Wells Digital Guru Talks Innovation Groups, AI, and Banking’s ‘Uber’ Moment

  • Grace Noto
  • March 13, 2017
  • 0

How do you choose where to focus your innovation team?

Marie Floyd, senior vice president of digital customer experiences for Wells Fargo, has some tips.

Floyd, who joined Wells Fargo in 2015, has worked in the tech industry for more than 30 years, and for companies like Intuit, eBay, and IBM. In her time at those companies she focused on “merging the digital world with the real world,” considering “not just problems to fix, but also great potential where things are being done in a really tedious and manual way.”

As the SVP for Wells Fargo’s digital experiences group, Floyd has focused on building mobile app solutions such as Wells’s “Daily Change app” for saving, and has also begun to craft individual teams that focus on creative design and governance, as well as an “Envision” team, focused on internal investment.

Bank Innovation spoke with Floyd about her team, her approach to technologies such as AI, and her views on the future of banking.

Tell me about your team—what are some of the things you are working on now?

My team designs most of the digital things that Wells Fargo puts out so it’s a real variety of things—it could be anything from the interface that you’d see on a smartwatch to the mobile app across devices, the desktop experience, online banking.

The people are researchers, they’re interaction designers, visual designers, content strategists, and then a big team of producers and other people in an operations group that help it all move along.

How many members of your team are there? How many projects do you typically work on at a time?

Full time employees it’s about 80, the overall group is about 140. You flex it with contractors and so forth so we can flex with the needs of the business.

Usually we have tens of things going on at any one time, at peak we probably have over a hundred projects.

There could be small focus projects but there could also be big new ones. In 2016, for example, the big things that were happening, were [that] we were rolling out our new experience that people already had on mobile and on tablets to desktop. But while that was happening we were also having many other things in flight, so looking at new experiments that we were working on, working new apps like Daily Change.

What do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind when designing a user experience?

I’ve done ethnography from the beginning of my career, I’ve taught it, I’ve experimented with all different ways of creating personas, so that people will be keeping a particular customer in mind, rather than just designing for themselves. We did tons of research and we have specific personas that have different attitudes about finances and about money, and those kinds of things are more useful for designers than simple demographics.

If you took your background, your age, and compared yourself to other people, I don’t think you’d assume that you’d be the same and have the same needs as everybody else who is your age and grew up in the same area.

We have this great team of designers, really creative people, and they’ve made things, so people really have to embody the personas.

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