We helped Citi embed innovative thinking into its product development process by co-creating their Design Centre of Excellence.


Following the financial collapse in 2007, and stronger competition from a broader range of competitors, Citi realised that the future of the business depended on its ability to innovate faster and more efficiently than before.

We are delighted by how quickly our teams have embraced this approach... and our customers are already seeing the benefits in terms of faster time to market and more usable products.

Naveed Sultan
Global Head of Treasury and Sales Solutions, Citibank


Following the collapse of the financial sector in 2008, and the emergence of discrete services for payments, money transfer, wealth management and so on, the financial industry has entered a period of disruptive unbundling.

Realising that the best way to tackle this was head on, Citibank TTS sought to implement a more innovative, agile and customer centric approach to product development and service delivery.


To do this, to take on a business redevelopment process of this scale, Citi realised they needed a design partner that could help them marry innovative thinking with the structure and politics of a large multinational.

Working with the VP of User Experience, we were hired to help them challenge their own business processes from within, and enable them to change their ways of working.

We began by conducting a review of their product strategy and delivery process, identifying the corporate issues, bottlenecks and deficiencies that resulted in poor customer experience.

Then we used these insights to lay down the strategy and blueprint for embedding UX and Design activities in the product lifecycle and formalising how teams should work on an ongoing basis.

The next stage was getting executive support to establish a Global (UX). Design Centre of Excellence. Based in Dublin, the centre is a cross functional campus of expertise, knowledge and innovation for creating software applications worldwide.

Design doing

A Design Centre such as this would be ineffective unless it provides practical guidance to product teams and positively influences how they work on a day to day basis.

To achieve this goal, we devised standard processes, methods, toolkits, pattern libraries and other elements to be shared with product teams. Some of the outputs are shown below.

Becoming agile

We worked with Citi to introduce Lean UX principles into their processes, accelerating reaction.

Map to UX maturity

Our UX Practice Maturity Model provides a 5-year roadmap for the Citi team to assess progress with an agreed end-goal in mind.

Online resources

The mobile-responsive pattern library includes interactive examples of every design pattern, along with typography guidelines and colour palettes.


We defined job role specifications and hired the internal UX team. We worked side by side with the team to transfer skills through a combination of training, coaching and practical application.


Work flows outlined how UX activities would fit into Citi’s PLF (Product Launch Framework), a global framework that defines Citi processes for everything from financial products to software.


We created a variety of tools to help staff think more strategically about design effort.


The new framework has driven faster decision-making, more usable products and better experiences for Citibanks customers and B2B clients.

One example is CitiDirect BE Mobile and CitiDirect BE Tablet platforms and designed by our team in collaboration with Citibank, it has recently passed the $1 trillion benchmark in global payments processed.