Emirates Development Bank (UAE)

UX/ UI. User Research

Overview

The Client

Emirate Development Bank is UAE’s leading government owned banks that provide a platform to avail housing loans for all UAE Nationals. Its key objective is to empower its customers and provide competent banking products, services and solutions. 

The challenge

To achieve that end, EDB’s prime objective was to stay competent. UAE is known as a world-class digital society, where most banks offer online services to their customer base, either through mobile apps or web portals. So, the first step in EDB’s transformational journey was to create a mobile app, that allowed users to perform almost all banking operations, at the same time, be super easy to use for a non English speaking user base.

The Solution

I was awarded this project during my stint at Provab Mobileapptelligence. I led the UI UX of EDB’s app and designed it using contemporary styling and harbored a unique UI that could bring EDB to the forefront of banking apps.

Timeframe

9 Months

Role

Lead UX/UI designer

Finalized Approach

We formed a focus group of real customers, experts and stakeholders. And tried to answer a few key questions – what are the end goals of the three groups? What are the key objectives of using an app? What is the competition doing?  What is the competition not doing? What features or add-ons will make the backend operations easier? How to create a sustainable app that eliminates the use of paper altogether? Equipped with these valuable insights, we employed Double diamond framework and associated tools, to create the EDB mobile app.

Research

To understand the needs and pain points of users and the current state of key players in the made-to-order landscape, I defined my research objectives into 3 categories.

Consumer Behaviour

Uncover and define the expectations of customers and visitors on the mobile app.

Identify and define industry standards, technical security requirements Determine likes and dislikes, preferences over aversions in banking experiences

 

I also studied other banking products that offered similar mortgages and loan processing applications, such as Emirates NBD and Rak Bank in UAE.

Secondary Research

Conducted secondary research to understand demographics, developments, opportunities, and challenges in the banking space. I sifted through numerous articles, case studies, industry standards, and user preferences and expectations while ordering made-to-order products.

Competitive Analysis

There are 51 banks in UAE, and 9 NBFI’s, I narrowed down to the top giants and I performed an analysis of indirect competitors such as Dunia Finance, Finance House, Al Futtaim NAJM.

Primary Research

To  curate the UX  / UI I created a focus group on Skype with a couple of users in Dubai. We had a mix of new users and repeat customers and we asked them about their banking experience on mobile apps in general. There were a few assumptions we began with, for instance – Users prefer applying for loans and cards vs a visit to a physical branch

Research outcomes

Clustering responses from various users gave us very valuable insights that could be incorporated in the EDB app. Through this process, I identified several user needs – 

 

1. One-click access – All accounts, cards, loan related information should be in an easy to use dashboard

 

2. Ease of raising service requests – Instant problem resolution to help customers raise and track service requests

 

3. Customer service – Users hate going to bank branches, majorly due to the long wait times and always prefer routine issues to be resolved via chat support. While tele-support is preferred over visiting a physical branch, the unanimous preference is to chat support.

 

4.Paperless loan and card request – Applying for a loan/card using a paperless transactions and instant approval is the need of the hour.

Define &
Ideate

Some of the Technical considerations were banking operations integration and paperless transactions. Another key integration for the UAE market was EID (Emirates ID), to minimize fraud, blacklist defaulters, and overleveraged customers. 

Taskflow

I created a high-level list of site features to further define and guide the vision for the mobile app. Prioritizing the features with supporting research created a clear order of execution.

Low-Fidelity wireframes

Using insights and ideas generated through our focus group discussions and research, I created the initial set of wireframes to stitch the learnings together. During this process, I designed the content, the layout, filtered-essential vs non-essential information, and also incorporated all user and business goals in a technically feasible way. This initial mockup served as a guide to create my digital wireframes in Adobe Illustrator.

Design

After continuous feedback and several variations of low fidelity wireframes, I reach a point where I was ready to supplement my low fidelity wireframes with images, typography, menus etc. using Adobe Photoshop.

 

Usability testing was done with another set of user participants, working professionals, and were given different scenarios  – e.g to check loan application status, to apply for a loan, to check loan details etc.

Final UI