My role and context
I joined Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) in the Commercial Banking division as a user experience designer. My role was to assist the business in integrating an agency-designed UI onto the many complex services within LBG. This new UI design, termed internally as the ‘visual layer’, was just one part of a wider business initiative that involved bringing together the various third-party products that make up Commercial Banking at LBG. This visual layer hadn't had any UX consideration during commissioning or design and was purely UI lead. It goes without saying that it required considerable UX thought and processes to adapt it to the unique challenges faced within LBG.
Complexities and roadblocks
LBG faced the challenge of wanting to modernise their customer facing Commercial Banking site but were restricted by inflexible off-the-shelf products that comprised their service. To add further complications, their development was offshore through an external company while a quasi-Waterfall was the working methodology of choice. These third-party products presented unforeseen issues and roadblocks for the business and to myself as a user experience consultant. An historical lack of any user focused service or user experience design meant the wider business was in part resistant to change, an issue in itself. The businesses objectives of Commercial Digital were hindered as a result.
The differing realities of the third-party products that made up the Commercial Banking side of the business had not historically been given thought by the business and this was down in part to a lack of proper planning and scoping. As a result, the business objectives suffered under these very considerable infrastructure and system limitations which meant much of this new UI visual layer couldn't in fact be implemented. The widely varying technical sophistication and differing levels of user experience consideration in these products, meant the new design patterns had to be pared right back, adapted wholesale or ditched to allow for a ground up UX review and new approach.
So, what happened?
As a direct result of this approach, the Commercial Banking side of the business was restructured and with new management in place, the project was shelved in its then form. The scope of my role also changed to work on other UX projects involving designing integrated FX functionality, advising on a third-party cheque management product and leading the LBG UX on an international trade portal, also a third-party product. I also assisted the business on smaller UX tasks for things like user account management, navigation, data tables management and other general advice on improvements within the confines of the systems the business used.