On a side note, Iceland is perhaps the best place to try out futuristic banking applications with over 90% of transactions being card based and the highest penetration of broad band connection, facebook use and mobile adoption in the world.
Our customers are banks all around the world, they invest in our product and integrate deeply in their online banks. But the people we truly work for are the banks’ customers. Normal people with varying interest in finance management. Having an active user base is essential for learning and guiding our development efforts. We test our hypothesis before consulting banks on how to provide better services to their clients.
So having said all that, this is how we do it.
With 25% of Icelandic households registered on our platform there is a constant feed of valuable suggestions coming from the people using our product. Our support desk channels the communications to our product management team and we include it in our backlog grooming sessions.
We also conduct courses where new users visit our office to learn how to best use the product, ask questions and get expert advice. These sessions have often sparked ideas that later get included in the product.
After launching our re-designed app over a year ago with a totally fresh approach to mobile (more on that later) we started to gain more traction from the younger generation. We have also experienced a spike in social media activities across the board. High school students are sharing their finances online and posting screenshots from our app.
We engage in the online dialog and have established a strong relationship with many of our advocates trying to understand their requirements better.
Through the years we have had ongoing user testing sessions where we invite new and existing Meniga users for an hour of testing existing or upcoming features. This is a traditional session where the organiser sits in a room with a setup where the screen and peoples reactions are recorded. Usually we invite the team that is responsible for the development to watch the sessions live from another part of the office, but more recently we have started recording and editing excerpts of the sessions and share internally. We used Silverback in the past for recording the sessions and are looking forward to their next release. Lately we have been using Lookback for recording both web and mobile test sessions and it also integrates very well with Invision. It is a brilliant way to gather early feedback on mobile prototypes before we invest in implementation.
During the last year or so we have done five full on design sprints and a few micro sprints for smaller initiatives.
This approach is well aligned with our design thinking ethos and a great way to jump start the development of a new feature with a cross functional development squad. This is now an essential part of our process and we have even introduced it as a format for project kick-offs with banks.
If you are not familiar with the concept, it is basically a five day workshop where you unwrap a solution, apply rapid prototyping and IDEO style design thinking to build and then test a high fidelity prototype with real users on the fifth day.
We work with some of the most innovative banks in the world. When we embark on new projects, there is usually a period of discovery where we share our best practice and engage with brilliant minds of bank innovation labs and partner agencies.
This is invaluable to delve deeper into the functionality of each component and how they need to be adapted for different cultures and locales.
At Meniga we have a team of data scientists that work across departments to provide insight, and massage algorithms. Together we have developed engagement metrics around the key components of our solution and have our own server side API tracking across platforms as well as Google Analytics for tracking usage on web and in apps.
We use Tableau to visualise data from our warehouse and project onto dashboards where we can track the main trends.
This pretty much summarises our approach for user engaged innovation. Our product office is constantly looking for ways to improve our process and our development squads are constantly getting more involved in the overall user experience of our products.
If you have any questions or ideas on what we should be considering in addition to this we´d love to hear about it.