Bendigo Bank – building local community awareness and support

The problem

Bendigo Bank is a community bank looking to completely rethink its consumer and small business banking offerings. They describe their bank as being different from the 'big four' banks, but customers are not experiencing a difference. They want to differentiate themselves with solutions that use new features and functions that are consistent with their values.


  • Hypothetical project, team of three
  • 2 weeks (+1 week solo UI design)
  • Markers, paper, Typeform, Axure 7, Sketch 3 and InVision
  • View prototype

Design process


Competitive analysis

Contextual inquiry

User survey




Feature prioritisation



Site map

Test and refine



Test and refine

High fidelity prototype


Competitive analysis | Contextual inquiry | User survey

The project commenced with a competitive analysis of Bendigo Bank and their main competitors the 'big four’ banks. We compared banking products and corporate responsibility offerings. We also researched successful upstart financial institutions, to uncover new ways of thinking that could help inform a solution for Bendigo Bank.

Competitive analysis

Key findings:

  • Savings, loans, investment and corporate responsibility offerings are similar between the banks.
  • The 'big four' banks offer more competitive rates than Bendigo Bank does
  • Upstart financial institutions connect customers with their finances in unique ways that could inform our solution.
Upstart financial institution logos
  • Simple: Shows upcoming payments and allows goal setting and progress tracking
  • GoFundraise: Easy to see the difference you make with goal setting, tracking and social sharing
  • Venmo: payments are made and shared instantly with social visibility
  • Virtual wallet: monitoring of all funds and payments by a visual scale and calendar.

Staff at the Sydney CBD retail branch and Pyrmont Community Bank branch were interviewed. Customers were either non-existent, or very few in numbers.

Key findings:

  • Community Bank branches dedicate one third of directors profits to supporting the community
  • They don't have a strong branch online presence even though 95% of their customers bank digitally
  • They really want to connect with customers on a personal level, and appeal to a broad demographic
  • They are looking for new ways to engage with the community.

People don’t know what we do, but we do a lot – we don’t openly promote our community initiatives.

Mike V, customer service supervisor

We conducted a survey to discover how customers go about their banking and to see if they were supportive of community initiatives. 31 people responded, unfortunately none of them were Bendigo Bank customers.

Our respondents:

  • Preferred to bank via mobile apps/online banking
  • 90% expressed interest in their community
  • 90% already donate to causes
  • 25% would like to donate time and 40% money.

Preferred banking method

Pie chart one

Community interest level

Pie chart two

Current donation frequency

Pie chart three

Outcomes from the discovery phase

1Bendigo Bank's size doesn't let it compete against the 'big four' banks. Instead it provides value by offering constant involvement and support in the community.

2Customers don't bank primarily in branch anymore due the convenience of the available digital channels – the mobile app and online banking.

3Customers are generally interested in supporting the community, but not everyone is equally passionate, with some not wanting to know anything at all.


Personas | MVP | Feature prioritisation

Key findings from the interviews and survey helped to build empathy maps, which informed three key personas:

The personas guided the design process, keeping it realistic, by reminding us of who the users were.

Based on our key research findings we decided that the minimum viable product (MVP) should be the addition of a community funding portal to the existing Bendigo Bank app.

The MVP:

Will promote Bendigo Bank's biggest point of difference, through a widely used channel, the mobile app. It will encourage customer buy-in via donations of time or money.

It will support:

Local charities, associations, schools, causes, events, individuals and groups in need.

The business goal is:

To increase awareness of the bank and attract more customers who prefer a community experience over a corporate one.

The feature prioritisation acted as a blueprint for sketching and the app design. It was the product of a brainstorming session and was informed by the key research findings and personas.

Feature prioritisation


Site map | Sketching | Test and refine
Site map

The sitemap shows the Bendigo Bank mobile app, with our design solution in yellow. The maroon outlines represent the standard app functionality.

Scenarios and user flows were also created to help validate the design, particularly during usability testing.

Sketches started out very rough and with group discussion evolved quickly to become clearer. At this stage many ideas were discarded while others were developed prior to initial testing.

Usability testing

Six users participated in the first round of usability testing. This highlighted strong and weak areas of the design. Feedback included:

  • Adding contemporary bank app functionality
  • Ability to donate for non customers
  • Optimal global navigation location
  • Visual design suggestions
  • Adding community initiative progress feedback
  • Adding a fast way to donate

Feedback from the usability testing resulted in a series of amended sketches before interactive wireframes were created in Axure 7.


Further usability testing highlighted some heuristic issues, particularly around the global navigation, but generally feedback was positive.

“Overall it’s pretty cool, I would use the app.”

Allan, web developer

After one more design iteration a high fidelity prototype was designed using Sketch 3 and InVision. This was not part of the team project. Functionality was expanded to create a better overall user experience.

Next steps

If the project were to continue, further testing would be required. Other features could be added, such as:

  • Portal integration into the Bendigo Bank website
  • Inclusion of Bendigo Bank's other community giving ventures
  • Online and in-branch promotions to generate interest
  • The ability to apply to be a charity through the portal
  • A comparison feature to help decide which cause to donate to
  • Ability to donate for non customers
  • Push notifications

What to do differently next time

A faster research process coupled with earlier sketching would speed up the ideation process, allowing time to create a broader range of ideas. It would be ideal to speak to Bendigo Bank's customers to learn about their experiences.