Kuveyt Türk Participation Bank

User Experience Team

What can others learn from the successes and failures of how your team was assembled and how it operates?: 

In financial sector, increased competition leads banks to focus on customer oriented product and service design. Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank started core banking transformation project. In the scope of this project, beside of improving banking infrastructure, all user interfaces and business processed are improved. First user experience studies started in this period. Because of the lack of know-how about UX in Turkey, consultancy was retrieved from a company in the UK in 2010. The necessity and importance of these studies is understood. With growing of the team and increasing variety of products in the bank, it is aimed to generalize UX vision throughout the organization. Then central UX team was assembled in the department of Information Security and Quality in 2013. The UX team includes four members as two usability researchers, a designer and a team leader. Team members have different professional background and this provides with broad viewpoint in research and design process. Moreover, consultancy service on User Experience is received from Userspots Company (http://www.userspots.com) which is active in user experience and usability fields since 2009 in Turkey.

After assembling the UX team, team members joined to UX training courses given by Userspots consultants. Beside of training, Userspots continued to give consultancy about Kuveyt Turk projects for six months. To raise awareness of UX through the company, UX team organized workshops and seminars. All IT analysts who design the systems in Kuveyt Turk attended this training consulted by Userspots.

Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank is an enterprise company with more than 4000 employees because of that initially job description of UX team was studied and documented. Also, operational process of UX and relation to other business and IT processes have been documented.  Based on these planning working, the UX process is integrated Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) of Kuveyt Turk IT. SDLC phases are available in drop box with the name of UX SDLC.

After achieving a visible maturity level in UX field, we shared our experiences to other companies which have newly established their UX Teams or planning to establish a team. In this context, we participated in a Usability and User Experience Certification Program organized by Userspots and DONE Labs (http://www.donelabs.com) in Kadir Has Üniversity (www.khas.edu.tr/en/). We mentioned about our experiences during establishment of the UX team including our successes and failures, our approach and future goals. The detail of presentation is available in drop box with the name of Kadir Has University Presentation.

What evidence supports your belief that your team is exceptionally effective?: 

In our user experience researches, effective findings were achieved through customer meetings, usability testing etc. Some of these are as follow:

Case1: When we visited one of the XTM branches, we discovered that female customers have some hesitation about to enter XTM cabin because of the design. XTM was at the end of the cabin and not visible from outside. So lightening was not enough. In XTM branch male security officers are also a concern for female customers for not to enter to the branch. When this problem was discovered, there were three XTM branch on use. To solve this problem for newly opening 100 XTM, the design of the cabin has changed.

Case2: After UX research on XTM it is discovered that one of the options on the menu was not well understood by customers. This option is for starting video conference and it was just stated as ‘Start video conference’. Customers thought that it was a different task other than other options on menu. But it was for other operations that are not on the list and to assist customers who are not able to complete the transaction. By changing the name of option to ‘Video Conference for Other Operations’the use of option increased almost 70%.

Case3:When we conducted usability tests on ATM machines, it was discovered that one option on the menu which was “Defined Account” for transferring money was perceived within 6-7 seconds by customers. Then, the name of that option was changed as “Own Account”. As a result, in data analysis for examine the performance of ATM was observed that this option on the menu is perceived within 2-3 seconds by customers.

Case4: We were included analysis phase of a project about application for funding and conducted user experience researches during this process. Some deficiencies about analysis and improvements were revealed and necessary changes were done through these results on project analysis. As a result, it was avoided from cost and development time of the project because user experience research was done in the beginning of project before the project started to development process.

Case5: After we had meetings with call center, branch officers and customer satisfaction team for studying on a project, we noticed that there was lack of communication between these teams and they had complaints about working style of other teams. Actually, all teams worked as required but they did not state it to others appropriately. Then we expressed clearly this situation to all teams and their communication process was improved. That is, even though we work on project-based for our user experience research, we can provide with opportunity to improve some problems which occur when we have touch points with it.

Case6: Until now we work on project-based. As long as project teams analytically saw our suggestions quite effective for improvements of projects they started to want UX Team to help any condition they are stuck in solving.

Case7: We prepared a report about how our company’s website can be accessible to disabled people as UX Team. Then the web site was structurally redesigned with taking into account this report. Thus we can address all people to service them.

