I like designing and developing digital products and services. I’m usually some combination of strategy lead, service designer, user researcher, product owner, and business analyst. Below is a selection of projects I’ve worked on.
Strategy & Customer Proposition Development
Large UK Building Society
I was the Customer Insights and Strategy Manager for a corporate strategy development project at a top ten UK building society; my role was to bring a deep understanding of customer behaviour and digital proposition development, and in particular highlighting the strategies of the UK’s innovative financial services start-ups.
Our approach required divergent and convergent thinking to arrive at the optimal solution for the new strategy. Divergent in the sense that we would explore a large number of opportunities, testing them for feasibility, desirability and viability and convergent in the sense that we would explore a few opportunities at depth for financial performance and alignment to strategic capabilities.
To facilitate the former aspect, the divergent strategic thinking, we created a Walk of Trends gallery covering four key trend areas: social and people, technology, economy and markets, and political and regulatory. For each trend we included a definition, example impacts and relevant data points. Through my specialist knowledge of customer behaviours and technology trends, I was able to challenge the predominant thinking of the group and discuss in detailed a curated selection of trends.
Following this, I worked with the executive team to develop the business model options and future product value propositions based on these key predicted trends. Our team ultimately delivered four future business model options, including market size and financial projections, for consideration and approval by the organisation’s board.
Once the strategic direction was agreed, I moved into target operating model design. Working with staff from across the organisation I defined and documented the required future state capabilities, including estimated costs and resources to deliver each. In order to understand the costs and effort required for each financial year, I built an excel model to sequence each capability transformation based on their start date, estimated timeframe and dependencies. This allowed for a final roadmap to be co-created with the senior leadership team of the building society, ensuring we arrived at a challenged and robust roadmap that accounted for the various dependencies and strategic priorities.
User Research & Service Design
I was the user research lead for the discovery phase of a digital service design project (Digital Marketplace opportunity information). At the outset I was responsible for ethics approval before conducting the user research interviews and sense-making analysis to allow the team to move into the design of the service blueprint and prototype digital catalogue.
Once we completed our discovery phase I transitioned to service design lead, supported by a team of four business analysts, two designers and a technical architect. I led them through the agile delivery of the prototype digital catalogue, including requirements gathering, mock-ups and Axure RP wireframe builds, iterating this based on further user testing and ultimately delivering a detailed service design. I used the the Value Proposition Canvas and Business Model Canvas (see Strategyzer) as the basis for the service design and delivery model.
The service and catalogue were designed and built using the Scottish Approach to Service Design, the mygov.scot Design Standards and the UK Government Digital Services’s Digital Service Standard. Throughout the project we used tools like personas, journey mapping and sense-making to conduct our research, requirements gathering and user stories for the technical build and communicated our findings to the organisation through show and tells and our research wall. The final prototype catalogue was built in HTML, CSS, and JS using Bootstrap.
Business Analysis & Service Design
As the business analyst for a digital transformation pilot for children’s service, I facilitated workshops in order to map and document various user journeys and service processes to understand the key pain points. Following this analysis, I supported the service design and business case development using Lean’s waste principles as the basis for cost/benefit analysis.
Working with a mobility solutions provider, we designed the future vision for children’s services within the local authority and performed a pilot to test the business case. The pilot demonstrated a reduction in the average health visit of 20%, with a further 60% identified for validation in future phases. Our solution was approved for further roll-out and additional analysis to understand the case for further system integration.
Customer Experience & Operational Readiness Assurance
Major UK Bank
As the UK banking market continues to go through a major shake-up, one of the largest banks asked for a review of their latest product launch - ensuring regulatory compliance, operational readiness and a well-designed customer experience. As the Customer Experience specialist for the project, I challenged the bank’s design and delivery teams to ensure each aspect of the customer journey had been thoughtfully considered and was supported by the necessary business processes and technology.
My observations and recommendations, framed through the core customer journey, were used to demonstrate to the regulator that the bank had effectively designed the solution and that any identified gaps would be addressed in the remaining development time.
User Experience Review & Business Case Development
Social Housing Association
Throughout this project I was user experience lead. I developed a collection of user personas based on current state customer journey mapping, user research interviews and user observations. From this, our team analysed the key user pain points and motiviations to articulate a vision for the organisation’s future digital strategy. The outline business cases we developed estimated over £1m in savings per annum and the transformation programme was approved by the executive team on this basis.
I also delivered a comprehensive usability review of the organisation’s desktop and mobile (iOS and Android) web experiences, providing comparison to their peer group and recommendations to align with good practice UX. This was based on key user stories and includes aspects such as accessibility, performance and content design.
Global Insurance Firm
My core activities involved researching future mobile technologies to inform the company’s digital strategy and conducting a mobile app experience review. To demonstrate potential opportunities I prototyped a digital insurance card for Apple Wallet (née Passbook), showcased Smart App Banners for app marketing and conceptualised a single sign-on system for the organisation’s suite of apps.
At the time, the company was also developing a new iOS and Android app for customers. I acted as a consultant for this project, helping to define the value proposition of the product and providing technical guidance for feature implementation.
At CIH Housing 2017, Europe’s largest housing conference, I spoke about the apparent neverending quest within all companies to turn data into insights, the need to humanise your company’s data before doing so, and the value of physically walking the customer journey to develop your understanding.
On behalf of Scottish Financial Enterprise, I spoke to the Edinburgh Financial Services community on blockchain and it’s potential within the industry. Event information is available here.
Future of Retailing
As part of Heriot-Watt’s Retail Marketing graduate course, I was asked to present KPMG’s insights into future customer experiences. My lecture covered changing consumer behaviour across generations, CX measurement techniques, the Jobs-to-be-Done framework and case studies covering global leaders in retail.