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BofA Navigation System

Project Brief

Redesign the BofA site navigation system, making it easier for customers to find and use their financial data while modernizing our interaface and technology infrastructure. The new navigation was a major change, moving from an archaic, static horizontal tab design to a dynamic, interactive style with rich flyout menus featuring dynamic structure and content. 

Working from a well-defined future-state vision, I drove the process from concept to production, working with dozens of partners, including product managers, engineers, vendors and executives. The BofA site is large and the architecture is complex. The system had to be flexible enough to handle disparate customer profiles and dynamic data and navigation components. With over 30 million monthly users and customers' financial data in the balance, there was a lot at stake.

fig. 01 - Sample interactive component of the conceptual prototype:

Process

Research

Long before the project was formally funded, the UX team conducted extensive foundational research including competitive analysis, focus groups studies, card sorting, tree association, usability studies and web surveys. Thanks in large part to this extensive body of qualitative and quantitative research, I was able to assure even skeptical stakeholders of the validity of our new approach.

Socialization / Conceptual Prototype

We were advocating some significant changes to the site IA, giving certain product managers reason to fear change. We'd conceived a system built with conditional elements and with a new, dynamic UI.  It was critical for partners to have a dynamic experience of the new design, so one of the first things I did was build a conceptual prototype (fig. 1, above), which served both as an interactive technical document and an easy-to-use demo. I turned to our data to validate design and IA decisions and leaned on my prototype to show how well it could work.

Detailed Design

Armed with the conceptual prototype, the UX team spent months working through site inventory, meeting with product and engineering teams to research, evaluate, socialize and validate our design decisions. We met with product managers, internal and vendor tech teams, business and marketing executives, risk & compliance folks, accessibility consultants and, of course, senior UX leadership.

At each meeting, we shared our vision, listened to input, feedback and direction. Through this process, we advanced both the accuracy and detail of our wireframes and built consensus across the organization in support of the new designs.

Outcome

The new navigation was released in May 2013 and since that time the bank has received a tremendous amount of strongly positive feedback from our customers. Here are a couple of verbatim quotes:

"Wonderfully clear and easy on the eyes."

"Very pleased, especially about the rollover on the Accounts tab. It was always frustrating from the Bill Pay page not to be able to see the current balance. Now, I can. Thanks!"

"Really excellent and attractive!

"I really like the integration of the balances in the Accounts menu. Nice touch. Clean UI."