American Express

Turning an Acquisition Journey into a Bento Box


The Background

American Express is a multinational financial services company headquartered in Manhattan’s Three World Financial Center. For its customers, the ability to research and understand information about different card product offerings is critical. The problem is that customers around the world have different needs while researching.

Over the course of a year-long iterative design process with American Express, Code and Theory has worked to redesign two page templates at the core of the conversion process, and in the process enable flexibility in the way that the differing card products are represented, not just among each other, but across different markets such as the United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore.


The Challenge

For a number of years, the American Express Global team had been locked into the same design system. This was often at the expense of engagement opportunities in varying markets. An initiative known as “Bento” was begun to build a scalable, modular system to provide greater flexibility and meet each global team’s unique needs. The markets we started with were the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Japan.

Bento allowed us to reinvent the international design system, and provide global teams a chance to be proactive in shaping their product pages and journeys.


The Solution

At the time, the Prospect Journey Design System oriented the page horizontally. Although having everything on screen at once allowed users to move between different card products, the page lacked the sense of moving down funnel.

Our response: Create a vertical browsing experience that assigned clear priorities to each page of browsing and deciding.

User mindsets change as they move down funnel. Reflecting those changing needs with a more sequential experience was critical to the design.

Through close collaboration with the American Express stakeholders, we designed and developed a series of MVP level modules that could go into usability testing and then on to A/B testing against the current Prospect Journey System.

We proactively designed variations for each module as well, allowing us to proactively go back into testing should any modules with conversion impact underperform.

This iterative design and test process allowed us to quickly figure out what was and was not working and pivot with a solve in hand.


The Results

A Design System That Can Begin Rolling out Internally

With the success of the design system in the United Kingdom, and usability tweaks made per markets in Singapore, Australia and Canada, the Bento system will begin replacing the Prospect Journey around the world within the next year.

The Bento designs have experienced a peak of 11% rise in application submit rates with statistical significance, with an average between 5-9% week to week.

Driving B2B Growth

Partnering with some of the world's largest companies to fuel their business-to-business expansion.

Tipico Featured Module

Succeeding on a Mission to Win Ohio

AOR leading an integrated campaign to capitalize on the moment and bring Tipico to market.

Read More
  • Challenging category conventions to create a differentiated connection with audiences
  • Speaking with Ohio sports fans the same way they speak to each other
  • Working in an Integrated Agency team to connect through all media channels, including the app

Evolving E-commerce to Fit Modern Audiences

We are shaping the digital transformation of the industry by creating strong connections between audiences and brands.

Screen Shot 2023 03 01 at 11 14 04 AM
Marriott Bonvoy

Reimagining Marriott Bonvoy as a Hub for Travel and Commerce

Evolving Bonvoy’s design system to be more modern and immersive while staying true to the core strong brand identity.

Read More
  • Mobile-First
  • Contextualized Conversion
  • Flexible Design and Content Systems

Leading With Empathy and Inclusivity

Having deeper conversations, widening the funnel, and driving innovation with an inclusive-first lens.

Untitled design

Speed to Market for a Portfolio Optimization Tool

Crafting a UI for a complex product through user input and clear data visualization.

Read More
  • Improving workflow processes through enhanced user interface design
  • Clear and simple data visualizations for complex data sets
  • Designing a roadmap to continue to iterate and optimize the product on a rolling basis post-launch

Transforming Education's Forefront

Defining the future of digital experiences in education.

Pfizer World| Shaping a Platform into a Beacon for New Priorities and Ways of Work

Pfizer World

<p>Pfizer World</p>

Transforming a platform into a meaningful beacon to set new priorities and ways of working.

Read More
Galleri| Introducing a Revolutionary Medical Feat to the Market



Creating the first B2C campaign and user experience for a first-of-its-kind cancer detection test.

Read More
Black BoxBlack BoxBlack Box


  • YETI x Code and Theory

    Innovation by Design

    Best in Marketing
  • Code and Theory

    Innovation by Design

    Design Company of the Year
  • Code and Theory

    Ad Age

    Agency A-List

All Work


Says a Lot —


News — 

Facing the Future: A Guide to AI and Design Transformation

News — 

Amazon Ads Debuts First Small Business-Targeted Campaign

News — 

YETI Wins Fast Company Innovation By Design Award for Marketing

News — 

Adweek | Ritz-Carlton Unveils New Websites to Elevate UX

News — 

The Cold Standard — YETI Launches New Coolers Experience, Built by Code and Theory

News — 

The Drum | Should Brands Ditch X as a Customer Service Platform?

News — 

Digiday | Are NFTs Dead? How Media Agencies Are Framing the Future of This Blockchain Tech

News — 

The Drum | Do Marketers Need To Pay Attention to Elon Musk’s Latest Venture, xAI?