User Research for Retail Banking

Creating strategy for a national bank to build "branches of the future."  


McKinsey Design helped a national bank develop their strategy for creating a "bank branch of the future." My role in this project was to conduct research related to current trends in bank design and gather insights about what banking customers want in their banking experience. I conducted on-the-ground research at bank branches, wrote and administered a survey sent out to dozens of bank branch users, and selected bank branch users from a testing pool based on the customer segments our client wanted to segment. Then, I synthesized these insights into a client-facing PowerPoint presentation.

Team and Timeframe

I was the sole researcher on this project. I worked with a design Partner to formulate strategy for our client. This research took place full-time over the course of 3 weeks. 

Discovery Phase

After receiving the client brief, I visited 2 dozen bank branches in New York to look for current trends in bank branch design. I took pictures and notes at each branch I visited and talked with employees about special offerings in their branches in order to get a sense of the newest elements of each bank's customer experience. 

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Talking to Customers

Next, I created a dScout mission to send "scouts" to bank branches around the US and report back with details about their customer experience. I defined the scope of the mission and selected customers to participate who fell into the customer segments our client wanted to target. After defining the mission, I drafted survey questions intended to elicit the most detailed replies possible. Our client sought to understand why customers continue to bank in-person, when they can now bank online more easily. The questions I wrote were targeted to understanding this key issue. 

Below is a PDF of the questions I wrote. Some examples are crossed out and re-written (and highlighted in yellow). These revised questions show my thought process in a slightly more targeted question.

Synthesis & Presentation

With the two legs of research complete, I synthesized insights and crafted a narrative with my design Partner that was presented to senior leadership at our client site. The insights presentation is included in the document below. Additionally, I created personas of their target customer segments--some of which were also used in the presentation below.