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Design Thinking Principles for UX: 5 Key Strategies to Revolutionise Your User Experience

Specno

Starting with the user, prototyping creative solutions and delivering what your customer wants – this is how to apply design thinking principles to UX for engaging and seamless experiences

What core thinking and frameworks are you using to create your user experience?

In the competitive FinTech landscape, where innovation and user-centricity are key, delivering a superior user experience (UX) can be the differentiator that propels your solution ahead.

We’ve already shown you the 8 strategic reasons why you need design thinking in finance in a broad sense – for new product development and feature development. But now we look at using it to become more strategic and intentional about your UX.

This is how to use design thinking principles for a UX that engages customers and drives loyalty.

What is Design Thinking & How Can it Impact User Experience?

Design thinking is a human-centred approach to problem-solving that prioritises empathy, creativity, and continuous iteration. 

Traditionally, businesses focus on the company’s internal processes and resources to drive the business forward – “What ideas can we come up with to get more customers?” While design thinking flips the process over to the people who actually have the answers already – “Let’s ask our current customers what makes them happy and just do more of that!”

By refocusing your business processes to understand user needs, you can craft tailored solutions that directly address their challenges and elevate the overall user experience, which helps prevent churn and builds loyalty and trust.

5 Key Design Thinking Principles for UX

1. Empathise: Start With the User

Design thinking begins by observing and engaging with real users to uncover their unique pain points, behaviours, and expectations. In FinTech, this might involve understanding how different customer segments interact with digital banking apps, investment tools, or payment gateways.

Conduct user interviews, surveys, and usability testing to gain valuable insights. By building empathy, you can start to understand what problems and solutions will truly resonate with your target audience.

Action plan: Build a system to gather user feedback. See how to use analytics to boost engagement, expand your knowledge by using big data to understand customer needs and learn to do proper customer feedback analysis.

2. Define the Problem

Once you've gathered user data, analyse it to identify recurring themes and core user problems. Clearly define the problem statement from the user's perspective, focusing on their needs and pain points. This focused problem statement will guide your design thinking process.

For example: If you discover customers are struggling with setting up automated savings plans, the problem statement might be: "How can we simplify the process of configuring automatic savings, to make managing their finances effortless for users?"

3. Ideate: Brainstorm Creative Solutions

This is where the magic happens! Encourage your team to brainstorm as wide a range of solutions as possible. Encourage free thinking and challenging assumptions, and consider bringing in a few “fresh minds” to help give diverse perspectives to surface unconventional ideas. 

Useful outcomes: Perhaps your team discovers a way to streamline onboarding for new users or introduces a gamified budgeting tool that turns mundane tasks into engaging challenges.

4. Prototype and Gather Feedback

Next, you want to create low-cost, simplified models of each of the solutions to show to some customers/users and get their feedback. Don't get bogged down in complex designs before getting user feedback.  

Action plan: Create a few low-fidelity prototypes (think sketches or mockups) to quickly test core functionalities and user flows. See this quick MVP method and a few MVP examples, then learn how to do idea validation on the promising-looking options by running some validation experiments.

5. Test and Iterate Continuously

Once you have a solution that’s a clear winner with your customers, you can move on to the next stage, which might be deploying it as a new feature in your product or updating your user interface (UI). Then, it’s a rinse and repeat of this process to refine every experience and touchpoint in your entire user journey.

Best practice: Make this process a core strategy for your company. Great UX is not a once-off exercise – you might find a new feature/solution you added a few months ago becomes obsolete in another few months time, so it’s best to keep getting feedback from users, then brainstorming, prototyping and testing continuously.

See the 8 key business benefits of a UX audit, the 6 most NB signs you need a UX audit and an overview of the entire UX audit process.

The Benefits of Using Design Thinking Principles to Improve UX

By embracing design thinking principles, FinTechs can reap a multitude of benefits:

  • Increased User Engagement and Adoption: User-centered design leads to intuitive and engaging experiences, driving user adoption and long-term engagement.

  • Reduced Time to Market: Continuous prototyping and iteration enable early identification and correction of design flaws, leading to faster product development.

  • Cost Efficiency: Catching usability issues early in the design phase minimises the need for costly fixes post-launch.

  • Market Differentiation: By creating unique, intuitive user experiences, fintech companies can stand out in the market and attract new customers.

  • Enhanced Brand Reputation: Positive user experiences translate to positive brand perception and increased trust in your FinTech solutions.

  • Improved Business Performance: A focus on user needs leads to solutions that address their pain points, ultimately resulting in increased customer satisfaction and business growth.

Need to create better user experiences? That’s where Specno shines! 

Speak to our team of user experience specialists to get the right tools, methodologies and insights to help you delight and surprise your users.

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Specno Team