For Alliance Data I've worked on Account Center where we redesigned 200+ client websites. This is a deep dive into just one of those pages; credit card activation.
The problem was that the activation process was outdated and it needed to match the new branding without adding new scope. I started the activation project by looking at the pages and business rules that already existed. I looked at competitive examples and saw that other companies were using less fields for activtion. The solution was to remove fields, make the process one page, make it less time consuming, and create a more usabable and better user experience.
After research and competitive patterning, I created all the possible user scenarios for credit card activation. Including detail around what the user sees and does on each step. This helped communicate to business partners involved and help keep everyone aligned on the solution.
I created a high flows to make sure all pages and processes were taken into account. Flows are an easy way to help communicate with business partners about all the moving parts of the project.
After creating a flow I was able to start wireframes of the new activation experience. I looked into splitting the process into multiple steps instead of overwhelming the user with too much information. After creating the wireframes from project requirements, I was able to meet with stakeholders and get sign off to move forward with a prototype.
The card art was and headline was an easy way to let the user know exactly where they were to avoid any confusion. The content and design are intentionally simple for quick activation. The large input fields, placeholder text, and clear instructions helped accomplish this goal.
After stakeholder approval of the wireframes and designs I then created a prototype in Axure. I created the prototype to make the user think it was fully functional without having to invest too much time. Fast iterations are very essential to this process.
Having a real person test a user experience are always 100x more valuable than any assumptions. Most of the feedback from this usability study wouldn't have stopped the user from their primary task, but it gave me enough feedback to tweak wireframes, designs, and prototypes to avoid the user from having any doubts or questions.
Lastly, I created UX Specification to give our development team documentation to make it clear of all the user experience decisions.