Spanish bank says new credit card applications went up by 80%, current account opening by 20% and sales of investment funds soared by 50%, following the release of the re-designed app.

Other key figures included a doubling of sales in pension plans, health insurance and home insurance, while car insurance take up almost tripled as did people carrying out mortgage simulations.

The new app was built using Design Thinking principles and BBVA’s now central Agile methodology, in which design, engineering and business development teams work together in small groups, with short delivery timescales, and agreed actions. Customer focus groups were also convened to provide ongoing feedback during the design phase.

The bank says just 15 people produced the new app, from the front end design - what the customer sees ‘above the glass’ - to the back end development, pathways, functionality integration and capabilities.

The big changes included a new dashboard, new tab bars, swipe tools enabling new product and service access and shortcuts to contextual actions. The app also includes a personalised catalogue of relevant products specific to each customer highlighted by a simple '+' symbol.

BBVA´s head of design, Marga Barrera, says the learnings from the project will be applied across the group and to the creation of new products in other departments.

“It’s the fastest way to create at speed and it ensures we design with the customer at the heart of it," she says. “As we roll out more and more services, insights, products and content going forwards, we now have processes in place to deliver excellent results in the kind of short time lines you expect from the start-up sector.”

Comments: (1)

Brian Slater
Brian Slater - Eikos Partners - New York 01 December, 2017, 15:03

This presents an interesting view on the impact of a customer-first approach to developing applications, and the level of success that can be achieved measurably in business growth. 

Whilst we’re not privy to detail of what was delivered, it demonstrates the customer activity improvements which will drive revenue. Although in this case the external customer was the recipient of design thinking, this approach can just as easily be applied to any internal users, who often deal with multiple apps - most of which were designed where ease of use was an afterthought. Worse, these apps were designed limited to a silo of activity, a number of which need to be manually orchestrated to enable a single business action, with the human being the workflow engine.

Where design thinking plays its role is to force us back to thinking of what the user is trying to achieve. This goal may be very different than simply bringing the workflow back inside the technology as quite often this workflow will have evolved from its manual days. Tied to an agile iterative process, design thinking, itself iteratively aligned, provides for a much more efficient interaction between user and the services provided by the technology. It also yields significant productivity improvements internally and client attraction externally. Either way, that's bottom line impact.

Underpinning this process, an open source toolkit combined with the right methodology can support the idea to implementation continuous delivery model. Ultimately, it’s all about matching the delivered efficiencies with those of the process that will get you there, efficiently.

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