Mentorship Pilot

We launched our pilot this week! Our time over the past week has been spent on recruiting & matching mentor-mentee pairs and developing the facilitation resources for mentors and mentees unique to our solution.

Since our last update…

  • We recruited 3 mentors and 3 mentees, created matches based upon logistics (location, schedule), and set up meetings for the pairs
  • Designed an activity for the first meeting between mentors and mentees to provide an introduction and set goals
  • Designed an activity for the second meeting focused on identifying multiple paths to solve a problem
  • Created a short feedback form for mentors and mentees to complete after their first meeting
  • 2 mentor-mentee pairs had first meetings (the third pair meets Saturday afternoon)

Lessons learned

We received validating feedback from our first mentor-mentee pair following their first meeting and activity. The mentee not only felt more conscious of goals and the meeting served as a reinforcement. We received feedback indicating mutual engagement between the mentor and mentee:

“The conversations with [mentor] were great. I look forward to seeing her reach her goals as well as mine.”

Now we’ve got to

Schedule second meetings for mentor-mentee pairs
Schedule face-to-face follow-up interviews to speak with users (mentors and mentees)
Keep iterating on our final presentation

One way you can help

If you know a first-generation American college student who would like to participate in our pilot, we would love to speak with them.

Mobile Banking App Product Feature Brief

Over the past 2 quarters we have been workmen on building a banking app. We started with examining the architecture of existing banks with concept maps, building out screens, user testing our flows, meeting with developers to obtain sizing estimates and creating timelines for building and relating the app. Our final step is creating a design strategy and feature brief to illustrate why our product and strategy is valuable. The goal of the feature brief is to be a stand-alone document that can answer the questions of multiple stakeholders.  (complete brief available here)

Behavioral Insights

The app design is based upon 3 main insights:

Todays professionals are mobile and need access to financial services when  they are away from home. MB is a local Chicago without branch locations outside of the Chicagoland area, therefore it is essential to provide a secure mobile platform to fill in the gaps.401 MB Design Brief.004

During our user testing, security was a primary focus for clients. Traditionally, banks have been trusted institutions to deposit your money and valuables for safe keeping. Todays customers are worried about safekeeping of their identity and account data just as much as their physical assets. Our product must include multiple touchpoint to assure clients their trust is protected.401 MB Design Brief.005

The professional landscape is changing. Today’s professionals change jobs more frequently and are more likely to have more than one stream of income. Providing access to real time spending and budgeting capabilities will empower our users to take proactive steps toward a healthy financial future by monitoring the financial decisions they make day to day. 401 MB Design Brief.006

Value Proposition401 MB Design Brief value prop.001


The app will be built over a 150 day time frame with a first release occurring after 30 days and subsequent releases every 30 days. 401 MB Design Brief.008

The app releases begin with basic account access and expands into a tool for financial planning. 401 MB Design Brief.009

Below illustrates a detailed look at what features will be built for each release.401 MB Design Brief.010


Insta balance is an optional feature to provide a quick glance at account balances by using either your fingerprint or face-recognition software built into your mobile device. This feature allows a quick view of your account status without having to enter your password in public or over shared wi-fi networks that may be vulnerable. 401 MB Design Brief.016

The account home screen includes recent transactions,  further detail for each transaction includes a list of transactions by vendor, with notations of any abnormal spending. 401 MB Design Brief.017

Security is a priority, and our clients expressed concern when making mobile deposits via the camera on their mobile device. The deposit screen includes the photographic images taken by the customer of the front and back of the check. For added assurance, the account number and routing number of the check being deposited to your account is automatically populated into the deposit confirmation so that users can verify their photograph has acquired the proper details of the transaction. 401 MB Design Brief.018

The mobile banking app allows you access to the services you would find in your local bank branch and more. The app integrates the ability to send a friend money today, at a single future date, or on a recurring basis.

