Financial Experience Design 2020

FXD 2020 Day 2

Day two of Mad*Pow’s 2020 Financial Experience Design (FXD) conference featured a variety of keynotes and explored a number of topics, including matters of culture and team, purpose and perspective, motivation and behavior change design and the work of driving design. To see any of the speakers slides visit and to see the recordings of each presentation check out our YouTube playlist.


Opening Remarks

Michael Kirkpatrick, Mad*Pow

Michael kicked off day 2 of FXD, titled “Design for Change,” by welcoming participants to the first ever virtual FXD conference. He set the stage recognizing the challenging times we live in: “we’re amidst a pandemic that is second surging; we’ve arrived at a polarized and rancorous political moment; our divide between winners and losers is deepening. The pandemic has been the greatest driver to digital adoption and behavior change in human history,” he told the 80-plus virtual attendees. Michael shared that in a recent Mad*Pow study, participants talked about courier ATMs, remote mortgage closings and a number of innovations they expect to have. “This is the new frontier for great experience design,” he said. Financial companies that challenge conventions and constraints during the pandemic will need to retain that mindset as they look for experience innovations in the future.


How EQ Fuels Strategic Agility – The Surprising Link

Keynote: Kerry Goyette, Aperio Consulting Group

Kerry discussed how leaders can leverage the full potential of their team during this era of disruption. It all starts with cultivating emotional intelligence and strategic intuition. Our brains are hardwired to view disruption as a threat, which can cause us to misinterpret our environment and miss opportunities. However, if we learn to manage our emotions and move from a state of fear to a state of using our strategic intuition, we can assess our environment accurately, enabling us to drive innovation and come up with creative solutions. To unleash the motivation and full collaboration of our team, it’s important to cultivate the right environment for them. There are two drivers to foster such an environment: first, creating a shared sense of purpose by providing clarity around goals, and second, promoting collective commitment. By focusing on developing strategic intuition and collective commitment, you help create the conditions of strategic agility, where people will not only survive, but thrive. They’ll recognize shifts in the environment and will be able to flip the chaos and turn it into opportunity.


Experience Design – The Path to Differentiation

Keynote: Francesco Lagutaine, M&T Bank

Francesco became passionate about experience design early in his career when he learned that products are only effective when a user can work them – not when the functionality works. In his presentation, Francesco discussed the importance of experience design as a business differentiator and how to cultivate an experience design culture within a large financial organization. “You have to help organizations understand the power of design,” he told FXD attendees. “You have to describe design in ways that matter to the organization – tangible measurable facts – not how it matters to us.” He also discussed the importance of integrating design talent within the organization, ensuring that design is at the core of operations enabling designers to be pointed to the problems the business wants to solve.


Creating a Resilient Remote Culture Today to Design the Future of Work Tomorrow

Keynote: Nedret Sahin and Liz Possee Corthell, Mad*Pow

With much of the world’s workforce having to work from home during the ongoing pandemic, Nedret and Liz have been on a quest to understand what the future of work will look like. They employed “futures thinking” to talk about our current world and explore how the world might look in the future. Futures thinking doesn’t attempt to predict the future; instead, it’s about understanding there are many possible futures. As leaders imagine what the future of work might look like, it’s important to develop strategies to build a resilient workforce that evolves as COVID-19 continues. Nedret and Liz reviewed creative approaches that some companies are using today. For example, some companies are using video games, such as Red Dead Redemption and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, to host meetings. Other companies have increased the use of collaboration tools, such as MURAL and Tandem, while still others have evolved their workspaces, developing outdoor offices, meeting rooms and kitchens. The duo then led the participants through an exercise asking participants to consider options about what the future should look like related to a variety of scenarios. They provided some wild and mild options regarding each scenario to provoke thought. They concluded by leaving participants with the insight that as leaders navigate through the most possible and probable futures, this is where they must consider what the most preferable future is for the biggest number of people.


The Business of Moving Others: Using the Science of the Mind to Induce Behavioral Change

Keynote: Tali Sharot, University College London

Many companies want to influence the actions of clients, employees and colleagues. They want to induce behavior change. In her presentation, Tali shared how we can be more effective at changing behavior by simply reframing our messaging to highlight the opportunity for progress rather than decline. According to empirical research, the brain does a better job encoding information about how the future can be better versus what can happen that can cause decline. Also, focusing on immediate rewards can further promote behavior change. It’s equally important to understand an individual’s state of mind, as those under a high level of stress have been shown to react differently to negative information, becoming hyper vigilant to negative news. Research shows that creating anticipation through messaging can also influence an individual. In summary, Tali told participants that becoming aware of how people’s brains work should make us better at communicating information to others.


Inclusive Design, Do No Harm! – Designing Experiences for Diverse Audiences

Keynote: Crys Moore, Betterment

Crys kicked off the presentation saying “I wanted to share with you all today some aspects of my identity that motivate me as a human and as a designer. I’m a neurotypical gender nonconforming individual with an invisible disability.” Crys continued, “understanding who I am helps me understand my users and generate more compassion and empathy.” Crys is a product designer living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and brings a nonnormative perspective and insight into certain demographics. Crys is also white, able-bodied and in the upper-middle class. All of these characteristics inform Crys’s work as a designer. By sharing this information, Crys encouraged FXD participants to think about how their identity informs their design process. Working at Betterment, Crys has always felt safe raising concerns about issues such as inclusivity and accessibility, which led to a two-part case study. Because of Crys’s unique insight, Crys was able to serve as an advocate on two specific issues affecting Betterment customers. One required customers to identify their sex via a binary radio button in their app; the second required customers to use their legal name when signing up for an account. As a result of Crys’s and other colleagues’ efforts, both requirements were changed. Crys closed by sharing a number of suggestions on “making inclusive products for diverse folks.”


