Helping people claim when financial services fail

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Redesigning FSCS customer experience to help users find the answers they need in times of difficulty, make financial claims directly with the FSCS and build trust across the industry.

Existing experience

Redesign objectives

  1. Consistent experience is across all platforms
  2. Help FSCS increase conversion % of direct claims
  3. Build trust with financial services sector
  4. Help people:
  • Feel reassured and empowered
  • Find out what financial products are protected
  • Check if they are eligible
  • Make a claim online to reduce calls to call centre

“5 steps to getting your money back when a financial firm goes bust”


We took a mobile first, customer centric approach working in an agile way to deliver the project across a number of phases captured below:

Phase 1 – Activities

  1. Detailed discovery and qualitative fact finding via discussions with stakeholders and users
  2. Conduct interviews to understand customer needs and pain points
  3. Design customer archetypes and personas that are customer centric
  4. Key recommendations and CX themes and improvements
  5. Homepage sketching and POV

Phase 2 – Activities

  1. Analyse content template structure to understand site architecture
  2. Conduct card sorting workshops to establish an information architecture that’s customer centric
  3. Recommend a new navigation architecture and homepage design
  4. Create wireframes, visual design and template designs
  5. Test and validate designs in a prototype and qualitative user testing
  6. Develop a interface pattern library

User research activities

We conducted various user research activities such as interviews, focus groups and workshops to help understand with the client their customer needs and pain points.

We conducted internal stakeholder interviews, interactions with levy payers and also held claimant focus groups with the help of Invigor8, which helped us to combine this into a joint experience mapping workshop to form CX improvement themes and recommendations. A clear set of recommendations was created for FSCS to reference as a guide to continue to make further improvements and guide stakeholders and C-level management through the transformation.

Defining the customer archetypes and personas

From conducting user focus groups we are able to identify customer archetypes. The purpose of archetypes is to educate the client about their existing customers and potentially new customers so they can tailor their business goals towards serving them better.

As well as archetypes we created a set of personas to help keep stakeholders focused and mindful of customer needs.

Customer persona
Customer architypes

Card sorting workshops

We conducted a number of individual and group card sorting workshops to understand the current content and structure the content into logical areas to help create focus for customers and prioritise the content for ease of use.

Individual card sorting workshops
Group card sorting workshops

Information architecture recommendation - future state navigation structure

Based on the workshop outputs it became clear that the structure was focussed on the needs of the business and not the customer.

Taking a look at the data over the period of a month we grouped pages into themes to help prioritise users intent and order the navigation to meet the needs of customers and drive better conversion.

Business ordering
It was insightful to see that the business saw themselves as the most important in position 1.

User data ordering (Google analytics)
With a quick view at categorised pages we can see ‘What is protected’ is of higher importance users.

Wireframes / Visual design / Optimised user journeys

Wireframes and designs were created to help communicate the design decisions that were made and also help to find ways to improve from a customer perspective.

As part of the redesign we optimised the customer journeys from homepage through the entire claims process to result in better conversion rates and give customers clearer information to help them finalise their claim.

Prototype / Usability testing sessions

Conducted usability testing to capture participants’ feedback on the redesigned Homepage and the as is customer journeys, to them make further improvements and iterate.

  1. Create Account
  2. Make a claim
  3. View status of your claim

Customer interview sessions

Moderated usability testing sessions for both desktop and mobile.

Participant recordings 

Mobile usability testing using Reflector 3 to capture the interaction on screen and recorded sessions using an over shoulder grip.

Updating a tired looking brand identity

I worked with our client to better position FSCS and also find a way to freshen up the existing tired brand that was not fit for purpose in a digital world. I developed a brand refresh and proposed a unified, modern and distinctive brand refresh that was simple and easy to apply but also kept the existing brand character and distinctive ‘f’. Guidelines and best practice was developed to help consistency and build brand recognition.  

Digital brand guidelines

We delivered a reimagined a mobile first experience fully responsive across desktop / tablet / mobile.

A fully optimised mobile first experience taking the customer from homepage through to the entire claims process making users feel in control, giving clearer information to help customers finalise their claim online resulting in better conversion rates.

Version 2 redesign

New features and continuous improvement

We continued to iterate and added a number of new features like the ‘Protection checker’, for customers to check if the bank accounts they have are protected by FSCS.

Protection checker prototype
I performed a number of remote unmoderated user testing sessions using Userzoom to validate how well the task performed. I gathered feedback from playing back recordings and any insight captured was taken forward into the next improvement.

Continuously improving the experience

I developed a simple to follow process that will help future designers and product team plan future work, make improvements, measure impact and learn from their work.

Helping customers find failed firms


  1. Users want a way to find out if a company has failed
  2. User need an easy way to search
  3. Users need to know the next best action to take
  4. Users want to follow latest updates on a failure to stay informed


  1. By providing a way for users to ‘Find a failed firm’, it will help users find answers to their questions
  2. By providing a way for users to search, it will help users find failed companies
  3. By showing user the next best action, they are better informed
  4. Helping users stay up-to-date online will help reduce calls when a failure has happened

User flow


Validation / User testing concepts

Task 1 – Find the firm failed form ABC Insurance

Task 2 – Is it clear what action you need to take on the company page?

Task 3 – Where would you find out the latest updates about the failed firm?

Task 4 – How would you make sure you are kept informed with news abut the failed company?

Customer feedback

Impact of design and results

The redesign has been hugely successful in improving the experience for FSCS users. We established a design system and built out a design pattern / component library, which improved the teams efficiency in development, build brand recognition and visual consistency. 

90% increase in traffic from FSCS website to claims portal

40% reduced bounce rate

400% increase in sites mobile SEO visibility

© 2020 David Standen