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On the occasion of the awards ceremony, which took place on 9 February 2018 in Frankfurt, we discussed the importance of customer experience design with Claude Folschette, partner and digital art director at Apart, and Luc Sinner, deputy head of the Marketing unit at BCEE.
Claude Folschette: We always suggest to our clients that we begin an interface project with a discovery phase. This phase enables us to better understand the challenges and constraints from the client and user point of view. It is only in the second stage that we return to the application’s structural and functional details, while always keeping in mind both our client’s expectations and the needs of the end customer.
Next comes the design phase, which begins with a lot of back and forth between our customer, here BCEE, and us, the agency. Based on these discussions, we designed several models, which, once accepted, were sent to the bank’s developers. For S-net mobile, the design phase also involved several tests under real conditions. For instance, we created a prototype to validate specifically the navigation quality in the application. We also tested several navigations before adopting a final version.
The application design acted as a basis for the design of the identity of BCEE’s digital brand. Colours, typography, iconography, grid system, … We started everything from scratch. Today, we have a complete mobile and desktop style guide, including more than 166 components and nearly 600 unique elements, ensuring a coherent experience on all of BCEE's digital supports.
Luc Sinner: Often in the past, the user and customer experience was not given the importance it deserved. There was rather a tendency to put the focus on a plethora of available functions to the detriment of simplicity and user-friendliness.
For this new S-net Mobile version, we wanted to reverse this logic and highlight customer experience. This is why we delegated the design aspect to a specialised communications agency, which was independent from us and from technical specificities. The aim was to reach an innovative design that enables the quick execution of daily tasks such as opening the application, viewing account information or making transfers.
Two years on from its launch, S-net Mobile has become an indispensable tool for our digital customers. With more than one million connections a month, our customers confirmed that we made the right decision. Thanks to an innovative design and a focus on ease of use, S-net Mobile accompanies our customers on a daily basis, and thereby reflects our key values, which are customer focus and the efficiency of our digital products.
Claude Folschette: On some projects, we love to be very creative or even disruptive in terms of experience, but with a project like BCEE’s web-banking application, we had to remain alert, because the end user audience is extremely large. The application had to be accessible to as many people as possible, and this, regardless of the public's comfort level with technology. Reinventing the wheel was not an option, we had to be creative while complying with best practice in the applications field!
It is the user who controls the application, not the application that controls the user.Claude Folschette - Apart
The documentation offered by the two large mobile operating systems, iOS and Android, is of great help in these kinds of situations. iOS and Android create some really instructive documentation. The "Human Interface Guidelines", as Apple and Google like to call them, enable designers and developers to create applications that are increasingly functional and in line with the most widespread uses. Following these guidelines is an extremely rigorous process. This work is made all the more complex when a new digital brand has to be developed in parallel, as it was the case with the creation of the BCEE web-banking application.
In my opinion, beyond these essential prerequisites, the keys to a successful mobile digital experience are:
It is also possible to improve the experience through little extras, such as:
Generally speaking, I would say that a good experience is one that is empathetic towards the user.Claude Folschette - Apart