Project Description

“This was by far our largest undertaking – multiple products, multiple platforms, and our own brand.”

Grant Szalay
Payment Systems Group, UX & Creative Director

Role

UX & Creative Directorr

Timeframe

1 year

Skills

Project Management, Creative Leadership, Team Building

Software

Illustrator, Fireworks, InDesign, Basecamp

Illustrator Fireworks Adobe InDesign BaseCamp

My Experience

Did anyone ever tell you that you absolutely must visit a certain place because it simply has to be experienced? This was such an experience. It was one of the most rewarding projects I’ve ever done and was deeply introspective and life-changing in the way I see business-customer interaction.

Every day for a full year I was deeply immersed into every aspect of our customers’ experience!

The project took almost a year… so what follows is not an exhaustive detailing of deliverables at each stage, but rather an overview of my experience.

I oversaw three creative firms, a creative content agency, an out-of-house software development company, and our own internal staff to create the following:

Project Deliverables

Rebrand Payment Systems Group
Create Make My Payments brand
Create new digital and print media

Design a new Sales and Training website
Redesign our online Bill Pay website
Update national sales training

The Challenge

Payment Systems Group had evolved over the years to create multiple payment technologies for businesses and consumers. We had an eclectic collection of brands and services including B2B e-commerce, ACH (electronic debit), credit card processing, check printing, bill pay, and loan acceleration programs. After several self-led branding attempts over the years, we chose to use outside sources to help us find direction and focus. It’s good to know what you don’t know.

To get the change we needed, new questions needed to be asked… we needed to be uncomfortable. We hired three firms: Fellswoop,  Yiu StudioAdlin, Inc. Let’s see what we did!

fellswoop_yiu_adlin

Branding & Logo Development

“Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what they say it is.”

That’s from The Brand Gap, by Marty Neumeir. It’s true enough that we spent considerable time getting information from customers about how they saw us. Yes, branding is about how you want people to see your company, but you also need to back that up… and live up to it.

Our efforts took several months and included diving deep into what Payment Systems Group was about and what our value propositions were, ideating on logo designs, creating wireframes, high-fidelity mockups, and the most fun – doing our own photo shoot with custom-made origami created by Won Park. And our business cards were the coolest I’ve ever owned. Enjoy…

Bill Pay Redesign

The next step was to look at what thousands of customers used to interact with us every day – our bill pay portal.

For the first few weeks of research, no one asked how does a customer do this? What button do they press? How does this work?

There was a theme… it wasn’t about us, our technology, or how.

It was all about customer goals and User-Centered Design.

Patterns emerged… similarities. What customers believed or intuited about our services was starting to emerge. The goal was to design around mental models such that an intuitive interface would then the result in an experience of confidence and satisfaction.

We conducted user research, developed personas, drew wireframes, prototyped and tested, all with the goal of aligning our customer’s intuition and expectations with our service.

Other Products

MMP Training Website

We created a new training website for our national salesforce. The site included new training materials, videos, PowerPoint presentations, and auto dealership integration instructions for thousands of dealerships across the country.

Since the site contained sales calculators and dynamic customer presentations, we used Bootstrap and a responsive design in order to allow mobile and iPad use by sales agents out in the field.

Printed Media

We redesigned our printed media as well. This included brochures for mortgage programs, auto loans, student loans, tent cards, and other items.

Digital Media

Dozens of videos and PowerPoint presentations were created or redesigned from the ground up. New imagery was selected to be on-brand: bright, simple, clean, and clear.

Email newsletters were also redesigned as well as the company’s data sheets, whitepapers, etc.

Our savings calculators and sales presentations were also updated.

Swag (the fun stuff)

With all the important stuff done, we finished with some fun swag!

Retrospective

How does one summarize such an adventure? If I could name one highlight of my career at Payment Systems Group, this would be it. The entire year! The creative talent I worked with, the personal growth, and the joy of being immersed in creative work… makes every hardship worth it!

What did I learn? To start, I love creative work and problem solving. I’m not a lone wolf… and work better with other big thinkers. I’m a detail person and naturally focus there, and I need other visionaries to expand my horizons.

Trusted outsiders are essential to bring new perspectives. Let my beliefs about my processes, my customers, and what they want be challenged. Let go of “what I know for sure” more easily.

Wild turns down seemingly wrong paths can take you to new heights of discovery. I need to speak my heart more often. It seems to love design too and usually knows which way to point… but I need to verbalize it.

And mostly… there’s an amazing flow when I do creative work with talented people in a fun environment!

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Wireframes