Innovative production of the consumer zone of a Swiss bank


The banking sector is facing new challenges. During the last six months, over 40% of the Swiss population did not enter a bank. There is an overwhelming amount of negative headlines in the media. Today’s younger generations are growing up with new technologies that render banking services unnecessary.

Being far-sighted and understanding that innovation is an important driver in business development plays an important role in today’s world. Why should someone enter the bank and choose a physical service over a digital one?

Within the scope of a service design innovation project, Enigma took up this challenge together with the team of a Swiss bank and subsequently redefined the production of the customer encounter.


Kickoff Workshop

Through a two-day workshop, the expectations of the bank’s client areas were defined. Enigma used the Job-to-be-done Framework and the Value Proposition Canvas to achieve this. Based on different target customer segments, actual needs were investigated and the concrete offer of the pains and gains of the customers were verified and aligned if needed.

Prototyping and Testing

The results of the workshop were still hypothetical and needed to be confirmed. Therefore, Enigma developed a test set with over 25 tests. The goal of these tests was to identify intentions, polish ideas, learn from making prototypes and to make observations. After a two-day-kickoff, more half-day sessions followed. During every session, the teams were given simple tests to validate the hypotheses and further develop or refine ideas. The tests consisted of, for instance, qualitative interviews aimed at having a natural conversation, or to spread flyers with a possible offer in the future bank’s customer area.

Enigma took testing a step further by using Preference Testings and landing pages to understand how the target group would respond to possible solutions. In addition, a qualitative survey was added to test what the real – not fictive – reaction would be of potential users. The versatile tests revealed the challenge from different perspectives.

Lego Serious Play

During additional workshops sessions, the findings revealed by the tests were finally made tangible by building the ideal future counter hall with Lego blocks. The goal was not to build beautiful creations, but to visualise the principles, processes and details. Throughout several iterations, the best characteristics were filtered and translated into clear models. The final Lego buildings were presented, evaluated and questioned again. 

Strategic Report

In a strategic report, Enigma consolidated the results from the workshops, testings and prototypes. This process lead to scenarios for both offices of the bank. The scenarios describe the degree of innovation that the intended structural changes in the customer zone would aim for. For each location, Enigma derived principles that could make the “usability” of the Bank unique for the user. At the same time, the strategic report served as a basis for the architectural project that was immediately initiated. 


The bank sought out the counter hall of tomorrow. Some architectural plans for the new customer zone already existed, but had to be investigated in terms of functionality and future sustainability.

The project produced exciting site-specific insights. Incomparable hospitality, as experienced in an Austrian spa hotel, and cautious mediation of technological innovations were cleverly integrated into the room experience. It was also found that a purely structural implementation would not be adequate, and that the service is significantly dependent on the mindset of the employees.

As Starbucks & Co. shows, the community atmosphere is the key to extend the customers’ stay at the bank, with the delicate scent of coffee and an informal counselling setting. Of course, new technologies should be incorporated into the reinterpretation of physical customer encounters. Uniqueness, ease of use and simplicity are important qualities that can be experienced in the Bank of Tomorrow.


Strategy Martin Künzi
Service Design Daniele Catalanotto
Illustration Innovative production of the consumer zone of a Swiss bank
Campaign Management Alexandra Meile