The $1B Design

Design For Customer Acquisition

FULL LIFECYCLE, TEAM MANAGEMENT, STRATEGY, DESIGN, TESTING, AND IMPLEMENTATION.

Problem

How do you get more customers to navigate a complex process to sign up for credit cards?

The answer is: micro-interactions!

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How We Did It

I led an agile, global team of 15 designers and developers to identify all kinds of [mostly] small, design, business, and usability issues. We fixed them using a special process I created that incorporated rapid prototyping and rigorous user testing.

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The Result

The new design had clearer messaging and interactions for multiple user types, which resulted in fewer user errors and abandonments. Customers can now re-use saved application data from any existing account when they apply for a new card, saving tons of time.

The result delivered $1B per year in direct revenue according to an official client report.

We tested lots of login options. This one worked best.

Customers can choose which data to use when they apply for a new card.


Product Design Innovation: AI, Big Data, Brainwave, VR, AR, IoT

Innovation As A Service

I led the design and development of ToyBox, which does amazing things. We've solved for not only the elusive 'how to do rapid prototyping' problem, but have extended that to advanced technologies and big corporate projects.

  • Rapidly prototype complex solutions.

  • Use next-generation technologies like Conversational Ai, VR/AR, Internet of Things.

  • Re-imagine the future of business with integrated design thinking workshops.

I also developed a product sales funnel using a crowdsourced model, providing one of the only monetization models of its kind.

I created a campaign geared toward corporate innovation and emerging technology. Promoting a corporate application is normally a dry thing, so we made it juicy. It gained traction pretty quickly.

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Search for a solution among existing prototypes, then edit them in innovation workshops.

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Simple, strong, intuitive. The mobile design compares favorably with those done by Apple and Google.

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The design concept is super-simple in keeping with the ToyBox concept.

But what you can do is huge.

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The Apple Engineers Couldn't Believe It

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A New Level Of Product Design

TEAM LEADER, MULTIPLE GEOGRAPHIES / DISCIPLINES - PRODUCT DESIGN - STARTUPS - EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Challenge

After publishing an article in Search Engine Watch calling for innovation, I was called upon to deliver same. 

Extreme Design

I used extreme design, blending various disciplines, to collaborate with hardware and software device experts to design and build the first brain to iPhone interface. It is my product - I developed the concept, technical framework, design, mapping algorithm, and feature set.

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Above is a high-level schematic. A hallmark of good design is making the product easy to use, irregardless of the complexity of the underlying technology. Only a couple of people in the world were capable to doing the development work.

Result

ESPforMe was covered in Search Engine Watch and Apple World Today.

Below are some iPhone screenshots. The wearable connects to the purple circle, which you can control, Ouija-like, to search and display Web sites. When you download the app, and don your brainwave headset, you can train it to read your thoughts, and then use your brainwaves to perform basic search, in concert with other users - hands free.

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Enterprise Product Design

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Product Design For Enterprise Applications

DESIGN PROCESS - DESIGN TEAM MANAGEMENT - UX DELIVERABLES - VISUAL DESIGN AND STYLE GUIDE - HANDS-ON AS NEEDED

MAKE EXTREME COMPLEXITY SUPER SIMPLE

A major financial services firm needed a new design for its new lending program. It inherited a customer service design that was impossibly complex, and so hard to use that it was imperiling the product.

Design Process, Collaboration, and Mentorship

I led a small agile team that was part of a large cohort of other teams. We redesigned the experience so that it fit the task flow of the key user - a customer service rep. When the rep gets a call, they have to authenticate the customer before providing account information. They also have to rapidly cycle through related hierarchies of information.

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Designers shouldn't create complex maps, they should transform them into simple ones.

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I quickly created a simple site map.

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When customers call, this authentication screen pops up automatically.

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The agent can quickly verify that the customer is who they say they are.

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Each level of detail generates its own tab, keeping all that information handy so the agent can quickly  and accurately speed through the call.

Result

The solution provided unwinds all the complexity, providing a dynamic, user generated UI that provides only as much information as is needed, at the time it was needed.

The UI was so well-received that other teams immediately began incorporating the design patterns into related product designs - saving lots of time while improving the experience and decreasing development costs.

When the call is done, the agent presses the customer's button at the top / right -  which closes all the tabs, wiping the slate clean!


Digital Transformation Overnight

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Mobile, design process, UX/UI, team leadership, mentoring

IDENTITY CRISIS SOLVED

What does AMEX do? It’s not just about cards, it about service. It’s about travel. Imagine how much better the customer experience would be if it focused on that - instead of billing.

I led a team of designers and developers in an agile process that delivered a fully functioning prototype in one month.