401 MB Design Brief.019


The feature brief will is the most critical tool in bringing our visions into reality but it can be a challenge to have foresight into the questions stakeholders outside your department will need answered. During our class discussion, each member of our small groups was assigned a role by Scott and provided a set of objectives. As the marketing director, I was interested in when this new feature would launch and how I could tie this into getting a bonus. When designing this brief, I never would have imagined my audience could be someone in marketing looking to position this launch into a raise for themselves. This was a helpful introduction to creating a product feature brief.



Theory of Power in Design

Designers have power.
Good designers design to empower.
Good designers design positive disruptions.

With power comes responsibility.
Responsible designers are ethical.
Responsible designers remain engaged.

Power can be broken down into means of gaining power and forms of enforcing power. Organized money, people, and materials/represenations are means of power. (1) Forms of power include force, bargaining, and persuasion (2).

We began our readings focused on power with a historical analysis of the affect of French Colonization on Morrocan culture through redefining physical spaces in Assia Lamzah’s “Urban Design and Architecture in the service of Colonialism in Morocco. The ability of physical spaces to control a user is often overlooked as it is more nuanced than the digital interactions we discussed. While processing the Lamzah’s reading, in addition to additional papers she authored, I was compelled to apply this thinking to our own country and explore means of power in our own country.
402 Pres 2 power.005 Money: Check. The map illustrates GDP of countries around the world. The USA is in the top tier.
People: Check. Did you know the Department of Defense is the largest employer in the world?
Material Representation: Check. The closest millions of people around the world will get to the USA is one of our embassies; the vast majority look like prisons with armed gaurds, razor wire, and physical blockades. These embassies enforce an idea of hard-edge US power by playing on the emotions of individuals in the same vein as the Brian Cugelman discusses through examples of guilt of opting out of digital communications and services.

Good design exists in this realm: Look at the new American embassy in London. Instead of concrete blockades, there is water (known as a moat in earlier times). Security is accomplished through greenspace that the public can enjoy, creating an alluring public space.

402 Pres 2 power embassy.001

We were posed with the question: Are designers activists? When considering activism, protests are the first thing that comes to mind for many of us. Protests can be successful for inspiring change, but does change need to come through force? Is that how we want to affect change?  I believe good design creates an alternative to forceful activism. 402 Pres 2 power.010

In 1977, the Disability Rights protest broke records broke records and changed laws.  The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) passed; a huge victory! When  looking at this from a design perspective I see a shortcoming. The ADA defines otherness and often times design  accommodations simply emphasize this. The bigger design challenge is to create Universal Design.

Let’s look at OXO Good Grips line of kitchenwares. The line began when a businessman named Sam Farber watched his wife struggling with a vegetable peeler and set out to design a tool that was easy to use regardless of physical strength or dexterity. Today the line has grown far beyond a vegetable peeler and is a commercial success across all user types. When tools evolve its is an opportunity for users to become aware of challenges they may not otherwise have exposure or ability to empathize with.

402 Pres 2 power.016

I’ve discussed power through the lens of physical space, physical products, now lets take a look at behavior. In most bathrooms we arrive to the sink to wash our hands and are greeted with a number of designs to alert us to conserve water. I agree, we need to conserve water. We have a number  of different faucet designs that physically stop overuse of water. And then there are stickers that make us aware of the challenges others endure to obtain water: “would you use less water if you had to carry it….”

402 Pres 2 power.020

I visited the Denver Museum of Art last year and had a memorable hand washing experienceThinking about these designs relative to power made me zoom out and look at the larger task at hand. Sinks exist in bathrooms as a means to clean our hands. In the bathroom at the museum I stepped up to the sinks and music began playing, specifically “row, row, your boat” which may parents may know the time it takes to sing the song is the time it supposedly takes for hands to become appropriately clean (side note: these sinks were not excessively wasting water). Great design builds positive behaviors.

Designers make meaningful change in the world,  just as activism does. With the tools and techniques we’ve learned over the past 8 months at AC4D have empowered us to create change. Theory class is an essential component of our curriculum because with great power comes great responsibility.

