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Scaling a Lead Mobile Banking App in MENA via Powerful Design-Driven Process


Design Agency

Scaling a Lead Mobile Banking App in MENA via Powerful Design-Driven Process - Qubstudio

Scaling a Lead Mobile Banking App in MENA via Powerful Design-Driven Process - ila Bank — Summary for blog - Qubstudio

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The Client

ila is a trailblazing digital, mobile-only bank in Bahrain powered by Bank ABC. The bank has become widely known as a digital pioneer in the MENA market, being admitted by MasterCard in 2020 as the “Best Digital Bank User Experience”. Moreover, ila Bank won two top honors, “Best Consumer Digital Bank” and “Best Mobile Banking App” in Bahrain, in the World’s Best Consumer Digital Bank Awards in the Middle East in 2021 by Global Finance.

Project Goals

Our three main objectives were to:

  • Establish a design-driven process for the software development life cycle.
  • Provide high-end product design expertise in fintech.
  • Alter the design system to scale and grow the digital product.

The Process

The client required our expertise in the product’s active improvement stage. Foremost, we discovered business objectives and the commercial context of the financial product.

Our designers then began working with the ila Bank team to set the entire cycle of the design-driven approach to add advanced product features and improve existing ones.


Implementation of a Full-Cycle Design Process

The implementation of an innovative customer-centered approach to financial services design was vital. The design process included stakeholder interviews, user surveys, creative sessions, analytics, testing, iterating, and engaging with the dev team.

User testing and data analytics provided information about user behavior: preferences, interaction with digital products, user experience, and patterns they are familiar with. It allowed us to determine perceptions of the app’s users and improve the product.

Together with ila Bank’s team, we have validated Business Analysts’ ideas, provided solutions, and tested their usability from the UX perspective. Finally, we based the design process on the Double Diamond flow.

Scaling a Lead Mobile Banking App in MENA via Powerful Design-Driven Process - Design process (2) - Qubstudio

Scheme 1. Visual representation of the ila Bank design process

A Strong Business Relationship Built on Trust & Mutual Respect

To present high-end solutions, all members should work as one full-fledged team. Thus, the Lead Product Designer from our side has managed the whole international project design team, consisting of Qubstudio and Bahrain local members.

In parallel, the Qubstudio BA team covered the product requirements and specifications and provided the documentation on the flows.
To improve our engagement with team members from the client’s side, we endeavored to find the necessary details about the client’s work culture peculiarities. Even though the project team consisted of multicultural members and worked on different days, we managed to adjust and perfectly sync our work schedules.

We actively contributed to the client’s internal processes, used a client feedback system, and discussed all the viewpoints and requirements. Moreover, under ila’s open-door policy, the communication was transparent with all stakeholders, including the CEO.



"I would call this project a real game-changer. As for me, leading the international team was the challenge and benefit simultaneously. Having united our strengths, we improved the team workflow. It positively affected building a solid relationship via regular syncs with feedback from the client’s team."

Scaling a Lead Mobile Banking App in MENA via Powerful Design-Driven Process - Joanna - Qubstudio

Joanna Kuzik, Lead Product Designer


Scaling a Lead Mobile Banking App in MENA via Powerful Design-Driven Process - Cooperation scheme (2) - Qubstudio

Scheme 2. Visual representation of cooperation on the project

Boosting the Speed of Product Design by the Improved Design System

The great advantage of the design system is that it provides consistency. Our designers adapted and tested components to make them pixel-perfect. We have unified the design patterns and worked on recommendations for UX copy so that the product becomes consistent and easy for users to understand.

In addition, the design system provided a convenient and quick way to lookup elements, resulting in fast interface prototyping without searching for specific components or modules in hundreds of already designed screens.


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"Qubstudio went above and beyond to meet our business needs. Their dedication, professionalism, speed and quality of service contributed to our success story."

Scaling a Lead Mobile Banking App in MENA via Powerful Design-Driven Process - ila logo - Qubstudio

Mohamed AlQassab, VP of Digital Experience

ila Bank


ila Bank successfully expedited the designing and scaling of their product. Together we established an accelerated and robust product design cycle, ensuring smooth delivery and reduced time to market.

Our collaboration brought the following advantages to the client:

  • A professional and efficient approach to designing and developing new app features
  • The increased number of ongoing UX researches on the project
  • Remodeled and standardized the design system
  • Improved existing functionality in line with best practices in mobile banking
  • Fast-tracking of user problems through the settings of constant synchronization between different company departments
  • The improved idea-generating process to deliver sharp design solutions
  • The creation of a flow to evaluate and develop the design team (assessing their skills, setting goals, regular feedback sessions)

Contact us to find out how we can help you scale your product or implement an idea.


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