Smava - Checkout Process Redesign (Design Sprint)

Berlin, November, 2017 | @smava GmbH | real project



I worked on this project as a UX Designer for Smava, Germany's leading loan portal making personal loans transparent, fair, and affordable for consumers.



The existing checkout process utilized a multi-step approach. The steps were; verification, identification, contract signage, and bank-approval. Visually the user had to go through four steps to finally get the desired loan. The process also varied for each bank, with varying document requirements and differing online/offline capabilities.

The previous solution was not very user-friendly and could be improved in a lot of areas. Especially the over-crowded and confusing interface design, the opening of new windows, and the overwhelming nature of the site to the users, presenting them with too many options concurrently.

To determine how to best proceed, we opted to run a Google Design Sprint to focus in on possible solutions as quickly as possible.




Design Sprint


  • Frederik - User Researcher
  • Frederico - UX Designer
  • Jeshurun - Product Manager
  • Ting-Yin (Me) - UX Designer
  • Hila - Moderator



Sprint Stats

Methods Used

  • Lightning Talks
  • HMW's
  • User Journey Maps
  • Storyboards
  • Clickable Prototypes
  • Usability Tests

Team Size
5 participants

No. of Days
2 days

Sprint Type



    The current solution is not intuitive enough to allow most user to complete themselves. The process only works through the intervention of human credit advisers contacting the users during the process. This is not ideal from the users' point of view but also introduces additional cost into our business model since it limits scalability.




    Define a user-centric checkout process which prioritizes digital flows over the offline ones, encouraging (and empowering) users to complete the process without human support.


    Empathy map

    Each participant created an empathy map to help us better understand our users. After that we used heap mapping to identify pain points and potential gains.


    HMW - ideation

    Each participant listed 'How Might We' notes. After that, we grouped similar ideas together, and for each group, listed key opportunities for improvement.


    User Flow

    To make sure everyone understood all steps of the checkout process, the reasoning, logic flow, and constraints.


    Crazy 8s and Wire-framing

    Each participant sketched a three-panel storyboard on paper. We then came back together and explained our  ideas to the rest of the room.



    The group selected one wireframe to further develop. We then broke into groups again to develop their own storyboard.


    Storyboard by me


    Clickable Prototypes

    We presented our work to the other participants and, again, as a group, selected one to further develop into a prototype.


    Usability Tests

    We invited five colleagues who were not familiar with the product. Most of them understood the tasks and were able to easily complete them. There were of course some minor issues but the main ideas were now clear.


    Results and minor issues:

    • + is useful (maybe necessary) to emphasize the action
    • Personal salutation would be nice
    • X (close button) increases insecurity -> progress aborted?


    How I think we could do better?

    Lots of the negative user feedback was caused by unclear copywriting. We certainly would benefit from a UX copywriter to help us.


    How I think about Design Sprint?

    In conclusion, I would say one of the most significant benefits of using Design Sprint is to bring people together and give them a shared definition of success. Through running this design sprint, the team now sees the values of learning from other departments, and how their work might affect others. It also helps everyone to fully understand the logic behind the concept.


    Design results to be continued... Click here to see the unfinished design. *Password required*





    Thank you for reading.