Throw Out the Progress Bars! Designing for Financial Health Requires Measuring Success Differently

Keynote: Stephen Holloway, USAA Enterprise Advice Group

Financial health is about measuring the truth, but it should also be about communicating with an appropriate bedside manner. Money is emotional, Stephen told FXD participants. “So, think about your bedside manner because, in the end, you’re not only measuring and facilitating the financial condition, you’re measuring and facilitating an emotional condition.” Financial institutions tend to measure the trust of their customers by the Net Promoter Score, customer satisfaction scores and social behavior consumption. They should also look at the number of engagements that provide data back. Because the more customers trust, the more information they are willing to share with their financial advisor. “It’s about building an emotional tie and a trusted relationship with your customer,” according to Stephen. The financial services experience design veteran shared how his organization is approaching financial health measurement by building out a tiered system that will lead to better understanding customers’ patterns of trust.


The Motivation Code

Keynote: Todd Henry, Accidental Creative

Where does motivation come from? What is it that drives motivation in us? Drawing on decades of research including interviews with over 100,000 people and analyzing over a million achievement stories, Todd revealed to FXD participants that each person has his or her own motivation code – that is each person’s own unique, sustained, unchanging drive that is the source for that individual’s deepest engagement. It is not situational – meaning what drives a person is consistent from situation to situation. Todd shared the six families and 27 key themes of motivational drivers. He explained that by understanding themes that drive your deep engagement, you can structure your work so you are motivated and are able to do your best work every day.


Reduce Risk and Reap Rewards with Behavior Change Design

Keynote: Amy Bucher, Mad*Pow

Amy began her presentation by admitting she is an evangelist. “I believe that embedding a behavior change design approach – or more importantly a mindset – into your product organization can help reduce some of the risks that are inherent to product development.” She ensured participants understood some of the risks she was referring to by outlining six key risks she has observed in working with product organizations. Amy then walked FXD participants through Mad*Pow’s four-step behavior change design process, providing specific actions that may be used during each step. Amy worked to connect the dots by explaining how behavior change design addresses and mitigates the key risks she identified earlier. “Using behavior change design doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes along the way, but it does offer you a toolkit that you can use to quickly identify when you’re on the wrong path so you can make corrections,” Amy told participants. “Ultimately, you spend less time, effort and money to arrive at success.”


Moving Beyond What We Can’t Do

Keynote: Russ Wilson, Mad*Pow

Russ talked to FXD participants about what we can’t do. “Why is it such a challenge for UX to deliver on the things we want to deliver?” he asked. Russ admits to running into numerous obstacles during his career. Some of the comments he’s heard include: “it’s too expensive;” “it will take too long;” “we’ll fix it eventually.” In his 20 years of designing and developing software applications, Russ developed a few theories with which he’s had success combatting those arguments. Russ shared a number of strategies, starting with needing to be willing to go out of our lane. “We have to learn a lot more about business and a lot more about technology … to have a seat at the table,” he said. Russ provided valuable insights and helpful tips on how to have influence over the decisions being made at a leadership level.


Driving Change Amidst a Pandemic

Keynote: Lakshmanan Chidambaram, Tech Mahindra

Lakshmanan believes the pandemic offers the financial services industry some unique opportunities. “I believe every cloud has a silver lining, and this will lead to a more sustainable life choice,” he said. “Financial institutions can be the drivers of this change.” During this unprecedented time, there is an increased expectation for financial institutions to play a positive societal role that goes much beyond shareholder return, according to Lakshmanan. “As near-term quarterly earnings are released, financial institutions will be scrutinized by consumers and regulators for their response to the crisis.” The current crisis offers the financial services industry the opportunity to invest in customer experience transformation and expanding the functionality and efficiency of digital platforms. “Financial institutions in all form will be central to our recovery,” said Lakshmanan. He shared his thoughts on recent innovations that have come to market, as well as his insights on how the industry is poised to change. Financial organizations – some of which are rooted in decades or even centuries of tradition – will need to reexamine their core values to thrive.


Relationship Design – Orchestrating a Relationship with Your Customers

Keynote: Justin Maguire III, Salesforce

The role of design matters. It has become a core strategic asset for companies. It began with product design, evolving into service design and is now moving into a new chapter of relationship design. Although design creates business value, it isn’t well understood; and, it is underutilized. In his presentation, Justin spoke about the importance of personalization and the opportunity for companies to move beyond service design to adopt an even more relationship mindset. Relationship design is the creation of experiences focused on connections that drive deep engagement creating social and economic value. Justin talked about the four ideas reshaping design – personal, ethical, equitable and conversational – and provided insights to maximize design, as well as tips to avoid pitfalls.


Using Measurement to Guide Behavior Change Design

Keynote: Lena Belogolova, Intellichanges, Inc.

As the final presenter, Lena introduced FXD participants to using measurement to guide behavior change design. She explained that by measuring behavior, we can better measure success to drive the desired behaviors. She helped the group develop a foundational knowledge by conducting a brief exercise on the two types of thinking, as well as sharing basic definitions, complete with examples, and the usual barriers to incorporating behavioral change design. She walked participants through how to identify potential specific customer behavioral problems, how to confirm value when determining whether to incorporate behavioral science measurement, and how to define customer behavior change metrics. She wrapped up the session providing real-life behavioral science measurement examples, both good and bad, to provide the group with a solid understanding of how best to align business objectives with behavioral objectives.