We got our first assignment this year – Paper Prototyping and Evaluation. As the assignment sheet wasn’t really clear enough, the first step was to read everything very carefully and make a clear plan of the things to be done. Also, I needed subject and the title for each one of the 4 blog posts.


To-Do List
My interpretation of the M1 Assignment, with entire process in chronological order


After scribbling everything in my notebook, I came up with the following process that I’m going to describe in my 4 blog posts:

  1. Research (eg. observations, competitor analysis, online reviews, user testing) and defining the problem we will try to solve or experience we’ll try to improve
  2. Develop two personas that characterise the banking app users with at least 2 scenarios for one of them
  3. Develop a paper prototype of how the banking app should be redesigned to provide desired experience
  4. Evaluate the developed prototype using appropriate technology


Research phase


As our assignment is to design and evaluate a paper prototype for a banking app – Peter, Rob and myself decided to go with AIB mobile app because of the obvious reason – it’s available to all of us. In this way will be easy to do research, test and track the progress.

Next step was to examine the usability and user experience of AIB and competitor banking apps.


Competitor Analysis
Competitor Analysis based on goals


We decided to put our focus on the goals when doing the competitor analysis, which helped us realise that AIB had an easy flow without big obstacles. On the other side, PTSB failed on all of our tasks, showing us either really complicated and painful flow (Login and Loan Application) or no flow at all (Transfer funds to a new person).

To reassure our decision, we decided to check the reviews on Google Play and App Store. We found out that on over 80 reviews – almost half of them mentioned the same issue over again – which is Login process.

Below are some screenshots of the most popular reviews we run into when doing the research:



Another research technique we agreed on was observation and testing the current version of the PTSB mobile app. It was hard to test it with all the personal informations Peter had in the app, so we decided to create wireframes that looked like the real app. I used Figma to mockup and connect the screens in testable prototype.


Figma Prototype
Click here to view Figma Prototype of the PTSB existing banking app


All went well, until I started the “Apply for a Loan” flow – which took more than one day of sitting in front of computer and creating number of Terms&Conditions, Consents and similar screens (more than 40 screens in total).

Work had to be done, so I finished with the prototype and we were ready to go with the first round of testing.


Owen UT

Click on the image to watch the walkthrough of the entire PTSB journey we did with Owen.


Introducing the problem

As these were the goals we chose earlier in the process when doing the competitor analysis, I’m going to describe each one of them and include some notes from the testing.

1. Login

Login with PTSB is not as easy as with other banks. Each time you want to login, you have to provide:

  1. Open24 number (which is basically a set of numbers placed on your debit card),
  2. your password,
  3. your PAN.

This turns a seamless-to-be-process as “Login” into a painful 25 seconds process.
No “Touch ID” or “Face ID” available, which makes this app even less user friendly – compared to all of the other competitor apps that have this feature.



We also did heuristics evaluation, and this task satisfed only 3 out of 10 Nielsons heuristics. We knew we had to do something to improve the flow and the entire user experience.


10N - Login
This task satisfied only 3 out of 10 Nielsen’s heuristics. We’ll focus on remaining 7 heuristics and hopefully improve overall user experience.


2. Transfer funds to a new person

This task wasn’t available in the mobile PTSB app. In order to transfer the money to a new person, you have to log in into your PTSB internet banking on your laptop/tablet.



Also, nowhere in the flow is mentioned that this action is not available on mobile phone, like an “error prevention” as described in 10 Nielsens heuristics. When you reach the last screen, you get a small warning on the bottom of the page – Note: it took more than 2 min to notice this message for some of our users.


This task satisfied only 2 out of 10 Nielsens heuristics. But also we need to have in mind that this flow doesn’t exist on the mobile app – so we’re building something completely new.


3. Apply for a loan

This task contains 21 screen in total, with various declarations that could be easily placed on one page and with a lots of confirmation screens. The unwanted friction and cognitive load on users should be minimised as much as possible, because people in general just want to get things done as effortlessly as possible.



This task satisfied only 2 out of 10 Nielsens heuristics.


Even though it was a real challenge to improve this task, the only thing we could do is basically just reduce the number of steps – which is as simple as that. Also, we figured out that redesigning this task wouldn’t bring us as much as value as the time that we would spend in improving it, so we decided to leave it aside for now and focus on the Login (with included Forgot PAN option) and Transfer to a New Person.



  1. Douglas, S., & Douglas, S. D. (2017, September 25). How To Do A UX Competitor Analysis: A Step By Step Guide. Retrieved September 25, 2018, from https://usabilitygeek.com/how-to-do-ux-competitor-analysis/
  2. 10 Heuristics for User Interface Design: Article by Jakob Nielsen. (1995, January 1). Retrieved September 28, 2018, from https://www.nngroup.com/articles/ten-usability-heuristics/
  3. Designing Friction For A Better User Experience. (2018, January 10). Retrieved October 10, 2018, from https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/01/friction-ux-design-tool/
  4. Budiu, R. (2017, June 4). A Checklist for Registration and Login Forms on Mobile. Retrieved October 10, 2018, from https://www.nngroup.com/articles/checklist-registration-login/




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