Over the course of the summer of 2018 I was given the privilege and the opportunity to work at TD Canada Trust as a digital strategist on the Mobile Channels Innovation team. Our directive was to perpetuate the core values of TD, inclusion, user-centric design and uniqueness through innovative solution development.
As a digital strategist and pm intern I was exposed to the multi-faceted ecosystem of mobile development from the lens of digital strategy. Over the course of my internship I worked on two distinctive teams in mobile investing and mobile insurance. Defined by two simultaneous projects under an agile framework; my methodology over the internship was to take ownership of my work through the application of user empathy and design thinking. Across 4 months, 8 sprints and continuous iteration, my work lead to an eventual POC creation, user validation and patent filing for which I was listed as a primary inventor.
Please contact me to view my patent work as the details are currently under NDA, if you have done so you can view my work here
Under the guidance of my mentor and direct report Harj Panag, my first project at TD involved conducting an investigation into the usage of Progressive Web Applications or PWAs. A framework released by Google in their 2017 developer summit; frontend developers could leverage PWA's to go beyond mere responsiveness in web applications. The investigation focused on the application of PWA’s in the mobile banking space for the creation of prototypes that were scalable and responsive; allowing a depth of visualization and testing that a wireframe could not provide. My findings were summarized in a short presentation and infographic, leading to the usage of Progressive Web Applications in the development of Proof of Concepts within the mobile channel teams.
The penultimate project of my time at TD was a massive undertaking that spanned 4 sprints and 3 months, setting the foundation for a new framework regarding user onboarding.
The invesment onboarding process left much to be desired, a long jargon filled task that had a tremendous bounce rate, how would we make this process simpler and easier to complete?
Redesigning the onboarding process would be a time consuming, and more importantly, resource draining excercise for a task that already existed, in what way could a solution reduce time to develop without compromising the experience?
Traditionally trained as an experince designer I quickly came to a realization that in the world of project managment the scope of development existed on a wholly different magnitude. Given the constraints of the project I looked for a solution that would be applicable to multiple areas of the mobile experience and that would also cut out on design and development time. With an orthodox redesign of the onboarding process requiring multiple design sprints as well as a large amount of screens and mockups for each step of the onboarding process, I instead drew inspiration from a daily task almost everybody has done - instant messaging.
From a perspective of user experience, a previous study had already been conducted on the implmentation of a potential chatbot within the TD app. In the globalized world we live in today, the nuances of communication especially over the internet have become an ingrained and repeated habit. With this in mind I began to conduct a competitor analysis (seen below) of the marketplace. Who else had attempted to use a chat based experience for user onboarding?
My findings showed that the utilization of a chat based onboarding process was already evident by multiple TD's commpetitors. Drawing from my research I began conducting a heuristic review of each of the competitor's applications, identifiying the strengths and weaknesses of each application
With a competitor analysis completed, I then looked to quickly scaffold a demo that could highlight the benefits of chat based onboarding. Using my knowledge of development and a site called flowXO I was able to quickly create a prototype in one day, deploying the site using surge and mimicking a mobile application using through the usage of a the Progressive Web Application Framework. The result was prototype level demonstration that far exceeded traditional timelines of development.demo
An integrated part of my research on the development of a chat based onboarding process was to conduct a competitor analysis of similar onboarding processes within the market. In order to visualize the data from my research I needed a way to display screens and user flows of multiple competitors in a cohesive environment. I decided to deviate from the norm of slide decks and utilized my knowledge of the design tool Figma to create an unorthodox break down of competitor onboarding. The result was a figma "mockup" that allowed the presenter to easily navigate through multiple different screens, with notable elements being highlighted by figma comments. My creative usage of non-traditional methodology was presented to the wealth board of directors and commended, leading to the approval of funding for the development of a chat-based onboarding process and integration with the TD Chatbot.
Users were failing to use the new photo submission claims properly, photos were often unclear, warped, or did not meet the required parameters. In what way could we look to streamline the submission process so users would have an easy and intutive way to submit and by pass the need for and insurance adjustor?
My time at TD was an incredible learning experience that greatly improved my understanding of the depth of software development and design. The internship challenged me to design solutions out side of the box, to roadmap plan effectively by breaking down challenges into synthesizable obstacles, and most importantly taught me the value of having a diverse skill set. Traditionally seeing myself as a black sheep of the design world I operated on what I felt a different paradigm as my peers. The only windows user in a room full of macs, I would rather code up a prototype using my front end stack than fire up photoshop. Yet my confidence as a designer and developer always felt lacking, a jack of all trades yet master of none. Conversely my work at TD taught me to value my unique identity as both a designer and a developer. Through my knowledge of front end I was able to create prototypes that went beyond what an invision mock up could do. Leveraging my skills as a designer I created a new framework for mobile competitor analysis. From this I've learned the most important lesson of all, to value my diverse skillset as a strength and not a weakness.