A redesign case study based on real user data
What is bKash?
bKash is the world’s largest and Bangladesh’s leading mobile financial service (MFS) company. The MFS operator currently has 30 million registered customers across Bangladesh, with almost 40% market share of the sector. Established in 2011, bKash is the first unicorn in the country. It keeps growing to become a gigantic public company in the fintech arena someday. bKash launched its mobile app for iOS and Android on May 16, 2018.
How the project started❓
I was randomly passing through a road and heard someone shouting on his phone. Then I asked him about it, and the person told me he had just lost 14.5K BDT of his hard-earned Money. His name is Sohrab Hossain.
Sohrab says he intended to send money to his brother for his admission fee via bKash mobile app. But mistakably he just sent the Money to an unknown person by just typing a single digit wrong number. Then he immediately called bKash customer care for official support, but he was unhappy with the customer service.
Sohrab Bhai was very sad at that moment!! Don’t know if he will get the Money back or not, but feeling bad for him.😔
That’s the thing that could have been improved. That’s why I decided to take up the challenge to redesign and enhance the experience of sending Money via the bKash app.😇
My role and responsibilities
So, I was responsible for doing User Research, Usability Testing, Taking Interviews, Competitive Analysis, Creating Personas, Mapping User Journeys, User Flows, Sketches, prototypes, and User Testing. I gave myself a 30-day deadline to finish the project.
This is a personal project. I was not commissioned or affiliated by bKash to redesign this app. I did it as a part of gaining knowledge and exploring usability.
⭐My personal goals
- To finish the redesign project from start to finish.
- Explorer and apply Design thinking throughout the project.
- Conducting user research and communicating with users.
- Learn to work under pressure.
- Improve user satisfaction and experience based on data.
- Stand out from the competitors and take advantage.
- Identify usability issues through research.
- Create and validate assumptions.
- Propose a more straightforward solution for the users.
- Ensure a user-friendly interface and flawless user experience of the bKash app.
📈 Success Metrics
- Design test participants’ preference for my proposed design changes vs. the current design
- Time on task for sending Money to an unknown number with my proposed design changes vs. the contemporary design.
- Median reported confidence and satisfaction scores for sending Money to an unknown number with my proposed design changes vs. the current design.
- Several hours were spent on the project.
🚀 Project Execution Plan
Before diving deep into this Journey, my first job was to create a plan and make a strategy to finish this case study on time. So, first of all, I outlined this case study and listed down all the tasks and steps I needed to perform to finish this project. I divided all the lessons to be organized and created a Notion page to follow the deadline and track my activities.
For this project, I followed the D. School’s design thinking framework, which helped me stay on track. This framework also saves my time to finish the job on deadline.🤩
The first step in the Design Thinking process is empathies. In this phase, I started by collecting and noting what I intended to achieve through user research by having some goals before conducting the investigation.
- Understand the brand.
- 5 W’s Exercise
- Identifying and validating problems.
- Interact with users and get to know their pain points.
- Deep understanding of in which context users use the bKash app.
How popular is bKash?
- Top free app in Bangladesh (over Facebook, Messenger)
- Country’s first unicorn company
- 5 million avg. Daily transaction worth 7 billion BDT.
- Runway market leader with over 70% market share (transaction amount)
- 180000+ agents points and 45000+ merchants.
- 40% market share in terms of customers and user base.
5 W’s Exercise
To get a deep understanding of our users and a clear idea about the context, I used a technique described by Taiichi Ohno at Toyota Motor Corporation to determine the root cause (5Ws). I used this method to uncover user problems and validate my hypothesis. Here I tried to see the issues and opportunities from the users’ point of view.
In addition, I first researched other users’ reviews on the Play store, App Store, and Facebook Groups to find out users’ pain points. Reading users’ reviews is a great way to find out about problems and users’ pain points.🧐
I wasn’t surprised to find a lot of issues related to the technical aspects, like login errors and unexpected network problems. In the meantime, I studied various finance apps (not restricted to only mobile financial service apps), which included banking and CRM apps, etc.
After collecting user reviews from different channels, I moved forward to ensure that the problems I found were real problems or not. I run quantitative research. I went out, conducted a user survey, and created a google form with 10 questions.
Almost 115 people participated in this survey, so it took me 4 days to collect and analyze the data I gathered from it. The people for the survey were mainly my friends and people from various Facebook groups.
Findings from survey
Okay, so after gathering data from quantitative research, now It’s time to collect some qualitative data. To do so, I conducted 30 minutes one on one interview session with 3 real users. I started by building rapport and getting the participants comfortable. Then moving on to getting valuable insights by asking the following open-ended questions.
- Understand how people use bKash app in Bangladesh.
- Discover in which situation peoples mostly use the bKash app.
- Find out what features users desire in bKash apps.
- Uncover major pain points in the experience of using the bKash app.
