Iterating to Find a Solution

Process Overview

Our creation process subdivides itself into three tiers based upon the fidelity of the prototype produced: low, medium, and high. With each increase in fidelity, details become more and more crucial. During our initial low-fidelity stage, concepts were given focus over implementation, and no idea was deemed too wild or implausible. By contrast, our high-fidelity stage prioritized details and feasibility in order to create a product that could be deployed within two years.


At the end of our initial user research, we began prototyping and creating with a visioning session with members of our client team.

Round Robin

Round Robin requires that each individual begin with a blank sheet of paper folded into quadrants. Each person begins by writing a definition of the problem in the first quadrant, and then passes the paper to their left. This pattern of filling out the next quadrant and passing the paper continues, with the next steps consisting of writing a solution to the initial problem, a critique of that solution, and finally a resolution to the critique.

Creative Matrix

We drew a chart where each row represented a platform (e.g. mobile, web, Internet of Things, etc.) and each column represented a group of potential users (e.g. people who prefer a hands-off approach to finances, people who are hesitant to adopt new technologies, etc.). The cross-section of a given row and column then constitutes a potential solution for that particular group using that particular platform.

Drawing Advertisements

Each team member individually drew an advertisement reflecting the future to which our solution would ideally lead. These envisioned futures varied from ad to ad in specificity and time range, but all surrounded the same core ideas. The future desired was one of empathy and trust between the bank and its customers, and a simple, straightforward, and worry-free understanding of finances as a whole.

Low Fidelity Prototypes

To begin gathering and evaluating solution possibilities, we needed to begin with extensive exploration.

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Sketched Concepts

Each team member sketched ten separate concepts that fell within the intersections we found in our web. Sketches varied in fidelity, refinement, and format, ranging from storyboards to advertisements to wireframes. All expressed different ways to solve the many sub-problems identified from our research and our web diagram. The solutions we explored were just as wide ranging as the sketches, covering everything from mobile apps to robot advisors.


From these grouped sketches, we pulled core concepts which became a series of refined set of nine storyboards. Each storyboard represented a group of initial sketches and expressed the way each a concept might actually impact a user’s life and finances. A single concept was explored in three or four panels by describing context and interactions without becoming overly focused on the mechanisms of how a concept might work.

Speed Dating

Refined storyboards were speed dated with a series of eleven fellow students to understand emotional reactions to our concepts. Each of our fellow students saw all of the refined storyboards for a brief time, and then described their gut reaction to the concepts they saw. Reviewing our speed dating results showed us reactions ranging from privacy concerns to excitement over new concepts. Overwhelmingly positive or negative reactions led us to safely focus on some ideas while discarding others.

Tangible Prototypes

Based upon our speed-dating results, we determined the core ideas and concepts that we felt showed promise or would benefit from additional testing. These became physical, tangible low-fidelity prototypes - everything ranging from ambient displays to paper prototypes of mobile apps.

Medium Fidelity Prototypes

We set our sights on finding ways to enable affluent retail bank customers to make better, more informed financial decisions. To meet this goal, our team developed a series of questions that we needed to answer as a foundation for creating a solution. For each of the questions, we analyzed and identified the best research method for finding an answer and deriving insights. From those insights, we used an iterative design process to arrive at a solution. Due to a non-disclosure agreement, we are unable to show or describe our prototypes while patent applications are in process.

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Seeking Feedback

In order to test our prototypes with our peers, we conducted informal expert reviews with one individual at a time per prototype. These expert reviews showed us strengths and weaknesses of both concepts; where one offered simplicity, the other offered increased control and detailed information. While we found promising aspects of each prototype, they were not without drawbacks, and simply selecting one of the two to move forward with was not an easy choice.

Final Concept

We are unable to discuss details of the final concept we built at this time due to a non-disclosure agreement.

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Meet the team

Get to know the team of five masters students that worked together to research and design this system.