What aspects of how your team is organized and/or how it operates have most influenced its success?: 

In User Experience Research many products from different channels and departments are being tested. So having different perspectives over products can make research process more effective. Our team consists of four people who are experts of their own fields. One of them is from help desk and specialized on solving customer issues related to the target product. Other one is from software testing service and has diverse knowledge of products. A designer also takes place in this team to contribute user experience research from design point of view. As project owner one team leader also participated in this research to manage processes. As UX team we located in IT department. This enables us to have more chance to communicate with project stakeholders. Moreover we can easily take place in all steps of projects development processes.

In our researches we generally start with real data analysis. Because we are provided with real data from customers transactions with detailed numbers by our company, we have opportunity to propose more logical solutions to usability problems of ongoing and newly developed projects. This big data is also analyzed by Analytical Banking team and provided to us with a brief summary. After completion of a user experience research on a specific project we continue to analyze related real data periodically in order for further improvements. At the beginning it was our responsibility to decide projects to work on for user experience research. Now project stakeholders demand our help for analysis and suggestions. This enables us to participate in project development process from the beginning. Compared to revised projects, this opportunity decreases cost and development time of the projects.

Through all the research process we are collaborating with our consultant. As a result we are able to follow all new trends in UX. In addition as a R&D center we are conducting researches academically. Furthermore by participating EU R&D projects we are able to work with international partners on a global basis. This provides us added value and helps us to widen our perspective on UX.

We also write some articles about our studies and projects as R&D center. For example, the article of User Experience Research in Banking Sector: Digital Brach, XTM is accepted by Academic Informatics Conference which was hold in Mersin University, Turkey and will be published soon. You can learn more about the conference from . The article is about conducted user experience research for XTM, applied methods and the result of research in the banking industry. The detail of presentation is available in drop box with the name of Academics Informatics-Presentation. We are genuinely supported by senior management. Thus we have opportunity to widen our research areas. Our research results are directly submitted to vice general director of our company. So almost all of the results of our researches are taken into consideration and applied to projects.

How does your team adapt to respond to changing requirements, projects, and stakeholders?: 

We participate to a project at pre-analysis stage. So we can evaluate requirements of the project from UX point of view at the very beginning. In this way we have opportunity to notice further problems and take precautions with stakeholders.  Also we continuously communicate with project stakeholders during project development process. Thus we are able to predict further requirements and intervene in them. Afterwards we include stakeholders to prototype testing in order to identify requirements and deficiencies. Even if previously mentioned processes completed, new requirements can come up. At this situation we categorize the requirements according to urgency, feasibility and other criteria and we take action against them accordingly. For example, after completion of prototype of a project “Sending Gold Through Sms” a new requirement has occurred that is about change in commission rate for different credit cards in that project. This requirement was taken into consideration from UX perspective and prototype redesigned.  

How do you ensure your team remains successful even as members leave the team and new ones join?: 

We tried to build the team process-oriented not dependent to team members. To achieve this, we designed UX process as one of the Kuveyt Turk official work processes and UX process is integrated to other development processes in product development and software development. Also UX process and work items are documented. So, even a new member joins the team, he/she knows what to in a project.

Additionally, there is an e-mail group includes all members of UX team in Kuveyt Turk’s e-mail system. This e-mail group is used for new requests from team, project progress reports and all communication between other work groups and UX team. Consequently, all team members get information about all the task is doing in the team. If a member leaves, other team members can keep going the current tasks.

There is an also shared data storage area in the system for UX team. We use this area for all project documentation, routine weekly meeting notes, voice and video recordings of customer meetings. All these data is available for other team members. A team member can watch video recording of a customer review even he did not join the customer meeting.

How does your team manage its interactions with stakeholders and, where applicable, with other teams involved in the design and execution of products or services?: 

As mentioned in answer of previous question, team members know when to do which task during the process base on UX process documentation. When UX team established, it is announced to other groups in the company. Other groups know in which cases they need to work with us. Moreover, other employees can contact us any time by UX team e-mail group or our desk phones or cellphones which are available in the company system.

For a project includes research and design of a product, UX tasks are added in project planning by project manager. As UX team, we complete our detailed work and define UX tasks according to breakdown structure. Planned meeting are also added in project planning. Apart from planned meetings, we share output of our work in any level with project stakeholders and present details of our works to upper management and during design phase UX team members meet with other teams if it is necessary. Furthermore, in any case of deviation from the plan or change of requirement, we organize meetings with relevant stakeholders.

After the design phase, we monitor execution of product or service. We are in contact with IT and product development teams. We analyze the data related to product or service usage and base on this data and some additional research works, we go on working with IT and product development teams to improve the product or service. If major changes are required, the work is planned as a new project and it is operated to according to documented project and UX process.