Whole Bank: UX Case Study

Whole Bank: UX Case Study

Working in a Fintech company I cannot help but notice online banking interfaces around me and recognize the fact that banking is an industry that really needs improved user experiences. That’s why I was really happy and surprised to see that one of the first assignment at IRONHACK was related to the financial software — something I really relate to everyday at my work. In this UX case study I take the challenge to solve Whole Bank case — find a solution to satisfy its´online customers.

The Company

Whole Bank is a bank based in Massachusetts, USA. The bank is trying to innovate and adapt to the changing needs of their customers. They have recently discovered that the conventional Credit/Debit System shows big inconveniences for travelling customers. The bank would like to develop a tool that lets customer pay without having to use the physical card. The idea is to give customers access to a payment feature that they can use exclusively when they travel, so instead of using their cards, they can use the app in their mobile devices.

My Design Process

For the purpose of this exercise I decided to follow IDEO’s Human-Centered Design and Lean UX Design Thinking process that consists of 5 stages:


The first stage of IDEO’s Design Thinking process is empathetic understanding of the problem. This stage involves trying to understand people, their experiences, motivations and immersing into the situation. In order to achieve that, I talked to 5 friends of mine who are regular travellers and get into situations of using credit cards while travelling. I asked them the following questions:

  • Have you used credit cards in another country?
  • What is your experience using cards abroad?
  • When you travel abroad do you pay by card or by cash?
  • Have you ever experienced any accidents while travelling (e.g losing the card, some shops not allowing cards, physical cards not working due to damage?)
  • Have you ever used mobile payment functionality? In what situation?
  • What kind of payment options would make travelling abroad easier?

After analysing the answers, I defined a provisional persona of a potential user based on online research:


The “Define” stage of the process helps to establish a problem to be solved and key pain points to address. The key problem in this case is “how can travellers easily use mobile payments in order to pay abroad?” — giving users a feature to smoothly execute online payments and avoid the typical pain points like:

  • Easy & efficient way of paying
  • Confusing exchange rates
  • Extra fees for paying with credit cards abroad
  • Burden of extracting and carrying cash

I have summed up the key pain points in affinity diagram and identified three key problems to solve:


During the third stage of the design thinking process, I was ready to start generating ideas. There are many different ways of identifying possible solutions to the problem statement such as brainstorming, brain-writing or using SCAMPER technique. I used brainstorming and thought that the best solution would be to pay with the smartphone using Wallet Function in the Whole Bank app.


Time to experiment and identify the best possible solutions for each of the problems. The solutions will be implemented within the prototypes:

This exercise reminded me a lot about the research I made in UX trends in digital banking and why it is so important to create experiences based on users. This practical assignment not only helped me to experiment and apply my observations, but also to get into the shoes of the user.


Posted on

August 8, 2017