Brand identity, Digital Design, Graphic Design, User Experience
Charles River Anywhere (CRA), one of the wealth divisions of Barclays, was and intricate and complex union of three completely separate systems to manage clients' wealth and investment portfolios. It had become an over encumbering behemoth from a previous age that was inflexible and often forced clients to travel to the bank — it was time for Barclays Wealth to evolve and become relevant in the very completive segments of wealth and investment banking.
The main challenge for Black Monday was unifying three completely different aging desktop only systems with their own branding, visual design, UI and interactions. To add to user facing complexities was the integration of three separate databases and solving for various demanding regulatory processes. And the even though it wasn't mandated at the beginning of the project — create a user experience that would seamlessly flow between desktop and tablet devices.
Through user research directly with the private bankers and in some cases their clients we identified what was redundant and what was required across all three systems to meet the various user needs.
This was followed by creating basic prototypes (both flat and interactive Axure) for further user testing that were iterated based on the user feedback into more detailed, granular wireframes covering layout, user interface and interactions. This proved invaluable in gaining stakeholder buy-in to invest heavily in backend database migration and integration as well as creating a completely new user interface.
During the visual design phase of the project Black Monday worked closely with Barclays internal development teams to identity areas where the backend could improve as well as where changes to the front end and user experience would prove beneficial. Throughout this phase of the project we held regular workshops with the users to ensure the changes being made were well informed and improving the user experience and interactions.
During the Agile development, Black Monday participated in fortnightly sprints to ensure design integrity and continued to hold regular research workshops to observe how users interacted with the live development build using real data. This led to further improvements for both the front and back-end.
The final result has proven a revolutionary change for Wealth and Investment Banking for Barclays and for the first-time private bankers can visit their clients at any location that is convenient for them, freeing them from the tradition of clients needing to always travel to the bank.