Banking on design

DESIGN faculty and students participate in direct financial service design challenge at Design Thinking Week in Berlin

07/21/17

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Three representatives from the School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Program’s (SEDTAPP) Engineering Design graduate program recently took their design expertise abroad for Design Thinking Week.

Hosted by the School of Design Thinking at Hasso-Plattner-Institut (HPI) in Potsdam, Germany, Design Thinking Week is a week-long program where HPI students and participants from other universities from around the world discuss the innovation method of design thinking and work together to solve a real-life challenge.

For the week, Sarah Ritter, assistant professor of engineering design; Rohan Prabhu, engineering design graduate student; and Andrea Sinkpon, engineering design graduate student, completely immersed themselves in the design world, spending time completing research, fieldwork, demonstrations, prototypes and presentations for the spring 2017 project “Financial Empowerment in an Era of Digital Transformation.” The project challenged designers to create a new service to offer new customers of ING-DiBa AG, a direct bank based in Frankfurt, Germany. As a direct bank, ING-DiBa AG doesn’t have branch locations. Instead, all services are offered remotely through online and telephone banking.

Design Thinking Week participants were divided into 10 teams for the design challenge. Attendees generated concepts for services that met the wants and needs of clients and potential clients, as well as the types of relationships customers search for from financial advice services. Additional insight was gathered through interactions with ING DiBa to better understand the strategies and concepts of direct banking. 

After completing their research, the teams were asked to prototype ideas and test them with potential users, experts and financial stakeholders.

As a member of team one, Ritter worked to design a fun and interactive smartphone application focused on life events and the financial experiences associated with them. Prabhu and his team six colleagues created two prototypes – an interactive, multiple profile bank account website and a temporary shared bank account. Final prototyping and testing focused on “Crowd Money,” the temporary shared bank account concept. Sinkpon and team five designed a family planner service, helping families better organize and track their finances.

“It is easier to design a product, process or system when the implications in the end are real and not hypothetical. The design process becomes more personal when you know that people will potentially use it,” Sinkpon said. “Solving real life problems forces designers to be mindful and careful about their designs – it’s important because there is a possibility to make a difference in the world and make people’s lives better.”

 

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Samantha Chavanic

smh5218@engr.psu.edu

Sarah Ritter writing

Rohan Prabhu writing on paper

Sarah Ritter (top) and Rohan Prabhu (bottom) draw concepts for their financial services during Design Thinking Week 2017. 

Design Thinking Week Photo Album

“Solving real life problems forces designers to be mindful and careful about their designs – it’s important because there is a possibility to make a difference in the world and make people’s lives better.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Matt Parkinson

 
 

About

The School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs (SEDTAPP) delivers effective engineering education through active, collaborative, project-based, and professionally oriented classroom experiences. SEDTAPP offers a variety of programs that partner faculty, students, and industry in the study of real-life engineering problems. Our programs teach students to solve real-life problems with innovative solutions. 

School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs

213 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2952