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Design Thinking and Finance

Page history last edited by Elijah Woolery 6 years, 12 months ago

Hi folks-


Here was my original query on this topic, and the replies I received:


I'm working on a talk for Prudential in Scotland next week; looking for some case studies in financial services industries around design thinking (customer empathy, rapid prototyping, reframing problems, etc). Especially relevant would be anything that has helped elevate the influence of design, outside of the design teams, and had a demonstrable business impact.


I have the tried-and-true case studies, like IDEO's BofA/Keep the Change, but looking for something more recent...


If you've done any work in this sector that you've written about, or have any stories you could share, I'd be very grateful. If it's faster to do a quick (10 min) call, I could do that too in the next day or two...


Thanks for your help!



via Peter Macdonald


IDEO's work on Society of Grown-Ups for Mass Mutual:https://www.ideo.com/case-study/helping-young-adults-make-smart-money-decisions

Swell Investing, which just launched this week: https://www.swellinvesting.com/homepage
Designed from the ground up using DT. The IDEO case study has not been published yet.


Peter Macdonaldpeter@ideo.com | 650.906.6317IDEO | 150 Forest Avenue | Palo Alto, CA 94301 | USA




via Alison King


Capital One is another case study. Bought Adaptive Path and Monsoon. 



Sent from mobile thingie. All thumbs. 



via Bobby Hughes


Capital One has been reimagining banking through the rollout of new cafes.


Capital One announces first retail space in Seattle with Capital One Cafés | Provided By Capital One




via Tiffany Lau:


Hi Elijah,


Intuit has a few case studies around design thinking and I bet Capital One has a few too. I can speak for Intuit. I believe the biggest, and one of the best, case studies is TurboTax.


In 2012-2013, the leadership team realized that they'd already saturated the market and that they wouldn't be able to grow as much with their current product strategy. So, they formed a group to go through the design thinking process to figure out a new product vision and strategy. This group included higher ups (VP and above) from Marketing, Product Management, Design, and 2 folks who recently joined from IDEO. After a lot of customer empathy research and reframing the problem, they came up with a new product strategy (which then led to their redesign and many of the new features they've done since). Instead of just sharing the strategy with the organization from top down, they decided to stop work for 2 days to allow employees to experience their process. On day 1, they taught everyone (not just product) a few research and interviewing techniques, bussed everyone throughout San Diego, and had employees talk to people about taxes, what they do with their refund, and how they feel about finances. Then, after bussing employees back to the office, they presented the new strategy and teams. Since then, they've been killing it and have gotten many accolades (and money).


Let me know if you have any questions.







via Alexis Lucio:


Hi Eli (and anyone else interested):

I love ASB Bank's Clever Kash -- really awesome digital+physical product design, and gets both parents and kids involved in finances. Here's an additional case study.

When I worked in finance, I really liked how Simple approached the banking industry and people's distrust of banks in general, and in the NGO space, I'm very fond of IDEO.org-backed organization Moneythink (but unsure what their measurable impact is).

Hope this helps!





via Mark Rogers:


Hi Elijah,

   My name is Mark Rogers, PD ’12. I work at Fidelity investments and have a lot of those stories. One you can share is below. Happy to connect by phone to help you get set up if needed. 


Fidelity Labs, the innovation engine of Fidelity Investments built a customer delivery service to put real users at the center of design projects. A team used the service to hold co-design sessions with families who had the need to collaborate on critically important documents. The team discovered many were preparing for their own death and struggling to make the process easy. Together everyone prototyped ways to have important family conversations, and organize essential documents in a safe, secure, easy to use location. One family member took the prototype to his family reunion and used it with his relatives. He returned with feedback for the design team. The result was a product called FidSafe, which was built with users, not just for them. (www.fidsafe.com) The same team then started to focus on customers who lived in different places throughout the year. These “Snow Birds” often lived in Florida during the winter and somewhere else for the rest of the year. Many had the need to conduct post-hurricane damage repairs on their Florida properties while living out of state. This presented many problems in the insurance claims process. The design team realized these customers needed proof of damage along with all their insurance documentation in a safe, secure, easy to access location. This involved preparation. Fidelity Labs experimented with several rounds of prototypes helping them to know which documents to have on hand like updated photos of roofs, siding and internal walls along with assessment values for antiques and collectables. The result is a set of disaster preparedness templates known as the FidSafe® Fundamentals Kit available at (https://www.fidsafe.com/resources). 




via Emma Townley Smith:


This piece doesn't go into business impact too much, but it's public and the service is still out there...




Via Emilie Fetscher


Hi Eli.


I did a lot of fintech work at my old agency. I haven’t written any of it up that I can point to but I could talk about some stories over a video call (I’m in NZ). It is too bad your talk is next week. I’m currently working for a bank embarking on changing their whole approach to technology change/replacement. It will make a great story that I’ll sing from the rafters when we finish our pilot project. We are two days into scoping our starting point and have a goal to be in production by end July with project 1. (We’re looking at 40% of their technology. It is definitely a big ambiguous, complex and thus exciting project.)

Happy to chat if timing works and equally I’d love to hear other stories or see your final talk. Let me know how I can help.



Emilie (PD '08)

Design strategist, StrataMap
+64 22 329 9744



via Nathalie Collins


Hi Elijah,


We've done some cool work recently at IDEO.org in partnership with the Gates Foundation around design thinking + mobile money. The focus has been with lower income populations in East Africa. Here are a couple websites that might be of interest. Happy to talk more.





JPD '11
















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