The First Virgin Money Credit Card App

Managing account on the go, viewing balance, making bill payments are essentials for users of Virgin Money Credit Card - however, a lack of mobile app caused problems with customer retention. I lead the first mobile app design for spending & borrowing.
7 month for the first launch
Launched in February 2019
Lead a design squad
Develop on cadence, release on demand
Aligning the user experience design aligns with business objectives
UX Vision and Roadmap based on data-informed user research
User Journey and Wireframe, IA, Prototyping
Design language aligning with the brand
QA and Accessibility in iOS and Android
IBM iX partnered with Virgin Money CC team
Nomensa - Usability testing
Due to "reduced interest" in the online service, the customers were leaving to find alternative credit cards.
Customer interest in its online service for credit card customers has reduced at that time, with only around 10% (200,000) currently using the web platform to manage their accounts.

UX Challenge - Designing and launching a first mobile app within 7months, an iteration of two-week cadence for both iOS and Android through design thinking in-practice and defining UX Vision and roadmap. 

Strategic design thinking for collaboration with partners

We've started with Design thinking workshop for 3 days to help the entire team aim for a common goal to align business objectives and user's needs, which means working together for the next few months as a partnership.

Strategic design thinking roadmap

Our vision - Design a better way to help Virgin Money Customers make the most of their credit card and feel in control of their spending and borrowing
Understanding the business
We ran stakeholder workshops and stakeholder interviews to confirm the target users, understanding of business requirements. We've mapped out envisioning scenario with Personas seeing the bigger picture and why it's important to the clients to the users then we've defined:

Business Vision - To be a mobile-first and customer-centric challenger in the UK payments and unsecured lending market that is unconstrained by product and channel norms, enabling significant growth in our unsecured market share.

Target Audience - Both new and existing card customers with a focus on keeping their heads above water with money, make the most out of what they have whilst balancing family, career and life.

Learn about users and set experience principles
We did Design thinking workshops with the wider Virgin Money team.
I conducted User shadowing to observe how the existing website and competitive products' experiences are and I created the target User journey and Experience principles.

Experience Principles
RELAXED - Journeys are simple and language is honest and jargon-free
EMPOWERED - To make decisions about their spending and borrowing
SURPRISED - By little magic moments and relevant rewards
EXCITED - By visually stunning style and disruptive product solutions

Our approach - We brought our ideas to life through rapid prototyping and iterative testing, which ensured that we are designing an impactful user experience and maximising business needs.
ui framework and taxonomy
hundreds of DESIGN FLOWS & WIREFRAME in ux/ui documentation
Easy sign up and sign in
The user can register their card without hassles and log in with the latest technology 

Constraints of technology -
Even our most collaborative process with architects, marketing and other cross-functional teams faced challenges  in designing user flows like registration due to the complexity of security issues within the legacy banking systems.

Mobile app design that reflects a personalised card design
The user’s app matches their card design and shows their purchases in a fabulously non-bank way can be inspired to act to stay in control.

Design and brand appeal -
When register a card, the card design will be applied that shows ‘It’s your card’.  
Not missing a payment through the introduction of reoccurring bill
The user can read a message that encourages her to see the positive impact of paying back a bit more and instantly make a payment. 

Feeling in control of borrowing -
We introduced notifications highlighting the most important message for the user given her financial situation like exceeded limit or payment due.

Transactions to be presented in a visually stunning and useful way
The user can easily check the details of a purchase deal with any problems, minimising the panic she is not sure about and  when she sees something she doesn’t recognise

Spending in control - 
Easy to browse transaction list reduced helpline call volumes.
Control features which can be switched on and off
The user can freeze their card to avoid spending temptations before he/she goes out shopping and set simple controls in their app  and so help break his/her “oh sod it” habit 

Spending in control - 
Freezing a card, setting limits above which purchases cannot be made, preventing spend in the particular channel (e.g. online) and preventing spending in certain countries.

account summary view - Home Screen

User research - The lack of implementing data-driven user research could bring more cost, after all, I introduced the design research to the stakeholders to prove the user’s needs and help with prioritisation of scope that resulted in reducing the costs.
Research approach
The best way to prove the interpretation of complexity was user research. We have listened to user’s pain points through qualitative and quantitive user research and prioritised feedback for the next design milestones.

I set  research criteria to verify with potential solutions:

• Providing clarity and transparency around money
• Allow customers to make better decisions
• Access to hassle-free and simple money on their terms
• Affecting behavioural change – empowering customers to feel in control
• Providing a mobile-first and customer centred experience that is easy to use and aligns with customer/business expectations of the Virgin brand

Navigation system
The user  just wants to get to the content with as little fuss as possible

I.e.Navigating of transaction list -
Viewing transaction monthly either by tapping the year on the top or scrolling down as it changes years simultaneously. I did prototyping in Framer. User loved this feature as it's hassle-free to navigate a long list of transaction.

Challenge with technical constraints -
The technology was not applicable to adopt this interaction-tapping year on the top of the Native app. Therefore, we compromised the decision as possible - to browse simply with scroll down without the tapping bar.

Account summary
The user can see a real-time update of changes to balance and 'payment due' reminders.

Check your balance & messages -  
The relationship between the figures on this page was correctly interpreted, and we saw the terms used to describe balance become more effective throughout the rounds of research. We've tested the best copywriting and interactions -dials. That avoids misleading terms with variant tests through AB testing and shadowing 1:1 interview.

Users don’t expect breakdown of 'Balance transfer'
The user can see the new concept of viewing balance transfer.

Concerns from User feedback - 
User implied misunderstanding of the relationship between these categories and the current balance.
We decided to postpone this feature to the next milestone with re-design and research.

Key selling point - 
This section of the app could be a key selling point and our opportunity to actively show customers how we are helping them.

screen

Evolved Style Guide - Virgin money credit card app had no style guide when we were about to start Sprint 0, The Style Guide continued to be actively improved alongside the development sprints within the technology constraints set for the programme.
Consistent user experience
The App Style Guide is being produced in close collaboration with the Virgin Money Debit Card Team to ensure a common look and feel across Virgin Money digital channels.

The unparalleled velocity of change from proposition ideation to live production deployment in just 7 months. Used by over half a million customers transacting millions of pounds worth of controlled customer spend.
feedback from apple App Store
Learning from impact
"Since the launch of our credit card app in February 2019 we have seen a significant increase in the number of customers choosing to use it to stay in control of their spending and borrowing. As well as viewing their balance and transactions, customers using the app have easy access to monthly statements, they can freeze their card, move money and make both regular and one-off payments to their balance. Customer interest in our online services has continually reduced, and now only a small percentage of our customer base chooses to use only our online services to manage their accounts.” 
- A spokesperson said at

Of course, there is negative feedback! That helps steer me back on the right path and realise the missing opportunities and gaps between the business and the customer. 
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