12 MARCH 2021
Bringing to life Beem It x BPAY, as told by our Head of Design
A lot of work went on in the background to enable the recent launch of BPAY® on Beem It. Ensuring the feature addressed key customer concerns, and staying true to our mission of making payments easier, were integral to the design and development of the feature.
While it was a massive team effort, we thought we would sit down with our very own Head of Design Christian, to understand more about the process from behind the scenes. But first, let’s get to know him a little better.
Q: As our resident Parisian, tell us 3 things you miss about Paris and 3 things you don’t.
Three I miss: Affordable champagne and cheese, weekends in a different country and art exhibitions.
Three I don’t: The weather, the rat race and whingers.
Q: Your computer crashes and email decides it needs a holiday (aka boots you out), so naturally you take the day off. What do you do?
Christian: Go sailing! That’s one of the reasons why I originally moved to Sydney.
Q: Tell us about your journey to Beem It.
Christian: I joined the team in August 2019, excited by the idea of making money simpler for all Australians. Having worked for many years at the intersection of customer experience, product innovation and design, I felt ready to sink my teeth into a project in its early stages with the power to shape the way people managed their everyday moments, for the better.
Q: The role of design can mean very different things depending on where you work and what the product is. At Beem It, what role does a Head of Design play in the development of the product?
Christian: As Head of Design at Beem It, officially my work involves strategizing and developing new features for the app. Unofficially, I am chief custodian for our customers. Being a small company and team means that I am involved in the entire journey from initial stages of research and wireframing, to user testing, all in an effort to craft the simplest end-user experience.
Q: How did the BPAY implementation come about?
Christian: The notion to launch BPAY on Beem It came about as most of our ideas generally do — we start with researching the market to understand what our customers (existing and otherwise) are doing in their day-to-day lives that we think we could make better and easier. A lot of the existing solutions looked a bit like what BSB and account numbers were before Beem It made the experience of mixing money and friends better. We also noticed our users already taking advantage of our peer-to-peer functionality to settle their bills, so it seemed like there was an opportunity to offer a more integrated solution.
Q: What’s a piece of customer feedback that came out of the research which challenged your initial thinking?
Christian: The big surprise to me was how little people knew about the smarts of BPAY and how much anxiety this oblivion would generate when having to input details. From that insight, the project shifted in a slightly different direction to solve for the uncovered friction point. It wasn’t just about how quickly we’d enable the payment, but more so how confidently.
Q: How did the user insights translate into the design solution?
Christian: Once we’d identified the key concerns; nervousness associated with inputting details, uncertainty around when the money would be received by the biller, and the anxiety of late fees, this guided our unique solution. From calling out the ETA for users’ funds, to building functionality which validates the CRN and BPAY biller details, we focused on providing confidence and reassurance throughout the user journey.
Q: Given Beem It’s strong focus on user-first design, how do you determine which insights/user feedback make it into the feature vs. don’t?
Christian: The most challenging (and rewarding) part of my role is deciphering the most important functionality to incorporate. You can gather a lot of really great insights from research and user testing but the real challenge comes when you’re trying to prioritise and implement them. We always try to balance identifying features users deem most important, features they may not know they need and what’s achievable from a design and build perspective. For me, this generally comes down to how we can deliver the most value and for BPAY these moments of reassurance really had the potential to make the biggest impact on the user experience.
Q: Beem It’s roots are grounded in simplistic design and usability. As Head of Design, how do you juggle the necessity for both in a new feature like BPAY?
Christian: Simplicity and usability work hand in hand. Simple things are easier (and more compelling) to use. One of the challenges was about providing guidance and tips in a way that didn’t overload the screens or interrupt the experience. The team and I had healthy debates about the best way to do it and it required a few iterations to get it right, but I’m very happy with the end result!
Q: Lastly we have to know, is your hair naturally that curly?
Christian: Depends on the weather...
If you have any ideas or suggestions on who you would like to hear from or how we can improve connecting with each other, whether it’s an app innovation or something we could do at work, we would love to hear from you. We're working harder than ever to ensure you continue to have the best Beem It experience possible. Please share any other ideas that you would like us to incorporate into our next blog post here firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Beem It? Beem It allows you to pay, request, split and transfer money with anyone in your network, simply using your phone. Backed by eftpos, the app is easy, secure and free to download and use. Find out more about Beem It here.