Project Details

Research Methods

  • Usability Testing
  • Semi-Structured Interview
  • Remote Moderated Research

Time Frame

  • November 2020


  • UserZoom
  • Axure

Usability testing & discovery research: Barclays point of sale retail finance

In early 2021, Barclays was planning to launch a new repeat use finance product at point of sale for a major retailer. This proposition was an instalment account allowing customers to make purchases using credit and repay via a fixed monthly instalment. This provides the customer with a repeat use credit facility with the benefits of structured payments.


  • Discover customer understanding and appeal of the instalment account proposition and overall effectiveness of the path to purchase.
  • Understand the role of post application communications and to what extent they are clear and provide context to customers for next steps
  • Evaluate the newly designed servicing journey and uncover any user experience issues and pain points which may create a barrier to self-serve.


  • 60-minute depth interviews with 10 participants
  • A mix of current Barclays customers and non-customers
  • A mix of both iOS and Android users
  • Equal mix of male/female and reasonable spread of age groups


  • The look & feel and usability of the end-to-end journey was well received by participants and validated through the research.
  • Significant issues were found around the details of the proposition, with participants misinterpreting the nature of the proposition and not realising they were taking out a line of credit.
  • Similarly, issue were discovered with the proposed email communications around registration for online account servicing. With participants requiring clarification on the email copy - which would likely drive increased calls to customer services.
  • Participants also struggled to understand the language used around some of the proposition features, and even the name of the proposition itself did not clarify how it functioned.

Next Steps

  • Although this research successfully validated the user journey it identified significant issues with the copy and the way the proposition was presented.
  • As a result, changes were made to the copy and proposition and additional rounds to research were conducted to make sure that customers were being fully informed of how the proposition functioned.
  • This research also led to a significant piece of survey work being undertaken to identify the best name for the proposition from a pool approved by legal/marketing. The original name for the proposition was altered based on the research discussed here and the results of that survey (which was run by myself).


This research, while relatively straightforward had a high-level of impact across the business. The proposition - which has since been launched as the 'Amazon Instalments' payment payment option on - was new to the business and had a lot of senior stakeholder buy-in. Therefore the results had to be carefully played back to highlight key issues while managing stakeholder expectations - especially towards the naming of the proposition which had to this point been internally agreed.

As a result of this work, significant changes were made to the copy throughout the journey to make sure the bank was meeting its legal and regulatory requirements in lending and that customers were been serviced with an easy-to-understand user experience overall. And the name of the proposition was changed prior to launch. By managing stakeholders and keeping them involved throughout the research, from observing session to proving input in post-research wash-up sessions they were readily open to taking onboard the results of the research and therefore significant changes could be put forward with minimal friction from stakeholders.