• Smooth migration of 3.6 million online and mobile retail customers.
  • Resultant solution catered for diametrically opposed user personas.

Only 3.6 million customers to please

This change was the largest in Westpac’s history and would impact over 3.6 million active online and mobile retail customers.

From a customer service and brand reputation perspective, we couldn’t afford for this not to be our finest hour.

The mandate was straightforward: help customers understand everything about the change, how and when it would effect them, what they had to do to prepare and how to continue with their banking once migrated.

Understanding our customer

The first step was to understand our retail customers and their expectations. Some work had already been done around the identification of user personas and journeys. This was our starting point.
I worked closely with members from Westpac’s User Experience and Change teams to flesh out the details.

Through numerous workshops, we learned all we could about the different types of customers (whether they predominantly conducted their banking online vs mobile, how often they logged in, whether they preferred to interact with a human and the specific types of transactions they conducted.)

Designing the upgrade experience

Once we had a solid understanding of our customers, we could map out the journey and ensure all customers and their needs were catered for. We created a framework for the journey and broke it down into four phases.


Consisted mainly of communication materials such as email broadcasts and splash screens advising customers of the upgrade along with an indication of how long it would take.

Upgrade journey whiteboard session.

Upgrade journey whiteboard session.

First sign in

The very first time customers attempted to sign in to the new platform we’d welcome them with a welcome screen and have them verify their details to ensure Westpac had the correct information on file before agreeing to the revised Terms and Conditions. This was the only step requiring customer input – we were determined to keep it brief.

Use & explore

Upon initial sign in, customers needed quick familiarisation with the new user interface; which was somewhat different for each medium be it online, mobile or tablet. Considering people like to learn in different ways and that some of our customers were more task-oriented vs others who were more cautionary, we devised a number of solutions to cater for different users:

  • Overlay screen: mobile customers would be presented with a screen that pointed out common functionality and where to access help. This allowed for a very fast snapshot-style orientation; perfect for mobile users preferring maximum efficiency.
  • How-to videos: 10-second introductions for new and existing features accessible via help or strategically placed alongside specific functionality.
  • Next best actions: provided the customer with quick tips about the new platform and would lead them to new features they could learn more about and benefit from.
  • Welcome tile: judiciously placed on the homepage among customer accounts. The tile takes users to the new Help Centre which contains plenty of details about the change and helped customers familiarise themselves with the new platform.

Follow up

Upon signing out, we attempted to capture any general feedback from the customer through a quick online survey.

Prototyping and user testing

Moving forward with the design, we had to solicit feedback from the actual people we were doing this for in the first place, our customers. Working closely with Deloitte’s digital team, we started planning what we wanted to achieve from user testing sessions. First and foremost, we had some insightful questions to ask. Some of those questions would be asked to the customer directly, others would be answered through our observations. We commenced design on a high-fidelity interactive prototype so we could observe precisely how customers went about interacting with the upgrade journey.


We were thrilled to learn that all test participants successfully navigated our upgrade simulation. We didn’t have any drop outs or confused users. However after conducting an affinity analysis exercise, we did uncover a few nuggets of insightful wisdom that participants suggested would make the experience even better.

An opt-in upgrade feature

We noticed a common theme among some interview participants. They wanted to upgrade on their own terms in their own time. Not everyone wanted this but a percentage were quite curious. We loved the idea and as a result, we put together two wireframes to demonstrate how this concept could work as a non-intrusive browser banner drop-down and went about socialising it with stakeholders. It was rejected due to time constraints but was retained for future upgrades.

Customers have the option of applying the new changes or temporarily reverting back.

Customers have the option of applying the new changes or temporarily reverting back.

If customers chose to revert back, we'd give them maximum time to prepare for the upgrade.

If customers chose to revert back, we’d give them maximum time to prepare for the upgrade.

More visuals in our comms

We quickly realised most people didn’t want to read emails even if they were flagged as “important” or “action required” or from their financial institution. With enthusiastic approval from stakeholders, we redesigned the email templates to incorporate more visuals so the gist of the message was communicated quickly and succinctly.

More awareness material on the public website

The purpose of this suggestion was to help alleviate any concerns customers may have around the authenticity of our “upgrade imminent” emails. A number of participants made the suggestion that we establish a section on Westpac’s homepage containing information about the upgrade. This was approved by stakeholders and subsequently implemented.

Final words

The fruits of our labour certainly paid off. Post-implementation, the vast majority of customers described the experience as “seamless” and “without a hitch”.

Furthermore, with a mix of awareness methods and familiarisation techniques as part of the journey framework, we successfully catered for the different types of users identified and their unique behaviours.

Considering we had such a large customer base to impress, there were high fives all round.

other work


Cornershop is a startup I cofounded. We created a smartphone app enabling people to pre-pay and pre-order their coffees and treats from participating merchants on our network. The idea evolved into something much more ambitious upon observations from our pilot. Crafting a unique and spectacular user experience – one that differentiated us and had people talking – was central to my focus.