Designing Social Applications began with an introduction to mobile banking, which would become the central focus behind the applications we were expected to create. The original brief was to look at how we could blend social media and personal finance together in one application - possibly by taking one aspect of social media and adapting it for personal financing. This led to a lot of confusion and also a brainstorming session as a class about what social media actually meant. Rather than the type of social media were accustomed too (Facebook, Twitter or other services) we were encouraged to think more broadly, and consider how the internet or the e-mail could be perceived as social media.
Things didn't really start making sense until week 2 when representatives from Tesco Bank visited us, as this was the company we would be working with during the module. We spent the morning of the presentation organising what questions we would like to ask them e.g. asking about their graduate program and what they'd would expect from their interns. As well as this they were also here to give us a bit more insight into what they do and how they approached the creation of their digital banking application for their phone, which was only released late 2014.
They began by telling us the main value of Tesco Bank; the customer is #1. This influences a lot of their design process and how this affects the content they include in their products. They also stressed that mobile was more exciting, with more and more people using their mobile it's the ideal platform to design for currently. They were very helpful in terms of giving us information about how to use customer feedback to improve their products and how to use the research more effectively. They also showed us a preview of their latest version of their digital banking and how they'd incorporated features based on customer feedback. They also gave insights into how to word content, which meant using customer language to build better relations with the customer. They highlighted their three main customer bases to help give us perspective on who we could potentially be designing for - younger people, current account users or savings accounts users. Each of these users signified a different age group.
The guys also helped set the record straight in terms of the brief, which they weighed in by saying that they couldn't see social media and banking being associated any time in the near future, due to the high security risks. This led to a slight change in the brief in the end, and also made me rethink my initial concepts. As well as this, they helped us look ahead to the end of the module and hinted at what they were expecting at the presentations - primarily confidence and the ability to sell your design.