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Alliance Data

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; card activation.

The Problem

I started the activation project by looking at the pages and business rules that already existed. Although our task was to redesign the project without adding new scope, I wanted to look at the project holistically. 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.

High Level Flows

After research and competitive patterning, I created a high flows to make sure all pages and processes were taken into account. During development, flows are essential to communicating to the agile teams the project from a high level.

Scenario Flows

After having a high level flow I break each step into a different scenario with a low fidelity wireframe of what the page could look as well as providing detail around what the user sees and what the user does. This helps communicate to everyone involved in the project what to expect during wireframes so that we're all aligned.


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 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 important to me.


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, prototypes, and UX specifications 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 I made.


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.