Improving CommBank’s broker platform

How I thought about and started to enhance how they finance.


The Commonwealth Bank (CommBank) is Australia's leading integrated financial services provider with international reach. CommBank is Australia's biggest lender, at approximately $8 billion per year.


The existing lending and broker portal had seen its glory days and was due for an upgrade. Key challenges described by our business stakeholder included an overall poor user experience, a confusing architecture, a slow process and an unappealing user interface which caused users to circumvent processes and procedures to secure financing for their clients.

My Role

User experience designer and prototyper.


Commonwealth Bank


User Research/Surveys
Rapid Prototyping



The Approach

Human centred design

We used a human centred design approach to determine not only what information was important to people, but when that information was important to different users, to optimise the web app design. I used Sketch to prototype the users needs leveraging CommBank's brand guidelines.

The Design Process

A new way to do business

As an intern, I was entrusted with lots of responsibility, which enabled me to thrive and learn numerous new skills.

Interviews and observation

Starting fresh with the team meant I was straight into interviews, research and observation sessions. And with no prior experience with banking or lending, there was lots to discover.

I was able to explore the world of brokers, lenders, support staff and branch staff.

It quickly became evident that there was a varied level of confidence, understanding and beliefs about the platform and the surrounding support process.

This gave me immediate insight into several different design elements that could be implemented based on a user's profile, such as keyboard shortcuts, guided tours, steppers and tooltips.

A new way to do business


After the interview phase, I began the journey towards wireframes with sketches and whiteboarding. This allowed me to very quickly iterate through many design options before too much effort gets expelled.

I could use each iteration to showcase back to my team, garner feedback, and perform any changes that were necessary. It also allowed for several co-design sessions, to rapidly iterate through different options.

Perhaps the most useful outcome was the ability to begin thinking about the design language we would use. After a couple of trials, I landed on Google's Material Design as the base.

A new way to do business

Wireframes and Prototypes

Once I had landed on a final whiteboard iteration, I began exploring high fidelity wireframing in preparation for testing.

With the early decision to go with Material Design, it enabled me to very quickly build a high fidelity wireframe, largely knowing how the design would ultimately come together.

That was, as soon as I worked out how to use this new Sketch application. I really enjoyed this part.

Having pulled together some wireframes, I was then able to load these into InVision, and before too long, had a clickable prototype in action.

The Outcome

Final Thoughts

What I learned

Unfortunately, my time with CommBank came to an end, so final results couldn't be ascertained, but I was able to gain some amazing insights and learned lots.

  • Collaboration is key- Working with others in your team, sharing ideas and white-boarding together leads to far better results. It allows you to move faster and improves the overall outcome.
  • All users are different- I found very quickly that many of our users had different perspectives, even with the same role. This led to new design outcomes to ensure the end result was inclusive to all users.
  • Users can have unexpected reactions- A couple of times during research, some users reacted unexpectedly to questions and ideas. This ranged from somewhat awkward to stand-offish and negative. It's important to empathise with users and adjust your style accordingly.
"Josh is certainly someone you can throw in the deep end and he'll still thrive."
Enterprise UX Manager

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Get in touch

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