case study

Absa Design Thinking Portal


A core issue with any large company is the inevitable silo-ing of efforts. One team would create something, and another team would create the same thing in their own way.

When trying to bring a new way of work to a business of this size, one of the key consideration is the user journey of new colleagues.

On your first day as a designer, how do you know where to go to find information about the Design Thinking initiatives? How you can learn more and how you can get involved?

Right: The original design of a Design Thinking Portal which was to serve as an introductory brochure for colleague looking for further information on Design Thinking.


The work above was not created by Mitchell Eva, and is not representative of his skills.


Each silo has thier own ways of work
Depending on where you are in the business, you will have different stakeholders, different educational resources, different standards documentation, and different needs.

Design thinking is seen as a design tool
We wanted to break the association between design thinking and visual art - a misunderstanding that many non-designers make when first hearing about design thinking. At its core, it's a business tool: a way to make better products.

Stakeholders need to buy-in
The corporate structure is such that each business unit is required to make a internal transfer of money if they want to use the services of any other business unit, and that includes the design teams.

Pushing for a culture of innovation
Risk-taking is always a touchy subject, but no more so than at a bank. Though design thinking had a foothold, we knew that it would need a solid foundation that went beyond the single-silo executions that existed before.

discovery Methods

1. We tested the existing solution with users to find out what message they took away from it.

2. We grouped the comments by section to remove any overlapping feedback.

3. We affinity mapped the remaining insights and compiled a short list of possible problem statements

4. We created an impact / effort matrix and mapped each problem.

5. We had a discussion with the stakeholders around whether it was worth saving the exiting design, or if would be better to start from scratch. we decided to start from scratch.


We started with a storyteliing canvas that helped us answer some fundamental questions about what we wanted to achieve.

We knew I solution had to be:

We wanted it to feel like it wasn't just for designers

We wanted our colleague to come out of the experience excited to learn more

An immersive visual experience


Our first stab at a solution was designed within a few days and tested with over 10 participants.

We found that this solution still had the following problems:

• Participants were rushing through the content, not taking the time to read.
• Participants still thought that Design Thinking was a tool intended only for designers
• Participants we not sure what their next steps would be.

Following this first round of testing, we adapted the design to resolve the 3 core issues that we still faced.

• We split the design into a multi-page layout
• We added animated menus that required interaction in order to explore further.
• We built out a Next Steps section with clear options for continued study.