An article by Philip Künzli, 3rd semester student of the MSc in Banking and Finance, The Lucerne School of Business
The somewhat longer time it took to travel to Zurich Altstetten was rewarded with a croissant and coffee as soon as we arrived, something which might explain that certain students arrived half an hour before the official start! ti&m is an innovative Swiss IT service-provider in the financial services and insurance sector. Among other things, they have given us Paymit and Twint. On Monday, 30th October, and Tuesday, 31st October, ti&m ran an «Innovation and Design Thinking Workshop» for 3rd semester MSc in Banking and Finance students. The aim was to develop an app for use in the community banking sector.
After a brief introduction to the topic, they had already lined up the first challenge for us: Within just a short period of time, we had to find an idea for an app, complete with a vision for its use. It was as early as this point that most people were glad they had already had a coffee. We had no more time left to wake up from here onwards. Once those 30 minutes had simply flown by, everybody was clear that time is a valuable and well-managed resource at ti&m.
In a second step, we had to find a suitable persona for our app’s users, i.e. to define a target group. Would this be a 25-year old young woman or a 70-year old pensioner? This was meant to ensure that the customer takes centre stage, and to avoid developing an app irrelevant to user needs. And then it was already time for our lunch break.
Now having determined both a persona and a vision, and also having filled our stomachs, we began to develop a first prototype. This involved mapping a so-called happy flow, which means outlining an error-free process in the app (hence “happy”). This happy flow was verified straight away with the help of a so-called hallway test. With a hallway test, the happy flow is shown to a random person encountered in the hallway. This test person will then provide feedback and explain what they were able to understand, and what they couldn’t. With this feedback in mind, it was already time to take a well-earned rest from our labours (ti&m has its own in-house bar!).
After a theory lesson on prototyping given that Tuesday morning, we began to put into practice the previous day’s feedback and produced our second prototype.
Of course we once again tested this concept, too, this time a bit more extensively with the help of a so-called usability test. As with the previous test, we were allowed to keep a few ti&m employees away from their work for our own ends. And although this might have somewhat impaired ti&m’s productivity over these two days (sorry!), it did result in us receiving some important and good feedback on our ideas in return. The insights obtained in this way enabled us to create our final app prototype.
On Tuesday afternoon, we focused on preparing our business pitch for our app. We used the business model canvas to demonstrate our app’s potential. In the spirit of the whole two days, we were only given a very tight time budget here as well. All the groups still succeeded in giving a brilliant presentation. We held our business pitch in front of a very illustrious jury, consisting of IFZ lecturers and ti&m employees.
Luckily for us, our ideas stood up to the critical questioning by the jury. After two exhausting, yet very entertaining and instructive days, we all agreed that our whole class had really earned their after-work drinks.
We, as students, would like to take this opportunity to thank ti&m, and in particular Steffi, Tom and Dani, for two interesting days and for our open exchange. We were all able to obtain an excellent insight into design thinking and the world of ti&m. We didn’t just learn a lot about design and innovation processes, we also took home with us a few ideas for apps in the financial sector.