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.

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