Setting the bar higher.

National Australia Bank / Retail Store Design

Customer Experience Design and Retail Transformation


Banks wishing to stay ahead of the curve are increasingly looking to reduce their formality, waiting times, and look for efficiency as they offer a more technology-facilitated self-service. National Australia Bank (NAB) is a financial services organisation with over 12 million customers and 50,000 people, operating more than 1,750 stores and Business Banking Centres globally (with over 4.5 million retail and small business customers in NAB's Personal Banking division alone). 

Their objective was to transform banking customer experience, incorporate new technology and drive differentiation and efficiency in to retail offer. Key metrics targeted were to increase current and new customer engagement (satisfaction), drive sales (velocity per person and per metre) and increase staff engagement (empowerment and compliance).



> Sprint based – Approach allowed the design team to rapidly engage with the client, their customers and the challenges of the project – it also allowed us to trial concepts and prototypes in real-life bank environments

Highly collaborative – User led,  project team co-location (Melbourne/Auckland) and co-design approach

Customer centred – foster a better dialogue between customers and staff without affecting the performance of the branch in delivering transactional services

New technology – sought to enable customers to have greater ability to process their own cash and transactions

End to end – The customer experience concept was as much about redesigning processes and systems as it was about fixtures and fittings

Inflight implementation – New design standard had to be able to be rolled into business-as-usual refits immediately.


> Better staff-customer sales engagement, providing help, guidance and advice rather than processing low value transactions 

> Solution added value to products and services (with the adoption of Out of the Box banking) and delivered a reinvigorated conceptual model that was more human and more dynamic

> Transaction zones that enable customers to quickly and efficiently conduct their banking 

> Making the transformation happen on the ground at the bank’s hugely varied locations has involved an 11 part kit, and DNA’s ability to extend its collaboration to the contractors project managing each fit out

> Being greeted upon entry, with varying levels of discreetness, product merchandising and human interest via digital 

> Customer and staff response has been overwhelmingly positive – with early usability surveys averaging a 9 out of 10 across the board.


> Discovery spent time understanding the prior customer research the bank had done, number crunching how the bank’s retail outlets were  functioning, mining fresh customer and staff insight

> The conceptual model evolved through undertaking extensive prototyping up to full scale walkthroughs set up in an adjacent warehouse ‘test-lab’ where user requirement’s and build cost constraints could be usability tested and balanced

> Project a highly collaborative process for over a year and started with the tactical design of stores already in planning and construction

> In partnership with Warren and Mahoney, DNA delivered NAB a ‘signature retail experience’

> Retail design programme was looking to foster a better dialogue between customers and staff without affecting the performance of the branch in delivering transactional services and create an environment that was more dynamic and inspiring

> The new design could not be a one-off concept or ‘showroom’ – the new design standard had to be able to be rolled into business-as-usual refits immediately

> Previous experience transforming BNZ’s retail banking persona had showed the team how important it was to have the right governance framework in place and make sure the design team were part of that decision-making process. 

The Challenge

How might we deliver the future of retail banking.

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The Numbers


In the new stores, self-service cash transactions have increased from 8% to 31%

NAB-docklands-entrance.jpg NAB-docklands-exterior.jpg NAB-docklands-help.jpg NAB docklands info help NAB-docklands-infowall.jpg


  • Brand Experience
  • Current / Future State Mapping
  • Digital In Environments
  • Digital Signage
  • Experience Mapping
  • Merchandising Design
  • Signage Systems
  • Signature Experiences
  • Stakeholder Engagement