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CLIENT: EBON FX (formerly Compass Global Markets) - Foreign exchange currency management for international payment solutions


INDUSTRYFinTech, Foreign Exchange (Fx)

PROJECT DURATION6 week design sprint

        MY ROLE: I worked within and across a number of teams for the duration of the design sprint, primarily focused on deliverables related to Ux Research e.g. Interviews, Personas, Customer Journey Mapping and Usability Testing. I also assisted with Information Architecture and User Flows. 

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The Brief

Academy Xi was approached to assist with an overhaul of the EbonFX website and customer FX portal prior to launch. Perceived design challenges highlighted by the client included:

  • Lack of user segmentation

  • Ambiguous messaging and failure to communicate value proposition

  • Fragmented user flows

  • Cumbersome sign-up process


In addition to the above, the client was interested in learning how they might instil a sense of trust and credibility via their website, thus strengthening customer confidence.

The Solution

Our group of UX/UI designers employed the user-centred Double-Diamond design methodology to deliver a desktop prototype that was presented to the client at the conclusion of the design sprint. The look and feel of the existing website was reimagined to provide a more personalised and efficient experience for business and personal users. This was achieved by applying user-specific colours, images, content and copy. The website navigation and menus were optimised to align better with user expectations.  The Fx portal sign-up process was enhanced by affording users the opportunity to seek real-time assistance; and the dashboard uplifted to provide users with real-time currency data and account activity at a glance.

The Result

Using the Double-Diamond design methodology, we were able to provide the client with a reimagined website and Fx portal which, based on our research, would appeal to existing and future customers. We (a) identified key user needs and goals; (b) prioritised solutions based on their impact on user experience and feasibility of implementation; (c) validated our design decisions through usability testing; and (d) delivered a high fidelity desktop prototype that was user-friendly, secure, and tailored to business and personal users alike.

Problem Statement

Australians and Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs), who need to send money overseas, want a safe and trusted solution to transfer funds to overseas beneficiaries that can satisfy their need for cost-effectiveness, efficiency and security.

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Phase 1: Discovery and Investigation

​1.1. Research Objectives

  • To learn why and how personal and business users transfer money overseas.

  • To gauge users’ levels of satisfaction with, and expectations from, current forex services/platforms.

  • To understand user behaviour, preferences, opinions and pain-points when transferring money overseas using a 3rd party.

1.2. Research Approach

Making the most of the group size, we split into smaller teams, each responsible for one of the following research methods:


As a member of the Interview team, I:

  • consolidated the interview questions on an Excel spreadsheet for ease of reference and to facilitate the voting process;

  • worked with 2 other team members to write the interview guide;

  • provided support as a secondary interviewer and scribe; and

  • worked with the survey team to ensure a degree of overlap and differentiation between the interview and survey questions.

1.4. Research Findings

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1.3. My Role

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Phase 2: Insights and Opportunities

​2.1. Key Insights

We used an Affinity Map (pictured above) to organise the data we collected. In doing so, we were able to identify patterns, themes and key insights.

Here’s what we found:

  • Users want a simple, time- efficient sign-up process

  • It’s important for users to understand where their money is (e.g. transaction status, timeframes)

  • Users feel positive and have trust when they have a personal account manager

  • It’s important for users to be able to ‘self-help’ when transferring money overseas

  • Users need to know that they can trust the Fx platform

  • It’s important for users to know all costs when transferring money overseas

2.2. Personas and Customer Journey Maps

With this information in mind, we developed 2 distinct personas and customer journeys to represent existing and future EbonFx users:

  1. Jonathon - a small business owner who transfers money overseas to pay suppliers

  2. Zara – an individual who sends money to her parents back home

In creating these personas and customer journeys, we were able to: (a) ‘step into the shoes’ of the user (i.e. understand context, needs, goals and frustrations); (b) gain a holistic view of their current experiences when transferring money overseas (i.e. actions, touchpoints, emotions and pain points); and (c) identify opportunities for improvement.

Meet Jonathon and Zara, and read about their Fx journeys here:



During Phase 2, I:

  • synthesized interview data;

  • created the business user (Jonathon) persona with 2 other team members;

  • provided input on the peronal user (Zara) persona; and

  • assisted with finalising the business user customer journey.

2.4. How Might We (HMW) Statement

Now that we had a deeper understanding of, and were able to empathise with EbonFX users, we formulated the following HMW Statement:

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2.3. My Role

How Might We ...

