Even the most complicated problems have easy solutions. That’s what the design thinking approach says.
n you need to come up with a stellar design for banking app, give design thinking a thought. It’s a viable approach that can help you deliver excellent UX by making complicated financial things simple. Let’s briefly cover how design thinking can aid the design of FinTech software and how to do it step-by-step.
The Basics of Design Thinking
The first thing you need to understand is that design thinking is a mindset, culture, and ideology designers follow to solve problems in a user-centric way. This thinking approach helps with complex issues and addresses wicked, incomplete, or fuzzy problems that designers can’t handle with traditional tools.
There are no proven ways to address those challenges, and here design thinking steps on the untrodden path of creative solution search. Design thinking is not focused on the problem; it deals with the solution and engages the designer’s creativity to find a brand-new way out.
Design Thinking in FinTech
So, what are the goals of applying design thinking in the FinTech industry? FinTech strives to create desirable, usable, effective, and efficient digital products like any other software development niche. Thus, when design thinking is applied to FinTech software, you may expect to get:
- Valuable products that customers want, that address the critical pain points and user needs, and that offer a positive UX.
- Technically functional software with an optimal set of features ensuring the app’s ability to deliver on its promise.
- Affordable app created without redundant expenditures and built without quality compromises.
Let’s review the classical five-step design thinking process applied to the FinTech product creation case – a personal finance management app.
The Steps of the Design Thinking Process
The design thinking algorithm is typically presented as a linear, five-stage process. However, it doesn’t take place this way, with numerous iterations and revisions occurring throughout the development project. Besides, every stage contains numerous sub-processes that we’ll skip for simplicity.
To embark on any software development project, you need to learn as much about your user as possible, understanding the target audience at the emotional and psychological level. It’s impossible without engaging with people and clarifying the problems they encounter and the experiences they have with personal finance apps.
The best way to find it out is UX research. Thorough research via interviews and surveys can provide a detailed snapshot of what your users want from personal finance management. All you need to do is organize that data with mind mapping or empathy maps and proceed with the next step.
Now, you need to apply the data derived from the empathy phase to synthesize findings and formulate user needs and problems. Make sense of data via storyboarding, user personals, and prioritization matrices where you rank ideas in the order of importance.
Beware of a too broad or too narrow focus at this stage, as it may cause deviation from the initial problem. Another problem UX designers often face is the absence of a user-centric view of the problem. Thus, a proper focus and customer-centric orientation help define the problem and move on to its ideation.
This phase requires creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. It’s where all business ideas are born. The main tip for this stage is to encourage the team’s creativity and idea-sharing. No ideas are bad or good until they’re tested and validated. So, it’s time to generate as many innovative ideas as possible with the help of brainstorming, timeboxing, and sketching. The group then evaluates the whole set of ideas, with the top three to five options passing to the next stage – prototyping.
The fourth stage of the design thinking process is prototyping. At this stage, your FinTech app will already get a tangible form and will be analyzed as a viable product. Its design and features have already been outlined in previous phases, and now it’s time to bring the idea to life and look at what it’s like.
The most critical aspect of prototyping is to achieve alignment between the designer and developer visions of the product. Teams often experience friction or misunderstanding at this stage, with each team part pushing for their own product version. Thus, you may start with a pen-and-pencil sketch to reach a common vision and then use Figma or 3D models to refine the design and functionality aspects.
It’s vital to keep in mind that FinTech prototyping should be quick and affordable. Giving this phase too much weight or spending too much money and time on it may cause project delays. Remember that it’s only a product sketch done for testing; it shouldn’t be ideal and realistic.
The final stage of the design thinking process is prototype testing with users. You ask people for feedback and conclude whether the idea is successful based on their responses. At this phase, you need to answer questions about the app’s usefulness, desirability, efficiency, and effectiveness. Ensure you listen to people and don’t push your project through despite negative reviews. You always need to reserve some time for iterations based on user opinion; this approach maximizes the chances of your FinTech app’s adoption.
How Design Thinking Can Help FinTech Startups
As you can see from this overview, the design thinking process is a universal, handy tool for any business idea testing. It offers a 360-degree view of your target audience’s needs, showing whether they like your idea or want something else. There is no right or wrong solution to problems that have never been solved before. The only judge of your product is your user.
Design thinking is an open-ended approach to software design that doesn’t pose limitations for your creativity. As a result, you develop relevant apps that can solve real user problems and add value to your target audience. Try this approach to develop innovative FinTech apps, and you’ll see how easy it is to enter the market with a brand-new solution that works and sells.