TEAM LEADERSHIP, PROCESS, AND PLANNING FOR A COMPLEX, MULTI-PHASE PROJECT.

I steered teams through strategy, concepting, and multiple deliverables.

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PRODUCT DESIGN STRATEGY

We identified the key business drivers - travel, expenses, and a user experience connecting everything seamlessly.

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PERSONAS, WORKFLOW, USER JOURNEY MAPS

We combined various research and design techniques to create quick, effective iterations.

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FROM BAD TO GOOD

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Mini Case Study

A Bad Experience

When customers logged into the original app, they were presented with a bill - not very engaging ;].

Design Strategy

How to improve the customer experience?

We identified travel as being a core value-added service. Customers ought to have a single point of entry for all things travel - itinerary, maps, tickets, payments, and recommendations from colleagues.

Solution

The new app has a customer experience that incorporates all of the fun aspects of travel, along with the card expensing, into a seamless intuitive design.

It resides in the your pocket through your journey, and is geo-aware, offering multiple new paths of engagements with card offers. There is also a social dimension - you can find hotels and restaurants your colleagues have used, which is huge for business travelers who want to save time and be confident the expenses will be approved.

Now when you login, the message you see is "You have a trip planned."

Digital transformation overnight!


Traditional UX Is Obsolete

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Traditional UX Is Obsolete

Traditional UX doesn't work very well on today's multifaceted projects.

I developed ExD: Extreme Design that blends best practices from various disciplines.

Don't be scared by 'extreme' - it's all about reducing risk. 

Here Is My Process...

1. Consulting: Why are you doing it?

I collaborate with stakeholders using a variety of management consulting techniques to understand the business levers. This clarifies the goals and metrics. It also helps unite the team going forward around a shared vision, and design becomes less of a subjective thing.

2. Product strategy: What are you going to do?

Product strategy is a great way to ascertain product positioning, branding, and experience design opportunities. What features will be needed? What should NOT be done? Typical tasks involve business canvasing and market quadrant analyis.

3. Creative Concepting: What's the big idea?

I like thinking outside the box. I use techniques borrowed from creative agencies. If you don't have ideas, you're rearranging the deck chairs.

4. Agile UX: Show your chops.

Agile iterative design refines requirements and designs at increasing levels of fidelity. It's critical to have continuous feedback from customers along the way. There are lots of activities and deliverables and software tools that can be plugged in as needed. The team dynamics should harmonize in a way that everyone feels they're making progress.

5. Validate with real customers.

Formal user testing of an MVP - either remote moderated, local, actually any kind at all - is critical to validate the design concepts. It's important to ask the right questions, and to make sense of the results. I wrote a paper on quant / qual methods for doing this.

6. Detailed design spec: Make sure it can be built.

A detailed design spec and style guide should reflect the needs of the people using it. The level of detail, kinds of content, and relationship to other workstreams are critical for success.

7. Implementation and follow through.

Build it, and be on hand to do Q/A as needed to ensure it is built the right way.


CLIO WINNER++

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THE CAMPAIGN

My first campaign was as a team member in the early concepting phase for Small Business Saturday. A fairly modest role, but I was able to make a decent contribution. Above all a great experience working with an awesome team to pull it off.

A good campaign works at the nexus of customers, business, and social to drive action and insight.

Clio win.

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BIG DATA VISUALIZATION

Challenge

AMEX needed a customer-friendly design that makes it easy to find out who's spending what on what, where. The admin side had to ensure privacy by hiding information that could potentially compromise confidentiality.

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Approach

Working with a team of business and design experts, I researched the market, applied best practices, and went through several agile iterations, leveraging my significant experience in the space. I did concepting on the data visualization and most of the hands on work for the admin functionality.

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Result

The project was in trouble when we started, but I was able to turn it around by getting the basics right, while not getting lost in the details.


FinTech Revolution

FinTech Innovation - ThomsonReuters Eikon

I was the lead interaction design for Thomson’s flagship product, Eikon.

The task was to combine multiple legacy applications into a first rate design.

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Here is the result…

Some of the legacy systems were text only!

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I led an agile iterative process using personas, user journey mapping, and product strategy to create draft wireframes and gradually increase the fidelity.

This was a high profile project, so I got to work with some of the biggest names from across the country.

I worked closely with a range of internal experts and developers, doing low-fidelity agile mockups.

Interaction design proved key as it ties together requirements, usability, and product feature sets.

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Results

By most accounts, Eikon has a superior design to that of the Bloomberg Terminal, its main competitor.


Internet Of Things

DIGITAL VENDING MACHINE

I led the design of the Diji-Touch - one of the first Internet of Things.

 

INTEGRATED MARKETING AND ECOMMERCE

A giant touch-screen display handles transactions, while multiple integrated technologies handle eCommerce, advertising, and marketing. Live video ads appear on the screen, drawing customers in.

