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Alliance Data - Credit Card Activation

During my time at Alliance Data I've worked on Account Center where we redesigned 200+ client websites. This is a deep dive into just one of those projects; credit card activation.

The Problem

The problem was that our activation process was outdated and it needed to match our new branding without adding new scope. I started the activation project by looking at the pages and business rules that already existed. I talked with the UX team and we realized that we could remove fields, make the process one page, make it more usable, and create a better user experience.

User Scenarios

After research and competitive patterning, I created all the possible user scenarios for credit card activation as well as providing detail around what the user sees and does on each step. This helped communicate to business partners involved and help keep everyone aligned.


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 (similar to how we built registration). 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.

UX Specifications & Documentation

Lastly, I created UX Specification to give our development team documentation to make it clear of all the user experience decisions.


This project launched on September, 2016. Here are a few links for different live versions: BJ's, LOFT, and a generic version. I was very happy with how everything turned out and how easy it is for our users to now activate their cards.

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Let's Chat

I'm always here to help with your ideas. Feel free to email your inquiries, requests, and travel tips to hi@andyphil.com. If you want to learn more about me, you can find me on LinkedIn.