- Age range — 20 to 45
- Frequently use the bKash app.
- Tech literacy working professionals and students.
- Has experience using bKash app for at least 6 months.
- Has experience sending Money using different MFS or Banking channels.
- Include both genders.
- How often do you use the bKash app, and what is its primary purpose?
- Please list down all the MFS apps you have installed on your phone.
- Could you please recall the last app that you used?
- Why are there multiple apps that serve the same purpose?
- Do you ever feel annoyed using any MFS app because of a specific feature?
- How confident do you feel while sending Money to an unknown number?
- Have you ever sent money to the wrong number using the bKash app?
- What do you think? What are the most significant benefits of using the bKash app?
- What role does the bKash app play in your day-to-day life?
After doing Qualitative and Quantitative research, I’ve to analyze the data I’ve’ gathered. In this phase, we will define how to meet users’ and business goals and make a feasible solution. In this stage, I tried to create problem and hypothesis statements to remedy the user’s frustrations.
Identifying Pain Points
After completing secondary user research and empathizing with users, I moved to prioritize users’ major pain points. Here I listed all the problems that users face daily using the bKash app to figure out the biggest cause for frustration.🧐
Pain Point: #1
Receiver information not available
- Users need to find out to who they are sending the Money.
- Serval times, users sent Money to the wrong number.
- The sender is required to find out whether the receiver exists (has a bKash account) or not.
Pain Point: #2
No way to get the money back.
- They also feel they need more confidence when sending Money to a new number for the first time.
- Users who have accidentally sent Money to someone never got the Money back.
- Users who have sent Money by accident more than once said they are less likely to use bKash because they might not get the Money back.
Pain Point: #3
Typing receiver number.
- Users always have to pay extra attention and double-check the number to ensure that the number he/she typed is correct or wrong.
- Users lost Money for just typing a wrong digit number.
- This process takes a long time, frustrating for the user who wants to send money urgently. This influences the users not to have a good experience.
To help keep my focus on solving user pain points, frustrations, and goals, I created two user personas that represent the needs of a larger group of users. It means the data I collected through empathy maps and secondary research.
Persona 1: Meet Hasib — a Sales operator whose family depends on him.
Persona 2: Meet Shahed — a small business owner, who had too many transactions every single day.
User Journey map
The journey map has been created to continue to get to know our users. It shows me a step-by-step process of the user’s interaction. A hypothetical scenario sets the motion of the user journey map. It not only captures the emotions at different stages of a journey but also exposes gaps and offers opportunities to find points for improvement.
As a bKash user,
When I accidentally send Money to the wrong number, I want to be able to get back to or ask for Money as soon as possible.
As a bKash user,
When the receiver’s number is not saved on my contact, I want to feel confident while sending Money using the bKash app.
As a bKash user,
When sending money to an unknown number, I want to be able to send a large amount of money without feeling risk and doubt.
Feature-by-feature Comparative Analysis
After defining and gathering users’ pain points, I looked for what bKash’s direct and indirect competitors are doing🧐. Comparative Analysis was one of the most time-consuming parts of the process, which took a week to complete.
HMW (How might we❓)
So, user problems, major pain points, and frustrations were known from user research. I move forward to Ideate potential solutions for these problems. To do so, I came to know of a very effective method called the HMW Question🤩
This framework leads me to generate effective and innovative solutions for these problems. To conduct this activity, I took the help of my friend Fahim Choudhury (Full Stack Developer). It was a fun and productive brainstorming session with him. We framed 4 HMW questions, ideated for all the HMW questions, and prepared solutions for these questions from our research insights.
Analyzing the data I gathered through the interviews and usability testing, I outlined the existing user flow for sending Money and highlighted places where the pain points occur. The purpose was to identify opportunities to improve the experience.
Identifying the three major pain points and their core problems, I generated some ideas and solutions (HMW Statements) that fit this problem statement. Here are some of the ideas that would provide the most impact on bKash’s user experience.
- Added a receiver (registered users) information dropdown so the sender can verify the receiver before sending Money.
- Introducing a new option to request Money alongside send money feature so that users can drop money requests to the payee.
- At the same time, I also created a different user flow for responding when someone requesting for Money using the bKash app.
- While typing the number for sending and requesting Money, we can show recipient suggestions when the number is not saved on the contact list.
After compiling all of the findings and getting a clear picture of the user/task flow, I start scribbling away on a notepad as soon as I’m ready to explore some ideas. And finally came up with a solution.
Throughout the ideation process, I learned that if I want to design screens that speak to my users’ needs and pain points, I must let my research inform my decisions. I put this at the forefront of my mind when I started explorations.
Before starting the design and getting hands dirty, I prepared components, typography, colors, and a few screenshots of the existing bKash app to keep the originality of bKash intact. I began by analyzing the screens of bKash’s iOS app. I took screenshots of all the current screens & features associated with sending Money while understanding how the navigation worked.
