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Barclays Mobile Banking is a mobile banking service offered by Barclays. With Barclays Mobile Banking, users can view their account balances, transaction history, and account statements; transfer money between accounts; pay bills; set up and manage direct debits and standing orders; and locate nearby ATMs and branches. The app also includes features such as budgeting tools and spending alerts to help customers manage their finances more effectively.



The Barclays team as ustwo wanted to test and validate a new set of features which would potentially become a part of the Barclays Mobile Banking application using a more lean and agile approach to generating design concepts. The client were reluctant to apply lean and agile methodologies to their existing ways of working so this project was run as an internal experiment to test out the approach before it was integrated into the studio's way of working.

What is it?

For this project we used the Google Ventures Design Sprint. The GV Design Sprint is a process for rapidly prototyping and testing new product ideas. It involves bringing a diverse group of people together to work through the design process in a structured and focused way, with the goal of creating a high-fidelity prototype that can be tested with users in just five days.

Who is it for?

It is designed to benefit teams that are looking to bring new products to market quickly and efficiently, by allowing them to prototype and test ideas in a short period of time.

The Google Ventures Design Sprint is particularly useful for startups and other organizations that are working in fast-paced, competitive environments, where the ability to quickly test and iterate on ideas can be a key advantage. It can also be helpful for larger organizations that are looking to innovate and bring new products to market, but may have more bureaucracy and process that can slow down the development process.

Overall, the Google Ventures Design Sprint is designed to benefit teams that are looking to create and test new product ideas in a structured and focused way, in order to make informed decisions about the direction of their product and bring it to market as quickly and efficiently as possible.

How does it work?

The process of creating a mobile banking app using lean methodologies involved the following steps:

  1. Define the problem: The first step was to identify the problem that the new features were meant to solve. This could be anything from helping customers manage their finances more efficiently to providing contextual advice on life events that may impact their finances.

  2. Identify the target audience: The next step was to identify the target audience for the app. This could be based on demographics, such as age or income level, or on specific customer needs or preferences.

  3. Develop a minimum viable product (MVP): The MVP was a basic version of the app that included only the most essential new features that would be introduced into the existing app. This allowed the team to test the new features with a small group of users and gather feedback before moving on to fleshing these out into more complex features.

  4. Test and iterate: Once the MVP was ready, the team tested it with a small group of users and gathered feedback. This feedback was used to iterate on the design and features of the app, ensuring that it met the needs of the target audience and the client.

  5. "Launch" and scale: Once the prototype was finalised and ready for a wider audience, it was made available to the client and the wider team for review. From there, the team could work on adding new features as needed to meet the evolving needs of users.


Overall, the goal of using lean methodologies in the development process was to create a product that was simple, efficient, and user-friendly, while also being able to adapt and evolve over time while seamlessly integrated into an existing product that was access by millions of people in the UK every day.

Why is it needed?

The team at ustwo wanted to come up with radical new features that had to work alongside the existing app. The client and their customers were skeptical about any new functionality that appeared to want to sell them something so designing for trust was essential to the process from the very beginning. The team were becoming frustrated with the linear, sequential approach to project management in which each phase of the project had be completed before the next phase could begin. This approach meant that aspects of the project needed to be planned in advance, and the various phases completed in a fixed order. There was little room for flexibility or change. Ustwo wanted to transition to an Agile approach which would align with the ways of working across the rest of the studio. An agile approach would allow a more flexible, iterative approach to managing the project and would support adaptability and continuous improvement. The team wanted the freedom to approach the project in small, iterative sprints to make them more responsive to change and to deliver value to the customer more quickly.

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