402 Pres 2 power.022

402 Pres 2 power.023

Power means: Gecan, Michael. Going Public: An Organizer’s Guide to Citizen Action. New York: Anchor Books, 2004.

Power forms: Boulding, Kenneth E. Three Faces of Power. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1989.


Roadmap to launch

Following our meeting with developers we were able to gain an understanding to the feasibility of our banking app design. The next step is to develop a plan to move forward. The real world has constraints, and in an agile framework the goal is to have a product in someones hands quickly. 

Since meeting with the developers I’ve focused on scaling back my functionality to a thin-slice hero flow containing the most concise version of features to execute the core features. After  down selecting the features, I created a product road map to illustrate the allocation of work divided between 2 developers and a second product roadmap focused on rolling out the app in 30 day increments (40 hours per week for 4 weeks a month)

Product Road Map (Thin-slice hero flow)

Thin slice hero flow

My fist step was to go back through my wireframes and edit the complexity of features. When I met with Caleb, the developer, one of my goals was to gain insight into how much additional time it takes to create features that create convenience. For example, instead of obtaining an estimate for depositing a check with the phones camera I obtained an estimate for auto-capture of the check by using edge recognition technology. I structured our conversation so that I could illustrate the complex version for an estimate and discuss estimates for the most basic way to achieve the same goal. View my developer estimates here.

After down selecting to simplify the path to reach the same end goal, I ranked the tasks within the app according to importance. In keeping with the original vision, I included the budgeting features at the end of the product roadmap. 

Within the product software, you can view further detail of the step by hovering over the colored bar, or you can click on the bar to gain access to. more. information. I included a sample below since this isn’t visible in the samples below.

Hover view


30 Day Increment Product Roadmap

For the roadmap containing releases every 30 days, I identified the core activities required in the app: Checking your balance, viewing transactions, and depositing a check. Transfers and bill pay are important features that could contain placeholders referring clients to the website in the short term. Once I decided on the first set of activities, I segmented out time allocations for the convenience features that could be added at a future time. Physically, I completed this stage using 3 colors of posit notes listing the activity, time required, and screen number colored according to the immediate, intermediate, and long-term implementation (below). I later transferred that into Product Plan software.


One important factor to note is that the product roadmap includes front end and back end work. Below you can view the roll out over 150 days. 

First 30 days30 days

30-60 Days

60 days

60-90 Days

90 days

90-120 Days

120 days

120-150 Days


0-150 Days

Product road map 30 day sequence

The map with 30 day increment was very enjoyable to make. When releasing every 30 days, it began to make sense to build out “placeholder screens” directing the user to go to the website to make transfers and then reserving the opportunity to build this out further at a later iteration. To me this was very representative of a real life situation. My mid-sized bank in Chicago was recently acquired by a larger bank and over the past months I have been able to observe a similar situation where new features are slowly being rolled out. Next up: Payments through Zelle!

Designing for Successful Mentorship

We are building a platform for first-generation Americans to access resources that support success. Our product matches mentees to mentors and provides a framework to facilitate successful, productive relationships.

This week our team focused on defining our end-to-end customer journey:

  • We created journey maps to document how mentors and mentees engage with our digital platform and how the platform integrates into their physical meetings.
  • We created a service blueprint to define the interactions organizations, mentors, and mentees have with our product from the time they learn about our mentoring program through to the ideal future state. This included defining our visible actions, behind-the-scenes actions and necessary support at each touchpoint.
  • We created a list of artifacts to create to support our mentoring platform

Additionally, we spoke with more people who match mentees with mentors about their methods. We have made strides in defining our unique approach to creating successful matches.

In the upcoming week we will:

  • Create a midterm presentation deck
  • Create artifacts to support the mentee-mentor relationship
  • Create a high fidelity mock-ups of digital interactions

One way you can help right now is…
If you know anyone looking to begin a mentoring program we would love to speak with them about or upcoming pilot launch!

