Industry Project Hackathon
iOS App

As as an industry project at BrainStation, my team and I designed a new Scotiabank app to help wealth management advisors understand the unique needs and preferences of young clients to provide suitable guidance and quality service.


UX/UI Designer


24 Hours


Collaboration Tools (Slack, Google Docs, FigJam)

The Challenge

Scotiabank offers a variety of wealth management services and has highly skilled advisors to assist their clients. As clients run their busy lives, they're looking for frictionless and convenient engagement with their advisors online.

During the 24 hours, we were asked to work in a team of 4-5 UX Designers to create a high-fidelity prototype that addresses this need, and then present the final solution to Scotiabank's Senior UX Designer and Product Designer.

Secondary Research

To work within the tight deadlines, we decided to focus on secondary research by surveying the current landscape of wealth management in North America. Through the research, we synthesized the following findings:

Transfer of Wealth

It is estimated that approximately $1 trillion of personal wealth will be transferred to the younger generation between 2016-2026. Source

Generational Gap

The new generation of young wealth have unique needs and behaviours that older advisors struggle to connect with.

Rise in Fintech

New trends such as behavioural finance, robo-advisors, and hyper-personalization allow younger generations of clients to express their desires easily.

Despite these trends, we found that older advisors are less likely to adopt technology to meet the demands of the younger generation of wealth. So, we needed to design a simple solution that allows current advisors to do what they do best while catering to the differing needs of young clients.

Proto Persona

Due to the time constraints, our team created a proto persona based on our secondary research findings in order to understand the behaviours of our user and create an empathy-driven solution.

Meet Giselle

Age 22
Location Toronto, Canada
Occupation Student
Marital Status Single

"I’ve always known that I come from a privileged position that has enabled many opportunities in my life. I want to start being proactive about managing my inheritance responsibly and think about giving back to the community in a way that speaks to me."


With our proto persona and secondary research in mind, we began to ideate on our final solution. I conducted most of the research on digital trends, so my ideas focused on robo-advisors, customization and financial behaviour.

I found inspiration from a mix of traditional financial institutions like RBC and progressive companies like Wealthsimple. We used FigJam to quickly get ideas on a page and decided what ideas we liked best by using stars:

Task Flow

We built a task flow to identify the screens we need for the prototype. Instead of building a solution that fits the hackathon criteria or is visually pleasing, task flow allows us to understand the user experience architecture behind our app and how each action contributes to solving the current problem that users face.


To optimize our time during the sketching phase, we opted to use the crazy 8s method. Our task flow is heavily based on questionnaires, so I took inspiration from onboarding questionnaires that customize the experience for apps such as Spotify and Apple Music. I wanted the screens to be manageable and to avoid overwhelming the user, as managing wealth can leave people feeling defensive and anxious.

Having ideas from 4 designers allowed us to take strong elements from sketches to synthesize the final UI components.

Sketches by me, Emma Sun, and Angela Bravo Hamilton, respectively.

Typography & Colour

We worked within the current UI guidelines that the Scotiabank Banking app uses for typography and colour. For new UI components, we took inspiration from Scotiabank’s colourful advertisements.

I knew that to build visually consistent screen with multiple designers, we needed strict guidelines. Therefore, I created a small UI library that we can reference while building the screens.

High Fidelity Prototype

With our UI library and task flow, our team produced a high-fidelity prototype with 9 screens.

Onboarding Start
Emotions Around Finances
Risk Aversion
Financial Attitude
Skeleton Loading
Next Steps
Virtual Booking

Key Learnings

Maximize Strengths

We took the first hour of the sprint to discuss our strengths, weaknesses, and expectations for the project. Then, we assigned the sections based on our strengths.

Optimize Breaks

We knew that breaks are critical for working productively and efficiently. We scheduled our breaks like you would in a race. Once we finished our sprint section, we would pass on the baton to the following members to continue where we left off. This way, we had ample time to rest our minds and return feeling refreshed.

2 is Better than 1

We assigned each section to at least two members to promote teamwork and open communication. Having a partner helped ensure that I had someone to consult when stuck and keep me accountable on my timeline.

Next Steps

User Interviews

Due to the nature of the hackathon, we did not have time to conduct user interviews, which can significantly impact design decisions. Although we supplemented this gap by seeking out public opinion and anecdotes online, we would like to fill this gap by conducting user interviews of current wealth management users and advisors.

Usability Testing

We used the existing Scotiabank app as a template for our app since the existing app has gone through many rounds of usability testing. However, we made new UI components that will still require user opinion to ensure that our design decisions did not affect usability.

Research for Suitable Questions

We based the three personal profile questions on commonly used questions based on behavioural finance. To create a truly customized experience, we’d like to add more questions about financial goals, confidence and financial literacy through secondary research and consulting advisors.

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