Chicago UX Workshop Facilitation & Design Thinking Training

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How Chicago’s BankFinancial Aligned in 1 Day with a UX Research Workshop

See how our full-day usability workshop helped a regional bank get on the same page about website UX barriers and innovation opportunities — and taught design thinking skills to a cross-functional team.

Project Overview


The marketing team at BankFinancial was ready to launch a new version of its public-facing website, and wanted to ensure a smooth launch for existing and prospective customers.


BankFinancial partnered with Marketade to lead a 5-week website usability testing project. The cornerstone of the project was a 1-day UX workshop at the marketing team’s offices in Downers Grove, IL.


Within 1 day, the UX workshop enabled a diverse stakeholder team to reach alignment on critical website problems and potential solutions.

The Basics


A diverse group of 8 stakeholders gathered at a Chicago area BankFinancial location for a full-day workshop.

Research in Advance

We showed up with recordings of interviews and usability testing that we conducted with their target customers prior to the workshop.


We provided instructions, guidance and feedback throughout the day.

Research Observation (9am – 12:30pm)


Stakeholders spent the morning observing nearly-full recordings of the most useful 5 sessions from qualitative testing — and taking structured notes throughout.


After each session, stakeholders posted their notes on the wall.

Quantitative Findings

During the first part of lunch, we shared highlights and summarized findings from quantitative UX testing we conducted with 125 participants.

“We found out what customers are looking for in a bank website … and gained insight on what needs to be improved.”

Lisa Stephens

VP, Customer Service, BankFinancial

Problem Analysis (1 – 3pm)


After lunch, stakeholders went through a series of steps to align on top UX problems. They started by grouping their observations.


Team members labeled the problem groupings, capturing the core problems from a user’s perspective.


With sticky dots, stakeholders voted on the most important problems to tackle during the rest of the workshop.

Solution Ideation (3 – 4:30pm)


We then broke into 3 teams and assigned each team one of the top 3 problems. Stakeholders started by individually sketching multiple solutions to their team’s problem.


Breakout teams discussed, combined, and reworked their solutions — and identified next steps.


They presented their team’s solution ideas to the rest of the group — and discussed feedback.

Driving Action

Next Steps

We closed by identifying the next actions, owners and deadlines for each solution idea.

Summary Report

We digitized everything from the workshop — findings, solution ideas and next steps — in a 13-page summary report.

“Roadmap for big and small wins moving forward …”

SVP, Systems Infrastructure, BankFinancial

Our Workshop Facilitators for BankFinancial

Sonya Badigian

Sonya Badigian

UX Researcher | MHCI from CMU

Carnegie Mellon HCI grad passionate about combining research, design and content.

John Nicholson

John Nicholson

Principal | BA from Brown

Big-data digital marketer who saw the light when he stumbled across UX research.

Tamara Alkhattar

Tamara Alkhattar

UX Researcher | MA, CMU

UXer with a passion for research and design for tech and international development.