Product Designer - Portland


Product Design, 2018

Project background

In 2017 I moved to Australia to work for Bankwest. I was part of a large team who handled home loans. I worked with our team on research and designs. I was heavily involved in the redesign of loan mortgage insurance, automated full valuations, and the end to end flow.


Applying for a home loan is one of the biggest and most challenging life decisions someone can make. Our goal was to provide a redesign of the application, increase the speed when applying for a loan, and increase the number of applicants.

How our customers apply for home loans

To understand the homeloan process further, we conducted usability tests and user interviews. This happened multiple times in iterations on the current designs and later in the design process to test our design decisions. I personally ran a few of these sessions and observed on many others. When observing the particpants we would ask them to think out loud and record our sessions. After these sessions were over we would collect all the insights.

A look at current data

  • Dispursal of home loan documents can take up to 10 days.
  • 76% of customers have loan mortgage insurance.
  • 30% use an automated valation.
  • Home loans in Australia can take 42 days or longer to be approved.
  • Findings from research

    While there were a number of issues with the current application for this case study I am going to go over findings from the redesign and process improvements. The pain points I primarly researched involved loan mortgage insurance, dispursal of documents, and automated valuations. We worked closely with the service design team to identify process improvements.

    Top insights

  • Customers expect not to be asked the same question twice.
  • Colleagues and Brokers had little to no consistency on how they produced automated valuations.
  • New colleagues and customers did not understand loan mortgage insurance.
  • Dispursal of documents was a major pain point.
  • Problems with the home loan process

    It is unclear to the customer where their application is in the process. Customers have a hard time understanding loan mortgage insurance. We are making customers work for the valuation of their home.

  • How might we make loan mortgage insurance more transparent to the customer.
  • How might we provide an automatic valuation to 30% of our customers.
  • How might we design an end to end home loan process that is easy to use and shortens the lifecycle.
  • How might we design a experience where we do not ask customers duplicate questions.
  • Design and ideation

    The team and I went through several rounds of design and interations. We had weekly checkins with stakeholders, bi-weekly interviews with customers, and daily checkins with each other. Often times while working on a problem the information would overlap with what a design team member was working on elsewhere. Our communcation and collaboration was key to the design. Below are the designs I had a large hand in delivering.

    Behind the scenes

    Not all design we worked on was screen based. In fact very little of our design work affected the interactions of the application. During this step in the process the application triggers a valuation on the home based on the customers info. The first phase of the project (tested with a small group) if the customer could not be provided an automatic valuation of their home they would be pushed to the old application. Towards the end of my time at Bankwest we allowed full valuations to come through the application.

    A phased release cycle

    We released the applicaiton in a multiple steps. The first release was to a small select group of particpants applying for a home loan increase. If customers didn't fit the scope of work we would have them use the old application. We slowly released updates every quarter.


  • AVM in one area to valuate 30% of loans
  • Automation of full valuations, removing analog work completely,
  • Reducing the 10 days of dispersal of documents down to 2 by digital signing.
  • Clear picture of why a customer needs LMI (less friction).
  • Customer database that reuses information when applying for different products.
  • Lessons learned

    Designing for financial institutions is a challenging and rewarding experience. There is an endless amount of competition from up and coming startups pushing institutions in the right direction.

  • Microcopy can change the way people think about their personal banking.
  • Banking jargon woah.
  • If I were to do something different I would dig into the quantitative data more.