Mein Name ist George – Interview mit Maurizio Poletto

Online-Banking hat nun einen Namen: George begrüßt die User freundlich und verspricht, immer für sie da zu sein. Das aktuell modernste Banking Österreichs, ins Leben gerufen von der Erste Bank, präsentiert sich als Persönlichkeit. Und zwar als gutaussehende. Denn die Optik spielt eine wesentliche Rolle bei Benutzerfreundlichkeit und leichter Handhabung von Konten. Chef-Designer Maurizio Poletto erzählt, warum von Anfang an Designer in die Entwicklung von George eingebunden waren und verrät uns drei goldene Regeln für erfolgreiche Gestaltung.

Ein Interview von Open Mind
http://www.directmind.at/fundraising/openmind-magazin/

maurizio poletto creative director en garde vienna austria erste bank group george online banking designer system innovation

Open Mind:

With the new banking system „George“ Erste Group has developed a completely new and modern banking. How important was design in this process?

Maurizio Poletto:

Design was, and it is still today, a core part of the complete innovation process. By no mistake the board has decided to put a designer as a head of the Group R&D Unit (BeeOne). The vision of George, as an innovative banking platform, started in 2013 with a simple creative brainstorming between design, technology and business people. Modern banking is the smart combination of those disciplines and the capacity of solving complex problems with simple and friendly solutions.

Open Mind:

At what point in the development process were designers involved?

Maurizio Poletto:

Designers were involved in every stage of the process. When we are talking about feature development, from the very early stage, no matter where the ideas are coming from, a designer is part of the development team. We consider this a must and a non-negotiable part of our culture.We believe in the capacity of the designer to see things in a different way, to represent the user point of view, and to simplify things which are extremely complex – in banking, this is often the case. But probably the most important role of the designer in the whole process of innovation is the capacity to challenge the status quo, the natural instinct to move forward and progress.

Open Mind:

Can you tell us something about the creative process in this project?

Maurizio Poletto:

Well, it starts with the pooling of ideas. We are expecting ideas coming from everywhere, everyone, no matter which position in the organisation. We then pitch these ideas with the complete team and filter out just the best. We then create a dedicated feature team who start to build the experience. Afterwards we have several iterations until we feel we are ready to confront the users with it. We then evaluate the potentials, the flow and the design experience and move forward to the real development face.

Open Mind:

Henry Ford once said „If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ,faster horses‘.“ How were customer surveys part of the development process in George?

Maurizio Poletto:

The team we built in 2014 was not coming from the banking industry. This allowed us to utilise our own organisation to validate our first interface assumptions. Nevertheless we are all retail banking customers and a very good representation of the target segment we wanted to focus at the beginning of the project: millennials and early adaptors. at the end of the day we have all been very disappointed with whatever our banks offered us in term of online experience and digital banking platforms and wanted to build something we would use ourself and be proud of. We have been fortunate that Erste Group believed in our vision and supported us ever since.

Open Mind:

Which three design principles would you recommend to everybody and why?

Maurizio Poletto:

  1. Design can make a difference. Feel responsible. Put yourself in the process, from the beginning to the end. Design can turn an average idea into a success and if design is not considered, a good idea can turn into a failure.
  2. Don’t forget: you design for others, not only for yourself. We always have a client and a user. Often we use creativity to solve the problems of other people and sometimes by doing it well we may solve our problem, too.
  3. Don’t get stuck. Reality is complex and various. Especially when you design for millions of people you have to reconsider your assumptions all the time. There is nothing wrong with that, it‘s just part of a mature design process. Overcome your EGO („I think I’m right“) and listen to your user.