Bank of America

Developing trust through onboarding 

Bank of America's budgeting and financial planning tool 'Life Plan' aims to guide customers along a life-long financial journey.


The long-term vision for the product is to intimately tailor and personalize guidance and support accounting for the evolving life circumstances and goals of each customer. To begin, BOA must piece together a holistic portrait of their customers.

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Experience Strategy          Workshop Facilitation           User Experience Design  


Bank of America's focus is on improving relationships with customers and overall favorability through personalized and contextualized advice. 

How might Life Plan request the data that would enable it to deliver contextualized insight? 



Bank of America must establish a high degree of trust prior to receiving the type of personal data required of the service. Our opportunity lies in onboarding as it presents the chance to establish a relationship built on trust.

  • Top of funnel: impacts the greatest number of potential Life Plan users

  • Critical to use and retention: 75% of users abandon an app in the first week 1 

  • Sets the relationship tone: customer satisfaction and cross-sell success both improve as users are contacted more frequently in onboarding


New product launches have a First Best Customer that helps bridge the gap between today’s audience and the future opportunity. In the case of Bank of America's Life Plan, it was critical that the First Best Customer displayed key behaviors that made them likely to use the service early & often. This customer became our design target.

Millenial Doers:

/ Have multiple financial products

/ Digitally-savvy, and use financial apps/wallets often

/ Open to developing and improving healthy financial habits

/ Pursuing at least one goal related to finances


Our FBCs have a unique set of unmet needs relative to setting and achieving goals. Onboarding was especially well suited to solve for the former- setting a direction. Having identified trust as having the greatest impact on adoption and ongoing use of financial products - it was critical that it be the primary focus of the first design sprint.

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Concept Testing

Prior to investing in a set of features, it was important that BOA sketch and evaluate a few different experience territories for onboarding. Putting concepts in front of users would help us learn what the First Best Customer needs, values, and what they expect from an onboarding experience.

Onboarding Objectives:

  • Understands goals by understanding users’ lives, not just their finances

  • Listens and adapts to each user, not just assumes what they know

  • Questions and learns over time, not all at once

  • Provides multi-faceted engagement, not an online-only experience

  • Recommends multiple paths forward, not only what users select

Learning Objectives:

  • How much time and effort are users willing to devote to onboarding?

  • How open are users to sharing personal information?

  • What value do we need to provide upfront to build confidence and trust?

Three experience territories were constructed in a way that would help us assess the degree to which users would invest time and energy onboarding, and the type of information they were willing to provide and when.

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01| Quick'n Easy

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Straightforward questions and answers provide just enough context outside of finances alone. 

Recommended goals to focus on are based on your financial situation and plan, adding a layer of intelligence to the process. You only have to move forward with goals you feel comfortable with.

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02| Contextual

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Q&A categories cover a range of topics that together, help to put your goals in context, today and over time.

A mix of multiple-choice and long-form answers create priorities grounded in your long-term beliefs and day-to-day realities 

Recommended plans give you a starting place and help you weigh the tradeoffs before committing.

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03| Behavioral

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Connect accounts with Life Plan to create a holistic view of the financial institutions servicing you. 


Sign up for one-on-one via chat, survey, phone call, or in-person before completing daily activities. 

Receive a 30-day report that puts your current financial behaviors in context.

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My Contributions

1. Led in the design and facilitation of our client-facing ideation workshop

2. Brainstormed concepts and materials for testing

3. Storyboarded, wireframed, and designed final product demo assets

4. Worked alongside Senior Consultants to present a vision for Life Plan to senior stakeholders

1. Led in the design and facilitation of our client-facing ideation workshop


2. Brainstormed concepts and materials for testing

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3.  Storyboarded, wireframed, and designed final product demo assets

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John Erekson (Assoc. Producer)

Stef Hoffman (Director)

Alex Dempsey (Senior Consultant 

Gene Perelson (Creative Director)