Zürcher Kantonalbank

A bank that is close to you

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, going to the post office or bank to pay a bill has become rare. While the rise in digital banking is not really a new phenomenon, the significant uptick in the use of mobile apps in 2020 is. Financial institutions are challenged more than ever to make their mobile banking services not only "close at hand" but also close to the needs of their customers.

For ZKB, Zürcher Kantonalbank, the redesign of its mobile banking app even became the starting point for creating an entire user-centered mobile space of the future. A space where the big world of finance management is seamlessly accessible on small screens. With our forward-looking design system, we created a toolbox for all ZKB apps yet to come.

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Challenge

Upgrading for a digital future

Gone are the days at the counter. Today, we make on-the-go payments via app. Neobanks like Revolut are building their business model almost exclusively on digital banking and are conquering the market with ever more user-friendly and innovative apps. In contrast, the ZKB mobile banking app was a relic of the past. The app does receive good ratings from existing users, but the bank itself admits that many processes are too complicated and outdated. It's high time to bring ZKB into the digital present and to the top of the app charts.

"There's a certain level of respect required when redesigning a product that so many people rely on every day."

Joel Sinnott, Designer at Ginetta

Solution

An app and a design system to match

Redesigning an app means considering a thousand things. Especially when it's a much-used app from a well-known brand like ZKB. Knowing the impact the app has on almost a quarter-million users' daily lives, we approached major design decisions – like rethinking the navigation – with great care and consideration for the established habits of the users. After initially focusing on the mobile banking app, we soon began to think of the ZKB mobile space in broader terms, which eventually led us to develop a holistic design system for all mobile apps at ZKB.

Focus on essentials

Mobile screens offer much less space than desktop screens. So the first rule when designing for mobile: „Focus on the essentials“! We said goodbye to the multi-layered, complicated burger navigation and introduced a more straightforward bottom navigation where the most frequently used functions are just a tap away. Locating functions became faster, and performing the subsequent tasks became easier as we broke them down into small, manageable chunks.

More than a facelift

When it comes to visual design, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. We expanded on ZKBs existing brand palette by adding subtle color variations to account for optimal contrast and effortless theming between light and dark mode. The same goes for typography, where we created a versatile type-scale with a clear and purposeful hierarchy. When applied thoughtfully, color and typography alone can go a long way in making a product both more accessible and desirable to its users. However: consistency is key. This is where the design system comes into play.

A design system for prototyping the future

Consistency in navigation, structure, interaction patterns, colors, and elements is the be-all and end-all for users. It flattens the learning curve, increases recognition, and builds trust. To ensure consistency not only within the mobile banking app but also across all apps in the ZKB sphere, we developed a holistic design system. This allows the bank to not only keep future apps on-brand and familiar to users but also accelerates prototyping and makes iterating on new ideas much easier through re-usable components, not only for designers but for all stakeholders.

"With passion, courage, fun, and an incredible team spirit, together with Ginetta, we started the new mobile era of ZKB."

Patric Capeder, Program Manager Mobile Experience at ZKB

Conclusion

Designed for today and tomorrow

The redesign of the app was the moonshot for ZKB to catch up with other banks in the digital space, and even outshine many of them. They could not only launch a state-of-the-art mobile banking app that shows off all benefits of user-centered design; but also, thanks to the design system, gained an important tool to stay ahead of their competition in the long run by keeping a high standard for future apps. Thinking and designing for the long term is one of the key aspects of our work and one of the key values for our clients.

Facts & figures

Client

ZKB · B2C · Finance

Time

on going

Scope

Mobile app redesign · Design System

Live

2022

Project team

Joel

Design

Corina

Design

Selina

UX Research

Nico

UX Design

Giacomo

UX Design


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