An Exercise on Design Thinking

For Mobile Banking Feature

Kelly Gedvilas
3 min readMay 12, 2018


Whole Bank is in the developmental stages to become a more technological and user-friendly local banking branch in small town Framingham, Massachusetts.

The branch found that using their credit and debit card services while traveling caused major inconveniences for their customers and saw an opportunity for advancement on their already existing mobile app.

The Problem

Oftentimes traveling incurs issues with banking institutions or the cards themselves and for that reason individuals prefer to downsize their wallet while traveling.

Whole Bank would like to develop a solution to provide an additional service to their already existing app for their customers to utilize while traveling. This feature should enable users to make purchases solely with their mobile device rather than cards or cash.

The Goal

The overall task is to create a solution that provides effortless usability, quick payment, worry-free checkout, keep customer loyalty and maintain an overall feeling of reliability and trust.

Process to Solution

Once initial research was completed, I jotted down a list of questions to ask during interviews that would help me understand the experiences people have while traveling and using mobile pay. My goal was to lead the interviewee into expressing their pain-points in these areas.

I concluded that the user wants to do as little actions as possible while making a payment on-the-go and need affirmation that all transactions made are secure. Having these points in mind, the next steps were sketching + prototyping a solution!

Solution via Prototype

My Solution: create a secure experience with as little action as possible.

To begin, the user inputs all requirements through a form to indicate travel dates, destinations, and desired account or card to be used for transactions. Enabling notifications and access to location services is an additional requirement for optimal functionality.

From there, the app would launch banner notifications based where the user visits, prompting the them to follow limited steps to complete a purchase. The user would never have to initiate a transaction or open the bank application manually.

For example:

  • Ready for checkout at location
  • Pull out phone, slide prompted notification to open scan screen within app
  • Approve secured purchase

Final Insights

While this was just a rough idea, there are so many more steps that could be involved in this single solution alone! I can see where a simple alteration to an app feature requires more time, research and even A/B testing to find the most effective solution possible for happy users.

The more questions you ask in your interviews, the better. (And definitely no ‘yes or no’ questions!)

Irrelevant convo or going off on a tangent? It’s OK! You’ll notice indirect habits + pain points that way too. Using a pre-meditated list of questions is such a great guide to get you back on track.



Kelly Gedvilas

Resilient, multidisciplinary designer of impactful user experiences |