Banking by design

Building best-in-class user experiences from the inside out.


  • Client
  • Industry
  • Services
    Organizational Design

BBVA is a global bank that serves 50 million people in 31 countries. Based in Madrid, they have hundreds of employees dedicated to releasing innovative digital products and services. But they weren’t getting the business results they wanted. They needed to know what wasn’t working and how to fix it.

Smart helped them build and implement a company-wide UX strategy for their people, systems and processes to ensure they were delivering world-class experiences—ones worthy of their stature as one of the world’s largest banks. Working side-by-side with their people, we helped BBVA prioritize projects, build their teams and align their business strategy so they could meet the future of banking with confidence.

A road map for growth.

To prioritize a strategic plan for BBVA, Smart identified the company’s challenges and opportunities via stakeholder interviews and work sessions with employees working on product develoment. Working closely with the head of design at BBVA, we created a two-year roadmap that targeted where BBVA should be going and why, including what changes needed to be made internally and which projects needed to be executed globally. Then we helped them implement the plan firsthand over the next five months to see our strategy through.

We partnered closely with the BBVA team to identify a strategy and implement a plan.

Ramping up strong.

To deliver great experiences, you need a great team. Part of our initial focus for BBVA was to define and build a robust UX design team within its largest market, Spain. Once we understood their priorities, we created a vision for what the design team should look like and took steps to help them realize it. That included writing project briefs, interviewing UX candidates and identifying partner agencies to facilitate seamless integration. Then we helped onboard their team, which was considerably larger than what they currently had, with all the tools they would need to do their jobs effectively.

Our strategic playbook outlined how BBVA could achieve UX excellence over a two-year roadmap.

UX for all.

A key part of helping any Smart Design client is making sure leadership is aligned with our proposed strategy. In the case of BBVA, we helped to align them about the power of UX design to transform businesses. Over several meetings and workshops, we told success stories about competitors and others who had already embraced UX design into their core offerings. It helped us evangelize the process and act as a more unified front moving forward.

This work didn't just impact BBVA's design capability – it impacted the entire business across functions.

BBVA's Global Head of Design and UX