Designing a
one-size-fits-all that
actually fits.

Senior designer Kellen Mannion takes on the challenge.

Crafting a solution for a brand will have its own established complexities, but crafting a solution that will work for any brand increases that exponentially.

So when I was challenged to design a scalable system that could be a turnkey banking app for medium-sized banks who do not have the resources to create their own, I knew I was in for a little ride.

The biggest challenge: How do we create a white label solution that doesn’t look white label? How can we make it feel as close to our client’s own brand? I wanted to create a scalable system that would enable our clients to set their brand apart from other issuers while empowering them with varying levels of brand expression and customization.

GETTING STARTED

First things first: Look at the competition. I started by evaluating what others were doing, assessing high-impact user experience moments, and highly trafficked screens. From this, I noticed several mechanisms that were used to enhance and express brand within the experiences: photography, color, pattern/texture, icons and fonts. Chase’s photographic implementation, Square’s one-color solution and Simple’s multi-color system stood out to me and helped me shaped the strategy. The complexities of icons/fonts and their level of impact were noticed, though given the constraints of a scalable onboarding solution I determined that we should focus on the latter.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

To start, I needed to assess our product, its environments and determine what the high-level brand impact moments were and define what areas would be customizable.

  • Backgrounds using photography, patterns, and colors.
  • Deciding what elements and components will be configurable and what elements won’t be. What instances within this experience give value to brand?
  • An immersive tabletop experience that uses objects to demonstrate the lifestyle of a brand.

TESTING OUR THEORY

In addition to crafting a flexible solution, we wanted to create a color algorithm that would address ADA compliance standards in order to meet the needs of our wide range of issuer brand colors. Thank god for CJ! CJ’s prototyping capabilities enabled me to stress-test my theory of using the lab color space and applying lightness as a threshold for a color switch to meet ADA standards. CJ created a live model with several key screens that I could test with. This gave us confidence in the solution we were delivering and was an integral piece in to our overall solution. Having an animated prototype helped tell the overall story and elevated our execution.

At Visa, there are varying levels of white label solutions that we offer to merchants, issuers, and clients across our product line. Strategic planning is set in the evolution of this solution, and deeper levels of customization are a necessity in moving forward. Our clients, the customization tools, and user expectation will drive the evolution of our product going forward. As our product becomes more sophisticated, the value of design will continue to be at the crux of its evolution.