AWARD WINNING ACADEMIC-INDUSTRY PROJECT
As part of a Glasgow School of Art (GSA) student and new graduate team I worked in partnership with the new Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) design team based in Edinburgh from 2015-16. The objective was to develop the company’s emerging user-centred design process and integrate a future foresight methodology, as well as provide strategic design directions and service design proposals for RBS.
The success of the project resulted in a new industry-academic, collaborative educational model which GSA included as part of the syllabus for the university’s undergraduate Product Design courses.
DESIGN RESEARCH AND OUTCOME
I conducted ethnographic research into the values of Generation Y, using a combination of desk research and 40 in-depth interviews to develop personas for future customers (image 2 overleaf). My team also analysed current trends and societal shifts in order to visualise future contexts, including a future world context for 2025.
INSIGHTS & IDEATION
Insights gained from design research into Gen Y values, insecure life situations and past banking experiences (images 2 and 3) revealed a spectrum of attitudes, ranging from highly sceptical and negative to indifferent or misinformed with reagards to banking infrastructure and processes. This led me to generate concepts for more ethical, transparent and community oriented RBS branches.
PROVOTYPING (PROVOCATIVE PROTOTYPING) AND USER-TESTING
My team undertook user-testing of future scenarios and services with 20 Gen Y users. I tested an app prototype entitled ‘Trace’ (image 2), which showed how much of customers’ spending was going into the local economy. In this way the bank could support ethical & informed purchases, reflecting the values of Millenials. Users were positively surprised by the concept and feedback showed they would be more likely to use a bank that offered services which encourage and enable transparency and social responsibility.
Intrusive artefacts and provotypes (provocative prototypes) were used to test the level of invasiveness customers were comfortable with regards to artificial intelligence and security of biophysical data. One example of this is ‘Biopay’ (image 4) which tested the idea of paying with a chip implant or a bioink tattoo.