Please reach out to one of us:

Christina Davis, Susi Brister, and Catherine Woodiwiss



Meet the developers!

First off, a big thank you to all the developers for offering their time to us.

Over the past 2 weeks I have revised and notated my banking app wireframes in preparation for meeting with a developer, Caleb Thomson, to discuss sizing. Sizing is the process of pricing the cost to build the visual and functional interface of the app. Caleb quoted pricing as number of days with a half day minimum. In preparation for the meeting I laid out each flow on canvases to notate features and controls. I classified controls as elements (buttons, sliders, dropdown menus) that you interact with and features as attributes of each screen. The documents are the key to the meeting of the mind of the developer and designer. To me, using the document as a source for discussion was similar to being an architectural designer meeting with a builder. The same frustrations exist between what the designer dreams and what is a possibility for the builder.

In the end, I combined the features and controls onto one page which made it easy to discuss my the goals on each screen and have questions ready to gain insight into the time necessary for a simplified process of meeting the same user goal. One of my personal objectives was to learn as much as possible about the time it takes for functions in order to implement that knowledge in any future app design so I included the more complex features and then was sure to ask how much it would cost to reach the same goal in a simpler fashion.Artboard

One of the most valuable things I learned about while understanding the time it takes to program functions was about information flow. The diagram below shows how information travels back and forth from the app through the cloud to the API (Application Program Information). Information from the bank server flows back and forth through the API to desktop computers and apps. I learned the features that took the most time were those that required displaying information that would not typically be “packaged” by the bank server or on the desktop site. The strongest example of this was showing recurring charges.

Through my questions I learned that diagrams like bars and pie charts take up weeks! In my flows I created 2 different bar graphs with similar information, but since they were slightly different sizes each could take 1-2 weeks.

My first flow shows the login process for a user to check their balance. I was really surprise that something that seemed pretty straight forward was estimated to be 2-3  weeks. Caleb informed me that I had more detail than necessary and at this phase simply a placeholder box indicating what would be completed on each screen to avoid distraction any place where spacing was not perfect.

1--LOGIN Features Copy

My next flow was an insta balance feature for the user to conveniently view their balance if they did not need further detail. This would take about 5 days, not including sign up screens to activate the insta-balance.

2--Insta B Features Copy

The second flow shows the process to reach transactions and details of the transactions. Screen 2.2B contains a bar chart the tI referenced earlier that takes weeks!

2b--Balance Features Copy

During user testing of the deposit check flow, I found that some users were weary about depositing with photos so I added a feature to show the account number and bank routing number of the photographed check. I learned that this was possible because of magnetic ink in the checks, however it would be weeks to code. Additionally, I was surprised that adding directions to the top of the camera was time consuming. Having the camera recognize the edges of the check and automatically photograph the check would take up to a month.

4--Deposit Features Copy DEposit 3

In the move money section, I built out the pay a friend feature and variations of frequency and when the transfer would occur. I was surprised that there was not much cost difference between the different sequences.

I learned that having a pop-up “toast” confirmation would take one week. If I had a static screen it would be 1-2 days, and then the following screen would be 1/2 day.

5-- Pay A Friend Features5--Pay A Friend Features Copy

5. Pay A Friend 1x Features CopyOne of the financial budgeting features I built was the ability to see your different budget “buckets” visually in a chart, scroll down and see what portion of your budget you have used each month, and then the detailed transactions in that category. Again, there graphics are really time consuming and the pie chart was estimated at 2-3 weeks. One funny takeaway was that when I was constructing the wireframes in sketch, I wasn’t able to make this visual so I downloaded a static image of a pie chart and placed a white circle inside it so it became a ring instead of a pie. Caleb said he would write it the same way!

8. Budget-Safe Features Copy

The second budgeting feature I built was to see recurring payments and be able to see how eliminating the ‘subscription’ would impact your financial goals for saving and paying down debt. Caleb thought this was a great feature but defining the recurring charges would be a challenge because that may not be identified in the bank server so would be very time consuming.