... design a streamlined platform that builds trust and empowers users to make safe and secure international money transfers?

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Phase 3: Ideation and Solutions

​3.1. Brainstorming and MVP

Guided by our HMW statement, we worked as a group to brainstorm possible solutions based on our key insights. The creation of a minimum viable product or MVP (pictured below) helped us prioritise our deliverables and focus on those solutions related to:

  • Currency, fees and rates calculator

  • Efficient and intuitive user portal

  • Personalised customer service

  • Help and support

  • Testimonials and reviews

  • Rewards

3.2. Crazy 8s and Storyboards

We used Crazy 8 sketches to generate a varitey of visuals solutions, and Storyboards to illustrate Jonathon and Zara’s ideal customer journeys.

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Phase 4: Building, Testing and Delivery

At this stage in the design sprint, the group split into 2 teams, who focused on the desktop (the focus of this case study) and mobile app platforms respectively.

4.1. Building the Desktop Website and Fx Portal​



  • worked with other team members to review and refine the results of the card sorting exercise;

  • worked within and across the business and personal Information Architecture (IA)  sub-teams to ensure consistency and continuity for both user types; and

  • created the user flow for the business persona with 2 other team members.



4.2. Testing the Desktop Website and Fx Portal

At this juncture, the Desktop team split into 2 sub-teams:

  • UI – focused on the design system and prototyping

  • Usability Testing – focused on conducting usability tests to validate our design decisions, and identify potential issues


  • worked with another team member to write the *usability testing script;

  • acted as both an interviewer/tester and scribe;

  • synthesized test data;

  • documented key observations; and

  • worked closely with the UI team to provide proposed changes and general feedback.


* Given the iterative nature of our design process, no 2 days of usability testing was the same. The testing script was a live document that I updated on a daily basis to accommodate for changes to the prototype.

4.2.1. Testing and Iterations

The desktop prototype was tested with 7 Jonathon’s (business users) and 5 Zara’s (personal users). Based on the feedback, we made iterative improvements to the design and functionality to ensure that the needs and preferences of the users were met.

The Website ~

EbonFx wanted an impactful and informative website. Our goal was to reimagine the existing platform, keeping in-line with the provided style guide, but moving away from the transactional look-and-feel, to one that was more personalised according to the user type.

4.1.1. Card Sorting

A virtual open card sorting exercise was completed using Optimal Workshop to evaluate the existing IA of Ebon Fx’s website and FX portal.


As the existing website was not segmented per user type, we were interested in learning how business and personal users would organise site content so that it made sense to them.


The results showed that there were no major differences between the user types.

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4.1.2. Information Architecture (IA) and User     


Guided by the results of the card sorting exercise, we worked on refining Ebon FX’s IA and user flows to resolve both, user pain points identified during our research, and the design challenges highlighted by the client.

4.1.3. Low and High Fidelity Wireframes

With our site content organised, structured and labelled; we moved onto wireframing, which helped us visualise the layout, content and functionality of the website and Fx portal.

In an effort to tailor the website experience according to the needs and expectations of business and personal users, we differentiated the look and feel accordingly, and championed features and content that would enable each user type to find information and complete tasks with ease.

“I like the simplicity.”

“It’s user friendly and intuitive.”

“Overall the look of the website makes the user want to try it.”

“I would use EbonFx in future because the desktop is easier to use than (competitor).”

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As a member of the Desktop team, I:

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As a member of the Usability Testing team, I:

Design Challenge - User Segmentation

To provide a more personalised experience for each user type, we:

  • Added a toogle for Personal and Business users

  • Used differentiated colour schemes and copy

  • Included a mobile app download link (future recommendation)

Further iteration based on User Feedback - Calculator

Our initial round of testing revealed that 1 of the first things Personal users expect to see is rates and fees. Based on this feedback, we added the calculator (which was originally on the ‘Services’ page only) to the landing page as well.

Design Challenge - Value Proposition

EbonFX’s value proposition relates to the Personal Account Manager ('Dealer') service available to Business users.


While this services does not extend to Personal users, we introduced the option for live chat or email.


Testing revealed that:

  • Personal users were excited about having a live chat option.

  • Business users felt the website was more personable thanks to the inclusion of pictures and a short bio for each of the account managers – “I don’t feel like I’m talking to a robot”.

Business users did however indicate that they would like to see a direct contact number/email address for the account managers, as well as an expected turn-around timeframe.

This feedback was provided to the client for future iterations.