Earning eBucks rewards from the bank was becoming increasingly complex. At this point, we had a simple eBucks calculator for business rewards, and real-world examples I’d written for the product pages.

We were asked to create a single calculator to help customers figure out how to earn more eBucks from the bank, but also, potentially, inspire them to upgrade their accounts.

My entire team was invited to pitch our ideas. We were given the same project specs and data. The calculator had to work in both a pre-logged and post-logged in state, which meant that it had to be generic enough to cater to casual visitors, but could adapt to real-world data once an eBucks member had signed into the site.

The problem and constraints:

  • The rules were becoming increasingly complex
  • Not every customer would be able to upgrade (e.g. not everyone on a silver account can automatically upgrade to gold, or get a credit card)

How I worked through the problem:

My design was based on gamification as an educational tool.

I wanted the users to be able to ‘play around’ by mixing and matching products so that they could visually see how they were ‘unlocking’ their full potential to earn. I also wanted there to be progressive disclosure, so that we only showed actions that were relevant to them. As they turned options on and off, they would be able to see their reward level change. Once again, I simplified the language of the rules because I didn’t want to overwhelm the customer with information.


My pitch made it into the final selection, but in the end, mine was not chosen because the bank wanted to adopt a stronger product upgrade message. The chosen design had a ‘Compare’ feature that allowed two products and their calculations to be shown side-by-side.

However, when we conducted usability testing on the prototype, some of my gamification cues and language choices were brought in to solve problems that were identified.

Lessons learned:

No user or design research is ever wasted. There are always ways to use something you’ve learned in a new context.