BNP Paribas X Excense

As a Product Designer, challenges come to me in many forms and shapes.

I might be asked to start a project from scratch, improve an existing product, or reinvent an entire experience—both physical and digital—that pushes even my own expectations of how innovative design can be.

The BNP Paribas X Excense project was a prime example. By reuniting the banking system and cutting-edge technology, we transformed in-agency loan simulation.

Gathered around a 360° experience—The digital outcome

To push the concept further, I shaped loan simulation into a story inspired by the tangibility of architecture.

Users seek financing when they have an idea they want to make real. Keeping that in mind, it was my vision to make the experience as illustrative as possible.

So I replaced the usual progress bar element with an architect plan. This bar evolves in the background as the user completes the process—starting from the blueprint, to the foundation of the home, to the walls, the rooms, and the roof—until it finalizes itself into their finished home as the user’s experimentation comes to its end.

Gathered around a 360° experience—The physical experience

BNP Paribas and I partnered with Excense, a company that developed an unprecedented 360° interface system for which I ideated and designed new interactions.Here’s how it works :

The physical experience :

Let’s say you and your partner are ready to invest in real estate together. In order to get financing and assess viability for this new project, you go to the bank.

Together you gather around the 50” screen table with a bank counsellor and build your plan. This is where the 360° experience shines. As a user, you can stand anywhere around the table to follow and manage the application screen, which evolves below you according to your progress.

Once you’re in place with up to 3 other users, you can start to build your project by adding all your information and interacting with both the screen and the counselor throughout the process.

 

"The dial"

One of my challenges is to make the 50” screen table easy and comfortable to use—without requiring people to lay all over it to move its components. My solution was a navigation system that seamlessly glides between users.

These were the initial considerations :

 

  • The table is too big to pass navigation easily for most people.
  • The navigation has to be smoothly movable.
  • “It has to be innovative.”
  • Every element should be used, turned, oriented, and flipped at 360° for users who are differently oriented. 
  • “The dial” should facilitate binary and numeric questions, and then evolve depending on the answers.

To address these considerations, I sketched a contextual system that responds to user answers, that users could pass on to their partners or the bank counsellor, that can be navigated using 360° controls, and that fulfills all other requirements above.

My proposed options

Due to the system’s freedom of movement, possibilities were almost unlimited. I constructed three options in order to address my client’s requests.

1st option

My first idea consisted of 4 simple magnetic spots, each centered on one side of the screen. This option was intended to keep “the dial” from visually interfering with the central elements of the interface. The Excense team decided it was too restrictive for their vision of the product.

2nd option

My second idea was to create a full magnetic frame so users could move “the dial » anywhere around the screen—still without interfering with the central elements. This seemed the most appropriate way to meet Excense’s requirements. 

It was also my favorite solution from a UX perspective, as it increased the usability and the accessibility of the product.

3rd option

My third option was to let “the dial” be freely moved anywhere on the interface and rotate in any direction. I discouraged this option to keep the screen clear and reinforce the system’s accuracy—however, this option was chosen by the team, despite my recommendations.

UI choices and inspirations

My brief was simple but tough: “Create something new and innovative that we cannot find anywhere.”

After extensive research, I decided to try Microsoft’s Fluent Design—brand new at the time—which includes pastel colors, 3D shapes and elements, shadows, textures, and realistic objects. This resulted in the use of transparencies, icy textures, shadow games, and more—all to bring dimension to “the dial” and the overall interface.

Infinite possibilities

After all the UX process I polished the design, ending up with many contextual possibilities allowing us to answer binary and numerical questions.

Wrapping up the experience

As I needed to push the concept further, I decided to wrap up that loan simulation into a whole story that would take the shape of an architecture project.

You’d come up to the bank with that project in your mind, hoping to make it more concrete throughout the experimentation.

So I replaced the usual progress bar element with an architect plan, evolving as you complete the process, starting from the blueprint, then the foundations of your home, next, the walls, the rooms, etc..until it finalizes itself into your future home in the background as your experimentation comes to its end.