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Not just new tools – a new approach

Helping ANZ unify their internal systems so staff can focus on customer service.
Female bank support staff member working at her computer talking a call
Those buttons on your microwave you never use because they’re too complicated? Think about having to use over 50 different tools just to do your job. Old tools. Tools so hard to use that you keep making mistakes. Tools that can’t be used together so you have to re-enter information every time you switch screens.

The challenge

ANZ came to us looking for a one-stop shop to replace legacy systems and streamline processes – so staff could focus on helping customers, not filling in screens. We spent a lot of time talking to staff. We watched them do their jobs. We saw how good they were with customers – but when they had to enter customer data, they struggled.

A new way of working

We knew that changing the font and moving a few buttons around wouldn’t cut it – and replacing all the systems staff use with one new tool would be a near-impossible mission. Instead, we took a design systems approach, breaking down processes into repeatable tasks and creating patterns and code that could be used across the whole system. Our mantra was “make it easy to do right and hard to get wrong”.

This approach allows us to rebuild tools one by one, each tool adding components to the library that can be used in the next tool, and each looking and feeling the same. It gives staff (and customers) a consistent, user-centric experience without having to rebuild the back end of every legacy system.

User interviews on initial concepts for Banker Workbench
User insights session for initial concepts.
Sketching through the layout and navigation of Banker Workbench
Sketched layout and navigation options for Banker Workbench.

The first release

Our first release was a super-simple onboarding tool. We took the whole team to Wellington and ran a hackathon with ANZ’s developers. Now, ANZ staff use a single interface with around 10 tools. And we’re working on the rest of those 50-plus tools. The Banker Workbench is a whole new way of working, and a new way of looking at how staff and customers interact.

Staff members have more confidence and save time doing basic tasks. ANZ are saving money and improving the quality of their information. Customers are happier because their interactions with staff are faster and more transparent. The Workbench means staff can focus on customer service, not the system.

Customer search interface of Banker Workbench
Banker Workbench lets staff search and filter to find customers easily.
“I’m just in love. No more needing to feel embarrassed on the phone with how long it takes!”

Spending time watching staff do their jobs has been invaluable – and it’s something we’ll keep doing with every new release. When we were working on bringing the mortgage repayment screens into the Workbench, we realised staff were spending huge amounts of time helping customers calculate extra repayments  – on paper.

So we built a calculator into the tool. It made life easier for staff, gave customers a better experience, and saved some trees too. “It was really really rewarding and satisfying, to take that really big pain point away.”

Appointment booking interface of Banker Workbench
Staff can quickly view and book appointments for customers.

Unintended benefits

Banker Workbench was designed to help staff, but it’s made a difference to ANZ’s customers, too. We’re finding more and more staff sharing their screens with their customers – enabling more transparent conversations and building trust between banker and customer.

We made sure the Banker Workbench met accessibility requirements just as a matter of good design – but in a workforce as large and diverse as ANZ’s, it turns out it’s made a huge difference to disabled or vision impaired staff members’ quality of life. The new interface can be read by a screen reader, and text is easy to enlarge for staff with vision problems.

We’ve learned how to work together when agile development and human-centred design aren’t always on the same schedule. We’ve learned that making tools accessible to everyone isn’t just good practice but results in more accurate customer records. And we’ve demonstrated that our design process works and achieves measurable results – the gold standard.

Targeted users across branch & call centre
Working hours saved per month
Average usability score
UX Category Winner, BEST Awards 2017