10--WHAT IF FEATURESView the sizing estimate here

Thank you again to Caleb for his time. I am looking forward to my next steps of reducing the features to be more cost effective.

On the road with the best intentions

At AC4D our curriculum is bookended with theory courses, and we have arrived at Q4 and are embarking on our second module of theory.
You may ask, “What is theory?”

Richard Anderson and Christina Wodtke rally on twitter about what constitutes theory in “On the Importance of Theory to Design Practitioners- Jon Kolko and Richard Anderson in conversation.” Is there a Top 10 list of what should be mandated for a designer to read? According to Richard: NO. I agree, theory is personal; it cannot be prescribed. For us as designers, theory informs and shapes our opinions, instills awareness outside ourselves, and gives us purpose; theory informs one’s concept of what is good.

The first section of our course readings is organized around the theme: “With the Best Intentions”. When I thought about the core meaning of the phrase; I noted that most times I use it it takes the form: “… the best intentions BUT….”. In our readings failure of the best intentions can be rooted in misinformed actions, misinformed motivations, and misinformed solutions.

For Who’s Good

“Remember, people will judge you by your actions not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard boiled egg” – Maya Angelou

In “The Fallacy of Good: Marginalized Populations as Design Motivation” and “Rethinking Business Plan Competitions” the line is drawn between designers feeling good and designing for good. Often times designers focus on their expertise of building a [technology] product and examining its use and overlook designing for what is actually good for the population. Both are good intentions with an empty effect. In design competitions, the rewards are misaligned for product success: winning is dictated by flashy presentations about solutions formed over a short period of time and business plans are not grounded in active operations. Simply put, this is the wrong framework and incentive for designing for good. On the other spectrum is Jan Chipchase who, as an ethnographer, immerses himself into local populations to gain insight into the culture and identify, actual problems of a population before considering solutions.“The Human Codebreakers,” describes Chipchase’s process and ends the article with a quote from Susan Sontag: “The only interesting answers are those which destroy the question.” We, as designers, only create good for ourselves unless we are engaged directly with those we design for.

Misinformed Motivations

“History is a better guide than good intentions.” -Jeane Kirkpatrick

Good design accounts for cultural change which means designers consider long term effects go their work. New Story is a company that built 100 homes in Haiti using local materials and workers whilst the Red Cross struggled to do the same. Wow- they solved a problem that a charity with over 3 billion dollars of revenue couldn’t! 100 Haitians have homes but their has been no systemic change to avoid the same problem. Problem solved? I say not for the long term. New Story now has a partnership to make 3D printed homes, which will eliminate the need for local labor; New Story is company in the housing industry. There are plenty of people designing great solutions for refugee camps, but the deeper need is to design for the historical problem: relocating displaced refugees into places of permanence where they can have roots in a community.

“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.”  – Peter Drucker

The Product (Red) campaign provides an avenue for consumers to help stop the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. It works like this: I buy a red t-shirt at The Gap in return The Gap will donate 50% of the proceeds to the campaign. While this is a great mechanism to adapt to society’s consumerist ways, the consumer remains disengaged in the problem and the solution. Further, the purchase leaves the consumer with little to no education on the problem space and how to help. In “Sex doesn’t sell anymore, activism does”, Alex Holder highlights the corporations motivations to participate in campaigns like Product (Red) or run their own campaigns. This is a problem: People substitute consumerism for activism and companies profit even more.

“It is always with the best intentions that the worst work is done.” – Oscar WiIde

People are motivated by feeling good, people seek out comfort. For example, the internet has given us unlimited access to data, but is the world a better place? Not necessarily because people are seeking information they want vs the information they SHOULD learn. UX design aims to make people comfortable, to design for joy. In “Design Strategy, Product Management, Education & Writing” Jon Kolko writes that as designers we shape culture. Designers should design for values, not for joy!