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The World's Biggest iPhone?

Challenge

Sometimes projects get messed up. I was called in to fix this one for Digitas. The digital vending machine has a wide variety of technologies and experiences, all of them developed in silos. As a result the project was stalled.

Solution

I reviewed the features, built a master flowchart, created use cases, designed the user experience, and presented the result to the client. To do this I had to use multiple design techniques, and collaborate with many subject matter experts.

Result

The project was a hit!

And we got it done quickly.

The vending machine has a digital interface, integrated promotional videos, complete logistics and ecommerce, and facial recognition.


Mobile Is A Touchy Subject

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Customer Onboarding Experience For Mobile

FULL LIFECYCLE DESIGN PROCESS - TEAM MANAGEMENT AND MENTORING - MOBILE DESIGN

Challenge

Customer on boarding is always a challenge. If you make a bad impression you may lose the customer. There are so many tasks to accomplish at once, that it can be almost impossible to get it right.

Not to mention mobile!

The ask was to design a card activation strategy that introduces customers to the product and service offerings. First impressions matter, so getting them off to a good start was key.

Design Process

I created a plan and led the agile iterative design process, managing client relations, and managing on / off shore teams to quickly iterate the design and clarify the requirements. We used a combination of consulting and startup techniques to rapidly innovate and button down the screen designs.

Result

The design solution seamlessly accomplishes several objectives at once. The customer gets a product tour, the company learns about the customer’s interest, the customer sets up a customized experience, and the customer is encouraged to use the card right away.

It is lightning fast, doesn't require much thought, and is responsive across desktop, mobile, and tablet.


A Product That Beat Facebook AND Instagram?!

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Laserthread - Featured in Adweek / SocialTimes.

LED PRODUCT STRATEGY - VISUAL DESIGN - UX - MULTIPLE TEAMS ACROSS GEOGRAPHIES AND DISCIPLINES - STARTUPS - INNOVATION

I developed Laserthread as an antidote for people who are sick of social media. It is an iPhone app that spins multiple network connections into a unified messenger. It has advanced features including 4D chat, AR filters, and an integrated FaceTime map.

Product Design On Steroids

I led every aspect of design and development, working closely with a range of app experts in an agile mode. We kept documentation to a minimum, instead relying on clear communication and simple diagrams, as is the best practice for startups.

Result

Complex functionality made super simple raises the bar for elegant design in an Apple platform product.

Beating Facebook and Instagram

I used the latest social and marketing techniques to drive downloads in an extremely competitive market.

With Facebook I got some very high engagement rates. Lots of work went into the creative and messaging. In one case, I even got views for an ad that had not been published!

In the fastest growing app market we even briefly beat Facebook and Instagram.

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For videos - telling a story that resonates is critical. Sounds simple, but I had to go through lots of versions to arrive at the winner.

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We got some pretty good numbers.

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Design Strategy

Design Strategy: Healthcare Focus

I have led some interesting healthcare projects:

  • UX for TriZetto, the major healthcare integration solution.

  • ToyBox product design, which adds emerging technology to healthcare.

  • The redesign of the biggest healthcare portal.

  • Strategies for improving insurance broker data access.

Read on for some examples...

The First Simple Health Insurance Portal

Strategy is looking at the company and figuring out what to do and when.

The goal was to create the first real simple healthcare portal. I developed a strategy that prioritized tasks based on business value, roadmap dependencies, and the volume of customers impacted. 

Using this approach we were able to quickly identify some big wins.  For example, we combined 'claims' and 'explanation of benefits' because they are the same thing! This resulted in a massive simplification of online and offline communications.

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Optimizing The Broker Experience.

I led a team that developed a strategy to improve broker portals by making them task-centric.

The project included ethnographic research, contextual inquiry, participatory design, and remote moderated usability testing.

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Part 1: Ethnographic research by visiting brokers in their workplace.

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We presented the findings in a detailed yet clear fashion.

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Showing the customer journey visually make it easier to identify problems, solutions, and programs to support.

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We added value by helping the client make the data actionable.

Helping a major insuror figure out the best way to get customers to go paperless.

We setup a remote moderated usability testing program. It was kind of tiring talking to customers for hours on end. But worth it, because we were able to not only report findings - but suggest solutions.

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Part II: I setup a plan and test scripts for remote moderated user testing. The objective was to evaluate the current experience for a 'go paperless' campaign and find out how to improve it.

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Clarity and planning ensure buy in.

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We tested a variety of real customers and gathered their feedback while observing them perform online tasks.

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This map shows success / fail points along key paths.

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The way things are worded makes a big difference in creating positive customer experience moments.

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