Following that, the Atomic Design System method comes in handy to help me out. It provides a clear methodology to establish structural consistency and visual scalability throughout the project.
- It helps me to design at scale by reducing redundancy while creating visual consistency across different pages.
- It also allows me to reuse components and increase efficiency, which helps me to work faster and save time.
- This design system methodology is a recipe for clarity.
Solution & Prototype
Based on the paper sketch, I first created a low-fidelity wireframe in Figma. It allows me to think about all types of interactions that help me to design the final UI and prototype. To make this design and prototype, I stayed with bKash’s existing components following iOS Human Interface Guidelines.
👁 Addressing Pain point: ” Verify receiver”
- Typing Number: When a user starts typing a new number, they’ll show a dropdown of the registered user according to the number.
- Receiver Information: From now on, the user will be able to verify the receiver by their name, number, and photo before sending Money. This data will come from the database of new user registration.
- Message option: In the last flow of sending Money, I added a message option to send quick messages to the receiver for confirmation alongside the calling option.
👁 Addressing Pain point: ” Request Money”
- Request Money: Added a new request money feature on the home page alongside the “Send Money” feature. Using this feature, users will be able to ask for money from anyone who has a bKash number.
- Asking amount: Users will be able to request money in any amount they want. At the same time, cash out charge selection also will be applicable for “Request Money” feature.
- Message option: Now on, people can be able to ask for using bKash by typing bKash number or choosing number from saved contacts.
👁 Addressing Pain point: ” Received Money Request”
- Notification: When somebody sends a money request, It will automatically generate an SMS reminder on the notification panel.
- At the same time, Users will also receive a system Pop-Up notification on their devices if they’re using the bKash app.
- Accept / Decline: When a user gets a Money Request, they can accept or decline the request.
- Edit Amount: If the user agrees with the money request, they can edit and renter the amount they want to send.
So, after designing the first version of my proposed solution, I showed my design to a few seniors and collected feedback from them. In version one, they addressed some UX law issues that need to be fixed. I decided to re iteration the solution on version 1.
Since it’s essential to try different ways to solve the problem. After all, the design process is an experiment. Design is a continuous process of iterations and can be improved with each feedback we gain.
After the final iteration, I imported a clickable prototype to the Maze usability tool to perform this task. I collected user insights by sharing the link to different social media channels. I compared it with bKash’s current solution with real users online.
A total of 7 people participated in this user testing session. I gave them a scenario and asked all the participants to perform a specific task with my proposed and current solution prototype. During validation, I noticed how the user can perform a task without difficulty.
The metrics that I will measure success using are:
- Time on task for sending Money to an unknown number.
- Satisfaction level of sending Money at an urgent moment.
- Use of dropdown vs. manually selecting the receiver.
- Reduce rate Dubble checking the receiver number.
- The user misses clicking rates.
Importance of research
I learned how much important research is, to understand more about the problem. Also, the need to go back as and when it is required. The research phase helped me to make my problem statement broader and more valid. The constraint was having only limited people for the survey.
The success of a product lies in its users. The usability study is very important and made me realize that even if we think a design is easy, that might not be the case. My usability study was limited to 1 person due to constraints and hence might not be accurate and as effective design principles
Make interviewee comfortable
When you talk to users and make them feel like a friend, they will reveal a lot of unexpected insights and even how they use the product in daily life or any life event.
I designed the wireframes keeping in mind a few principles such as the usability heuristics and Gestalt principle. This helped to improve the visual design making it appealing and usable.
Don’t Blindly Chase Perfection
I learned not to spend extra time making everything perfect before the design could be tested by users. This led to extra stress and extra time being put into the wrong parts of the project.
Atomic Design System
Speaking about design systems, I have now truly realized creating a design direction or having a design system can speed up your work 10x faster if you are working on a bigger scale-level app like bKash.
- Screening Users for the user interview
- Make the user speak out in order to get insights
- Keeping the originality and design direction of the current bKash app.
- Maintaining the atomic design system a very challenging for me
- There are more than 5 million Avg. Daily transactions happened on bKash. Identical design changes might create a bad user experience.
If I had more time
- Then some of our interview questions could have been structured better resulting in richer insights.
- Then I would love to have another test round with the users after the final iteration. Due to time constraints, I wasn’t able to run a second usability test session, so we couldn’t get any type of feedback from users about our final solution.
Hope you enjoyed this case study as much as I did working on it. If you have any feedback, suggestions, questions, or anything in general feel free to hit me up on my social handles. Looking forward to connecting with you soon 🤟🏻 Be sure to 👏🏽 below (You can give 50 claps at once, click and hold on the clap button).
P.S.: I am looking for opportunities as a product designer. If you think that I can contribute value to your team and seem like a good fit for your organization, please do reach out through my social handles 😇