Misinformed Actions

“The evil that is in the world always comes of ignorance, and no good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence, if they lack understanding.”   – Albert Camus

As humans, we like to feel good through helping those with greater needs than our own. In “Reflections on Gratitude” we heard the touching story of a crowd funding campaign benefiting an immigrant mother of 3 children who was living in a shelter that resulted in 10x the financial goal. Donors weren’t satisfied. They wanted a thank you. Were their motivations selfish altruism? Some people want something in exchange for their donations, they want to feel good about themselves. The problem lies in that there is not a personality to systemic change thus the personal reward is less.

Take Aways

“Even the best intentions turn around one day… nobody’s right all the time.” – Stevie Nicks

NYC’s High Line adaptive reuse of old rail lines has been a massive success, attracting millions of dollars into the neighborhood. “The High Lines Next Balancing Act” zeros in on where the project has not been a success: for the residents of the neighborhood’s public housing residents. Whilst the co-founders tried to design with the community residents, in hindsight they acknowledge they didn’t ask the right questions to truly hear the concerns of the neighborhood. Within this article we learn about the mistakes of not designing at a level of local needs… FROM THE DESIGNERS. The High Line Network leverages the mistakes made in the original design and allows similar projects nationwide to gain from learning the history of others. For me, this is as close as we’ve come to “Designing for the best intentions” in our readings.

Making MB into YB (your bank)

This week we headed into the field to test our wireframes with users. To recruit participants I asked ppl I encountered if they were available for 40 minutes. The first interview with a neighbor and only took 20 min. Thereafter I asked for 30 min and interviewed 2 Uber drivers, a receptionist at the doctor, and a peer. Four of the participants went through 3 flows on my cellphone: check balance, deposit a check, pay a friend.

Checking account balance
Of the three tasks, this is the only one that I was able to complete within my existing banking app…. and this had the most intriguing results! I set up my test with 2 paths to check the balance: one was the traditional path of logging in: typing username, then password to arrive at a welcome screen with the account balance. Additional screens shows transactions and then details of a single transaction.

The second route to see the balance is right on the login screen as text labeled “instant balance”. This is my favorite part of the MB banking app! I appreciate the clean layout of the app so kept the login screen the same. BUT… not one of the users noticed this first off. One hesitated and read the entire screen but then continued the login.

Design considerations: I will look to find a balance to make the instant balance feature more prominent.

Depositing a check
It’s important for ppl to know they photographed their checks right. People fear getting to the end and only then being told they were not successful.

Design considerations: Change the image capture for checks to make it clearer that the image is acceptable. It would be very nice to use green color!

Paying a friend
The deposit check feature didn’t work for me in the MB app so I wasn’t able to progress through the flow in the existing app. MB does not offer bill pay, external transfer, or send money to a friend in the existing app. That meant this feature required me to build another screen into the “move money” tab and I became worried about the feature becoming long and clunky.

Users were confused by the pay today vs schedule in the future vs repeating payments.

Design considerations: Feedback was all over the place here so I didn’t hear the same recommendations from anyone. I suspect this is because I referenced a bunch of sources for examples and so my design lacked some element of consistency. My next steps will be to make quick iterations and get feedback in the studio.

My takeaways from overall user testing:
Some of my flows ended by returning to the section main screen and some ended with a confirmation. I want to give a more thorough analysis of when a user benefits to going back to the section home versus the welcome screen.

Users each liked different phrasing for the actions I had identified. People are accustomed to how things are designated in their own app.

I had some physical constraints this week so had to be creative in the way I recruited participants (hello Uber drivers and doctor receptionists!) Next round will be a different approach! I feel my data would have been richer being able to preschedule.

This was our first time conducting user testing interviews. Over the previous 2 quarters making data useful for design inspiration has come through distilling patterns in behavior. Generally, users were serious, some users talked about worries they had during flows based on previous bad experiences and fear of something going wrong. I couldn’t help but consider how user behavior would change if we were testing a recipe app or a game. In further iterations I would like to consider how in app banking can be a more ‘enriching experience’.

