TD Bank Redesign Strategy Brief

TD Bank Strategy and Feature Brief Back in October, I started the process of redesigning the TD Mobile Banking Application. To do this, I worked through creating an ideal vision of what I believe the banking application should be through an information architecture, storyboarding and wireframe development. I set out into the streets of Austin to do usability testing to learn how potential users might interact with the application. I learned many things including the fact that most users do not have confidence interacting with the banking application, often found the words banking application typically use confusing, and did not know the purpose of many of the features.

Simultaneously, I have been doing research with Austinites who are not financially secure. Thus, as this process is coming to a close, I wanted to honor what I have learned through both experiences.

Taking time to create a product and strategy brief brought me back to my initial insights when I first built the TD banking application redesign. The purpose of the brief is to be able to have a stand alone record that a product manager uses to communicate the rationale behind how he believes the products value should grow over time, meaning when key features should be shipped.

As a high-level overview of the process, I first returned to my initial research to recall the key insights I used when developing the product, making sure that the product’s value promise reflects those behavioral insights, and that ultimately, the strategic map is in line with this vision. The brief ends with visuals and descriptions of key features that help to drive the value and fulfill the value promise.

As the designer that TD Bank hired to redesign their application, I begin with a high level introduction to the strategy brief:

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Key Insights and Value Promise

In my research with individuals who are living with a poverty wage and are unable to plan for the future, I found that “rational” long term planning was not the highest priority even though with the right decisions and savings plan, it might be possible for those experiencing financial insecurity to gain more stability. Through interviews and secondary research, I discovered three behavior insights that will be the foundation of the product’s value promise:

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This led to the products value promise:

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Strategic Roadmap

The strategic roadmap reflects this value promise. The first version (Core Banking Services) that ships needs to fulfill the value promise that banking is simple. So, when developing the core services, the key features are streamlined and easier to use than the current TD banking mobile application.

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For version two (Scheduling Services), the banking application will begin incorporating scheduling services as well as data gathering for the safe to spend feature.

Version three (Financial Planning) will ultimately fulfill the value promise. Version three builds in services that will nudge users towards more financial stability, takes the burden of long term planning of them, and presents information in a way that will drive them towards making better decisions.

Below is a more detailed version of the strategic map.

Strategic Road Map

Feature Breakdown

In the final section of the brief, a product manager provides visual evidence and rationale behind each feature. In this part of the brief, the product manager is explaining the details of how specific features fulfill the value promise.

Core Banking Services
Core Banking Services
Core Banking Services
Core Banking Services
Scheduling Services
Scheduling Services
Financial Planning
Financial Planning
Financial Planning
Financial Planning
Financial Planning
Financial Planning
Financial Planning
Financial Planning
Financial Planning
Financial Planning

You can view the complete brief here TD Bank Strategy and Feature Brief

Reflection

It is a product manager’s job to manage, inspire, and keep the ball rolling on the product’s development. He or she is responsible for constantly being able to zoom in and out, to understand the details of how the product should be developed and then to connect each one of those details to the big picture. They must use their influence to keep developers on the same page and the executives satisfied with progress. We have been told that the only real power a product manager has his or her storytelling abilities. Thus, the strategy brief seems like it is one of the most important documents the product manager is responsible for. Anyone in an organization should be able to read it and understand not only what they are working on, but why. The core to any successful team or venture is really that everyone is on the same page about the why. To simultaneously keep the vision true and also get lost in the weeds of the day to day decision making seems almost insurmountably challenging. Perhaps, this is why keeping the user at the center of all decisions is one of the best strategic decisions a manager can make.