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Application design for the changing context

April 3, 2019 - Narasimha Nagaraj Head, Product Engineering & Digital Channels, Infosys Finacle

Mass customization in application design is the concept and act of designing interfaces that make every user believe that a particular interface is designed exclusively for them. Personalization at scale is the key driver for mass customization. Any task or activity, persona regardless, spans various stages such as interaction, operation and business process. In most of the cases, it cuts across multiple application boundaries as well. Personalization should span all these dimensions of interaction, operation and business. Context plays the biggest role in determining personalized behavior.

Key elements required for context include:

  • Where (location, branch, ATM, kiosk, Facebook, Twitter, Online banking, Mobile banking etc.)
  • When (time of the day, day of the week, week of the month, month of the year etc.)
  • What (business moments, payee, amount, biller, etc.),
  • Technical context (browser type, browser version, mobile OS version, signal strength, battery strength etc.)
  • Who (Teller, RM, bank customer, segment, user group, persona financial behavior profile etc.)

Please note, the above list is not exhaustive.

All dimensions of context are essential for an interface designed for personalization. In this article, we look at one of the dimensions – “where” – and explore it to figure out if there exists a pattern.

Access phase which followed automation phase in the banking industry focused on enabling the customers to carry out banking transactions using digital interfaces like ATM, online banking and mobile banking. All the controls and personalization were designed around these consumption points or touch points which are “Technical” in nature like ATM, browser, mobile, kiosk etc.  For example, banks can setup different limits (which can be personalized) for browser, mobile and ATM.

During the next wave, banking services were made accessible through social media applications like Twitter and Facebook. Now, Facebook can be accessed using a browser on a desktop or through a mobile application. Hence “Application” provides context, with design controls for suitable behavior to drive personalization. In this wave, “Technical context” was immaterial. Hence the controls and personalization are around “application context” irrespective of their access points like browser or mobile.

During the next wave banking services were made accessible through third-party application through open banking APIs. This is a very interesting aspect since the provider of the banking services is neither aware of the technical context (can be browser or mobile) nor aware of the application in which banking service would be consumed. Here the context would be “Third party”.

This changing context is captured with examples in this table:

ChannelSupported ByApplicationTechnicalityContext to be considered
Online BankingBank’s own channelOnline BankingBrowserTechnical
Mobile bankingBank’s own channelMobile BankingMobileTechnical
ATMBank’s own channelATM bankingATMTechnical
FacebookFacebookFacebookManaged by 3rd partyApplication
TwitterTwitterTwitterManaged by 3rd partyApplication
AISPThird partyManaged by 3rd partyManaged by 3rd partyThird Party
PISPThird partyManaged by 3rd partyManaged by 3rd partyThird Party

Banks should recognize the various dimensions to provide personalized experiences amid changing context, and make sure that the right applications, advice, and assistance are made available. Designing such as experience cuts across interaction, operation and business layers.

In these increasingly digital times, interactions will originate on different channels and will also be influenced on these channels. And many of these channels will not be owned by banks. Context at all times, irrespective of the channel, will be the cornerstone of personalization in this digital future.

Narasimha Nagaraj

Head, Product Engineering & Digital Channels, Infosys Finacle

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2 thoughts on “Application design for the changing context

  • Great Crisp shot .

  • Very nicely in this blog has shown the future of digital banking, and how the different channels will change the context of banking.

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