MB Financial: Updated Features and Wireframes

After creating concept maps for the current and future state of the MB Financial banking app, I’ve worked on making flows to create new tasks. I’ll be discussing two of the flows I’ve created, checking you balance and depositing a check, in this post.

The current MB app is very clean and simple to navigate although it is light on features. For me, this meant using imagination and referencing other apps that perform similar tasks was crucial in building out flows.

The first flow is checking your balance. One of the features I most appreciate about the MB app is the “instant balance” feature you can activate so that you can view your balance without logging in. For the sake of the assignment and future user testing, I built out the traditional process for checking balance. The first 4 screens are for entering in your user name and your password. Once you have logged in to the site you will be greeted by name and can choose your account. To access additional information the user can press an arrow next to the account to see the list of transactions. In my user scenario the person next deposits a check by selecting the deposit tab to reach the next screen.


The second flow is going to begin with login and once the user lands on the welcome screen with balance, they will click deposits in the bottom menu bar (icons coming for user testing). The deposits screen begins with selecting an account and the user selects an arrow which will initiate a pop-up window to select and confirm an account. The screen is darkened and the pop up is bright white to maintain a users orientation by not going back and forth between screens. Once the account is confirmed the user returns to the main deposit screen and enters in the amount, which is in a large dark font. After entering in the amount, the next step is to take a photo. Pressing the photo button takes you to the camera and the screen contains a grid line and re-iterates what and how you are shooting. When I tried to do this in the MB app it just showed a black screen instead of alerting me to give the camera permission in the app settings (and after I changed the settings there was an error message my check could not be sent).The steps are repeated for the backside of the check. I added fields that auto populate the account number and routing number that appears on the check. The confirmation screen is again a popup against a shaded out screen. The final screen is a confirmation with a visual check mark. One of the challenges in this section was keeping the process streamlined and to minimal screens while still enforcing enough ‘check-points’ to confirm actions.


This assignment has been enjoyable because a) mapping the screens feels like a scavenger hunt and b) it is empowering when you find frustrations in the app (the pot of gold!?) with the goal of redesigning. I mentioned earlier about the app not alerting me to adjust the security settings to allow access to the camera. I’ve also given consideration to where the flows end. For example, when I click “log out” the app currently takes me to my geographic location (Austin) in Apple maps. When I click on the link for the bank mailing address, I am sent to Apple maps again and given 18 hours of driving directions to the bank headquarters in Illinois. It has been fun to find these anomalies and provided good lessons on thinking of the entire flow.

MB Means Business

Just as promised in their ads, MB Financial gets strait to business in their mobile banking ap. The app has three main areas: Accounts, ‘Move Money’ & Deposits. The app performs the bare essentials and it does a good job at that.

Two or the five features of the app can be accessed without logging in. Why should a user need a password to find a branch location or reach customer service? When the instant balance feature is active users can view their account balance with a tap.





Access to the core features from the ‘Logged Out’ position are illustrated in the Existing State Concept Map.


For the update to the App, I will add additional services to the app. In the upcoming version, it will be possible to set alerts and notifications from the accounts menu. There will also be an option to freeze your account in this section. The move money tab will introduce 3 new transfer options: Apple Pay, payment to friends, and Mobile Cash (ATM withdrawal from your smartphone). A new option will in-app scheduling for recurring payments & frequency. In the redesign, the final action in a screen will redirect you to the starting page for that area. The future state is depicted below:


Our next steps are to begin building screens for the new features. This will begin by creating scenarios and use cases to describe the user and identify when, where, and under what circumstances the users are interacting with the app. Watch the AC4D instagram feed for some snaps of us having a practice run and illustrating Rainbow’s journey selling her baby stroller (and eventually other baby items cluttering her garage) on Craigslist. We had a great time writing and illustrating and I’m looking forward to this next step.