Capital One
Training & Empowerment

Virtual Training | Coaching |

Research Study Support

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Challenge

Capital One Canada has a lean design research team that primarily focuses their efforts in executing larger-scale, strategic research. In order to support research at a larger scale throughout the organization, I was responsible for providing the necessary coaching, support and feedback needed for associates to run their own concept testing and usability testing studies.

My responsibilities were two-fold:

  1. Formal Training - I internally taught both a Design Research Fundamentals course and the research module of a Design Sprint course to product designers, product owners and other associates interested in conducting research

  2. Empowerment - I trained product teams to execute their own research, teaching them how to apply research best practices, use our internal research tools and improve their research skills.

Formal Training

Upon joining Capital One, I took ownership of the research team's training initiatives; I had recently TA-ed a course at the University of Toronto Faculty of Information and wanted additional teaching experience.

 

Over 2020 - 2021, I taught a Design Research Fundamentals course (along with a co-facilitator) four times, training a total of 50+ employees. This training was a key step in our efforts to democratize research and empower others to do their own research when it made sense to do so. In one post-training survey, 10/10 respondents said they were motivated to incorporate design research into their future work and were very likely to recommend the training to others. 

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What is design research?

We kicked off the training by explaining the importance of design research to help teams learn about their users and create the right products that meet their needs.

Research methods by framework

I walked through our 4-phase research framework (Understand - Iterate - Validate -  Assess) and my co-facilitator covered the key research methods used in each stage.

How to plan + run a research study

I taught the class the steps to complete a research study and led activities in writing a research objective, identifying data to collect and choosing a research method.

Research at Capital One

To bring the course content to life, my co-facilitator presented a case study of a multi-phase research study done from 2018 - 2021 to support the launch of a new payment feature.

The training covered:

Due to COVID-19 and the new WFH requirements, I also transformed the existing in-person Design Research Fundamentals course into a virtual offering. My responsibilities included: 

  • Updating the presentation deck with new collaborative activities to be done in breakout rooms

  • Creating an interactive workbook for breakout groups to collaborate on activities

  • Adding new micro-interactions (polls, quizzes) to encourage class engagement

  • Creating a new facilitator guide to manage the training with timeline, instructions and key links

  

Empowerment

I coached the successful design, execution, synthesis, reporting and socialization of 4 different research studies. My responsibilities included:

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Moderating an interview to demonstrate best practices

  • Advising teams on the optimal research approach and outlining key study details (ie. research objectives, methodology, recruitment details) in a project plan

  • Supporting teams in the creation of required study materials (ex. discussion guides, prototypes, note-taking templates) to ensure they met study objectives and adhered to research best practices

  • Facilitating interviews to demonstrate best practices and training associates on how to effectively conduct interviews remotely

  • Leading teams through the synthesis and reporting process (e.g. creating training decks, setting up synthesis boards in Mural and coaching associates on how to facilitate synthesis sessions, best identify / capture insights and go through design ideation

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Coaching associates on research synthesis

The studies all took the form of remote, moderated usability testing sessions intended to support the launch of a new digital feature or experience. As a result of my coaching, each team was able to successfully complete their research study and use the findings to identify potential pain points and / or further optimize the designs prior to launch.

 

See below for features and experiences tested:

Mobile Message Centre
Lock Card
Feature
Redesigned Application Flow
PIN Activation Feature

A new mobile app experience to keep customers informed on new offers, available statements, concerning charges and other information

A feature that allows customers to lock their card within the app if it was stolen or lost (vs. calling an agent)

A new application flow that combined Quick Check (Capital One's card eligibility checker) and the credit card application form 

A new experience where the customer sets their card PIN during the application flow (vs. receiving a PIN mailer post-application)