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Realigning the State Bank of India's micro banking system 'SBI Tiny', which provides banking solutions to people from low income (rural areas and urban slums) households in India.
Primary UX Designer and Researcher
May 2010 to Jun 2010
The whole system comprised of two main aspects which included the enrollment operation and the bank transactions. These aspects enabled users to not only deposit and withdraw money, but also transfer money from one's account to another.
Financial inclusion is important for the economic growth and prosperity of a country and SBI Tiny was an initiative started for this purpose. It was mainly aimed at users who belonged to low income households where majority had little or no formal education which posed critical challenges when it came to using digital products. One of these challenges was to enable the users to trust the system and feel safe about using it.
The research was initiated by conducting a heuristic evaluation of the mobile user interface which helped me not only understand the various stages involved, but also identify the various usability issues.
In order to understand the user needs, I conducted contextual inquiries at three different locations in the city of Mumbai (India). These included ten Customer Service Point (CSP) operators across the areas of Dharavi, Mankhurd and Malwani, all of which were predominantly urban slums in the city of Mumbai.
Areas visited for conducting the user research
At the start of the project, the users of the system were identified to be the Customer Service Point (CSP) operators who directly interacted with the mobile application. However, the user studies revealed many interesting insights about the system.
The findings from the contextual inquiries revealed many issues with the user interface. However, a key issue that came to light in this stage was the ‘lack of trust' that the account holders had towards the system. Below is a quote from one of the CSP operators regarding the same and this issue was raised by all the operators that I interviewed. Furthermore, the manner in which the CSPs referred the account holders made me redefine who my users were.
"I find the system is ok to use but some tasks take time and since all this is concerning money, the users (account holders) of the system start suspecting us."
Based on the interviews with the Customer Service Point operators, I realized that they were not the only users of the system and that the account holders were also users of the system who used it indirectly.
The key findings observed are as given below:
In order to test the designs, I created paper prototypes and tested them out with the users I had interviewed during the start of the project.
This was an individual project that I did during my internship at 'A Little World'. If you are interested in knowing more about this project you could email me at writetoamrutha[at]gmail[dot]com.