Ongoing work
One Savings Bank is a specialist bank providing savings and lending products. We are working with them as they undertake their largest digital transformation since the company was founded, developing a design system, improving the user experience across their sub-brands and modernising their digital offerings in order to appeal to a younger user group.
My role
On OSB I am leading the UX activities within the savings pod, working with the sub-brands Kent Reliance and Charter Savings Bank. The role involves creating wireframes for flows based on complex business requirements, most recently redesigning the online application process for savings products. 
I work closely with a UI designer and copywriter within my pod, ensuring that the user experience is carried through both visually and through content. 
Regular tech feasibility calls with developers are required, during which I present the proposed experience, justify decisions made and reach compromises to ensure each sprint's goals are attainable.
At the start of the project we did a lot of discovery work. I designed a matrix with which to conduct research on OSB's competitors and drew on their existing competitor analysis. I worked closely with the client to identify their direct competitors and companies they believe to be innovators in the financial space, ensuring to also research more indirect competitors for wider inspiration.
I synthesised my findings into a benchmarking slide deck and presented it to the client stakeholders. It was very well-received and got everyone excited about what the future could hold for OSB.

Research synthesis process

Key best practice recommendations:
- Personalisation and friendly copy can reduce the anxieties many have around finance and money management, especially younger audiences.
- Interest rates are the number one priority for potential savings customers, so should be surfaced early and consistently. Comparison with competitors would also be useful.
- Security assurance should be given throughout the journey through the site, including FSCS protection information.
- Best practice in industry is to explain jargon; don't assume users understand and risk alienating novice savers.
- Provide in-journey support and pre-empt issues users may have so they don't have to leave the page to access the help centre.
- Allow users to easily compare savings products with side-by-side comparisons.
- Be transparent about the steps involved and time it will take to apply for a product, so users feel prepared.​​​​​​​
Account Application
A key piece of work within the Savings pod is the application flow for a new customer applying for a savings account. 
Being a financial services provider, the client's business requirements and fincrime limitations cannot be compromised on. This pushed me to think creatively in order to deliver a strong user experience while still working within the set constraints.
Many checks need to be run on a customer's details as they progress through their application, so I worked closely with back-end developers to ensure the questions are asked in an appropriate order. 

Application wireframes

Once the wireframes were signed off, I worked with a UI designer to create the final screens. They created the template and I completed the flow for the mobile journey.
We are working in programme increments so not all functionality and design is immediately put into development, but we can build on the user experience and add additional features as we move from PI1 to 2, 3 etc. 

Application UI

Part of my role on this project is to create documentation for developers. 
Once a flow is complete I annotate each screen with any relevant information, including error messages, spacing and any accessibility considerations. 
This process allows me to ensure the proposed experience will be carried into build, and makes the developers' lives easier too. 
As they have not undergone a digital transformation before, we are working sensitively with the client to push boundaries and show them the benefits of making more significant design changes. 
The initial UI we proposed follows their existing branding styles but we are also working to push experience further through visual design and interactions. 
I worked with other UX and UI designers on the account to brainstorm and mock up some designs that are more contemporary, interactive and experience-led. These will be used to start conversations with the client about where the brand could go visually, and early responses to this work have been positive.

Some outcomes from creative UI workshop

This project is ongoing - check back for further updates!
''... She has impressed me every day. The way she approaches each process by always applying user centred thinking ... always focusing on building the best product.''
- Guillermo Alcocer Sarro, Senior Designer on OSB savings pod

''Tara has been an absolute star in OSB Savings pod. She has articulated her ideas clearly and generated discussions that have brought teams together to solve a number of complex problems. Without Tara, the Savings Pod would not have the degree of clarity that they currently have.''
- Gary Wood, Experience lead on OSB
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