Experience Design at Bank of America

Primary designer on Merrill’s iOS widget — led from research through hi-fi designs. Anticipated to launch with the arrival of widgets in iOS 14 reaching clients in > 500k households.

Actions widget (left) and Insights widget (right)

iOS 14 was announced at the start of my internship at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. When it launches, it will be the first time widgets appear in iOS. We wanted to create useful widgets for Merrill.

Widgets are challenging because they are so constrained and persistent: how can we use them to drive value for our users and the company?

First, I audited the Merrill app and functionality, launched and analyzed a survey of 143 potential users, and created segments and personas from the results.

Users most valued flexibility, security, and transparency.
This user empathy allowed me to advocate for the user while navigating our other team goals and collaborating with other disciplines.

What should we show our users? What would motivate them to keep our widget on their valuable home screen?
The most obvious choices might be account balances or portfolio value, but these are too sensitive to present on a home screen, which other people might accidentally see.

We moved forward with two widget concepts: Insights and Actions.

Insights showcases Merrill’s award-winning research and client-advisor relationship. It strengthens Merrill’s ability to inform clients and help them make smart investment decisions. For flexibility, users can select the size of this widget.

The Actions widget surfaces the interaction that are most valuable for both the user and for Merrill. We only offer it in the medium size: small doesn’t offer enough value, and large makes it clunky and overbearing.

I designed these while working within Merrill’s established internal design system. This was the company’s first work with widgets, so I adapted existing patterns and added these as foundational contributions to the design system.

This project is currently in development to be shipped.

Product Design | Duke University

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