long Copy

pastel bank design sprint

what 🤔 

what 🤔

a 5 day design sprint to create a banking app catered towards senior citizens.

a 5 day design sprint to create a banking app catered towards senior citizens.

time  🕐

5 days

role 🎨

user research, sketching, wireframing, prototyping, presentation maker

tools 🛠

Pen & Paper, Sketch, Invision, Otter.io

for 📱

iOS, iPhone X and newer


This project was the product of a 5-day design sprint I did with 2 other UX designers during my full-time UX course at BrainStation. We were tasked to create a mobile banking app catered towards senior citizens while following the client's brand colours, typography and requests.

DAY 1: Map

during the "Map" stage, we had to identify our problem space by setting goals, assumptions about our users and turning these assumptions into questions. 

Our goal for the project was:

"to encourage individuals 60+ to use Pastel Mobile by promoting its enhanced security, user-friendly interface and unique features pertaining to seniors and their financial situations."

and most of our assumptions involved: seniors being concerned about security, seniors lacking financial literacy, seniors lacking certain digital skills, and seniors being hesitant towards new technology.

From our secondary research and assumptions, we then created a journey map that our end-user would take before and after using our app.


The diagram above shows the journey of a senior with a task to view their bank statement. Our group decided to illustrate the 3 possible journies in order to complete the task: (1) In-Person, (2) Using a mobile app and (3) using a laptop/desktop to access an online banking website. We found that the inconvenience found in in-person inquiries is that one would have to spend a lot of time travelling to the bank. In order to address this frustration, we need to improve the online process to make it feel safe and accessible to seniors. 

After this, we moved on to find information from actual people. To do this, we recruited 3 senior citizens living in Canada and interviewed them regarding their experience with mobile banking.

The findings from the interviews were very surprising to us and contradicted a lot of our assumptions. We found that:

  • All participants actually use online banking on their computers to check for their bank statements.
  • 1 participant found that details on existing mobile banking apps are hard to find due to them being hidden or too small.
  • Seniors would prefer to use laptops or desktops because they have difficulty typing on the small mobile keyboards.
  • Seniors know how to use the tech, they just don't want to use it.
  • Seniors only use mobile banking for simple tasks and go to the bank for more complex tasks since they cannot find the option on their screen.
  • Seniors are actually pretty tech-savvy contrary to popular opinion. (based on the participants we recruited)

From these findings, we started thinking of HMW questions to answer: 

output-onlinejpgtools (1)

the photo above shows our how might we ideation. We segregated our HMWs to the categories: Features, Access and Transparency + Security. Then after this, we did a silent dot vote to vote for our choice of HMWs.

we ended up with this how might we question: 

"HMW aid seniors in accessing alternative features outside the realm of daily banking such as investing reports, pension management and more?"

DAY 2: Sketch and Decide

On day 2, most of our day was spent creating inspiration boards, sketches and deciding on features that would alleviate pain points.

Step 1. Individual Ideation:

output-onlinejpgtools (8)

Step 2. Crazy 8's:

output-onlinejpgtools (9)

Step 3. Solution sketches & Heat Map (Dot voting):

output-onlinejpgtools (10)

Step 4. Storyboarding:

output-onlinejpgtools (11)

DAY 3: Prototype

the whole day 3 was spent creating the app and digitizing it on Sketch and transferring it to inVision.

Since this project was a 5-day design sprint, we only had a limited amount of time. So we decided to cut our process and go straight from low-fi to hi-fi wireframes. 

Brand constraints we had to follow:

  • Colours
Screen Shot 2019-11-23 at 11.10.55 PM

Some initial wireframes:

  • Font: Avenir
Screen Shot 2019-11-23 at 11.16.11 PM
Sign UP
Landing Page
Savings Account

research backed design decisions:

  1. we used an AI assistant to remedy the problem seniors have of having a hard time typing on a mobile phone.
  2. Having the AI also allows seniors to use this tool to look for advanced features and information they cannot find on their own.
  3. We decided to use a card view so that seniors can quickly click and access their statements and for easy customization.

DAY 4: Test

the whole day 4 was spent on conducting usability testing for our product. We were able to test our prototype on 5 participants. Unfortunately, we were only able to test the prototype on one senior citizen, and the rest were all aged 20-50 years old and more technologically literate. Given these constraints, we were still able to find a lot of usability problems to improve.

The main findings from our testing were:

  • "There are too many cards on the app, too overwhelming."
  • "AI robot functionality during onboarding could have been clearer."
  • Lessen long lines of text
  • Colours and designs are very inviting and youthful.
  • AI integration in senior mobile banking is great for seniors that have difficulty typing.

The day was supposed to end after testing, but since our group finished early we decided to create a new iteration of wireframes using the data we received from usability testing.

In the wireframes below, the changes we made were:

  1. we increased the font size,
  2. added more prompting and direction to allow users to understand that they can use the AI to help them if they are lost,
  3. and simplified the card view to be less overwhelming.

Day 5: Present

on day 5, we had to present our research and designs to our stakeholders. (our instructor and TA) Here we had to present our design decisions, our problem space, HMW question, and explain why we decided to create an AI assistant to help seniors.

Link to our presentation!

next steps

for our next steps, we would like to conduct a usability test with the redesigned screens with seniors to validate our design decisions. Then we would like to ideate a clearer, more intuitive onboarding and tutorial process to introduce the AI Robot and integrate more pension plan features.

closing thoughts

This project was a very short-term and stressful one but it showed me that with dedication and a group of designers, we can come up with the most interesting and creative ideas. 

The biggest takeaways I got from doing this project were the following:

  • When working within a brand, it is important to always keep in mind the brand colours, typography and standards.
  • Always try to validate your designs with actual users.
  • Mid-fi wireframes are very important in the design process. 

see my other works!

keepfreshCase Study

pastel bankDesign Sprint

emerging media labux experience

air canadaRedesign

hubblePersonal Project