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BMO Retail Banking

I worked as UX Design Lead to lead the design direction for BMO’s new retail responsive experience launching in Oct’ 2023.
My role required me to lead
a team of 3 BAs and 7 Designers, worked with stakeholders to create a long term UX strategy, overlook design systems team and orchestrate communication for cross functional team efforts for upward of 11 teams to ensure smooth delivery of the project.

Beyond the retail app design, I also overlooked and provided design direction to multiple programs including small business designs and business banking designs.

Project Duration: 18 Months

Release: October 2023

Users: 8.43M

Revenue: +200M

Canadian Digital Banking (CDB) Experience

BMO required a new experience to move towards a single code base and align their digital experience across channels.

IBM was hired to design and deliver the new responsive app and update the existing desktop experience.

I positioned the design team to do a deep-dive on current state and identify gaps. Various Delivery teams within BMO were positioned to create enhancements and new features to the work that the CDB2 team was doing. This required a lot of cross collaboration between various teams as CDB2 sat in the center of this work.

It was important to maintain alignment and consistency between the platforms while still innovating within set guardrails of its desktop experience and maintaining fixed scope and tight timelines.

Designed in Figma

Documented in Confluence

Planned in Excel

CDB2 Delivery Pods

CDB2 Scope is to update the existing functionality - Desktop and legacy mobile into the new CDB experience across channels










~15 DA teams

DA teams are various delivery accelerator teams that work on enhancing existing features, working on top of CDB scope
















Design POD

BMO Structure

UX Governance and Processes

Preserve single codebase across desktop and mobile

Leverage Phase 1 accelerators to standardize dev

Smooth merges with DA teams

Rigorous KT to BMO FTEs

Seamless Customer Migration

Maintain and strengthen automation suite

With the awareness of phase 1 processes and pain points, we iterated to create a new process that consisted of reviews for design, content, accessibility, BAs and developers.
The process also engaged various enhancement teams to ensures cross-functional teams were aware of updated designs that could affect their projects.

I conducted multiple workshops that included design leadership and stakeholders to set UX design processes in place for the broader team. Through these workshops some high level themes and issues emerged

We set in place 3 processes - Design process, Change management process (exception process) and design review cadence.

I treated these processes as a continuous UX project, iterating and changing it as the project progressed.

I worked with leadership and the design team to build in team input and collected continuous feedback from the team to make sure we are optimizing this process, and it works well for the very people it was designed for - the designers and the delivery teams

These UX governance process have since been adopted across various programs at BMO, leading to improved efficiency and collaboration amongst all stakeholders.

Program Strategy and planning

Early on the team leads (POs, BA lead and Design lead) collaborated to create an epic road map that helped us break down the work and sequencing of epics each pod will handle, so we had a plan in place until July 2023 for each delivery pod.

Based off of this, I created a design work-back plan for each pods and positioned the design team to be ahead of development by at-least 3 weeks or 1.5 sprint, with enough time for content review and story mapping for each epic.


Pod A

Pod B

Pod C



June 2022

Jan 23 Release

July 2023

Workback Plan

Design and conceptualization


BA/UX Sprint

Dev Start




N-3 Sprint

N-2 Sprint

N-1 Sprint

N Sprint

Design POD




Information Architecture

As one of the first tasks, I created an IA based on Research and card-sorting exercises that served the basis of designs and DA team feature placements within the new app.

This IA highlighted everything that was out of scope for CDB2 team and where all of the DA team work will sit within the app.

This became one of the first sources of truth for the program and was referred to by all teams.

Design phase and delivery

During the design testing and delivery phase, design team was handing off mobile and tablet designs for various features across the retail app.

The team conducted multiple rounds of user testing and iterated based on the feedback, a few themes stood out and the design team took on the initiative to update a few key pages - such as the Account summary page and Account details page, to ensure client success with a holistic user experience across all breakpoints.

As the design phase came to an end, I wanted to ensure the BMO team had a robust design backlog, so I took on various initiatives throughout our engagements ensure -

Tightened up the UX processes and DA team interlock process for the project.

Design systems component assessment to minimize change to global components after development

Identified high usage screens and templatized them to be a part of DS for DA teams to pick and use quickly - reduced design time and dev inconsistencies

Figma structuring

Phase 1 discrepancies and UX debt backlog for enhancements to be done post MVP that would help BMO make impactful UX improvements.

Assessment of Hide vs Show functionality - based on users entitlements and profiles.

Optimizing design delivery through templatized pages.

Optimizing design delivery through templatized pages.

Optimizing design delivery through templatized pages.

To make sure all teams receive timely updates to base pages, I identified 9 high-usage pages and created figma page components to make sure teams have these base pages to pull from the design system directly and add their updates to these pages.

This improved our design delivery timelines significantly, and made it easier for designers to identify, and use the most updated design, keeping 12 teams in sync at all times.

Defect Triage

As my contract ran over, I wanted to make sure the team is empowered and has enough runway for the next few months, and leave the team with enough documentation to make sure the project sees through successful delivery

Initiatives across BMO

Pilot release strategy

Worked with leadership and stakeholders to create a pilot strategy to release to a few customers at a time.

Created cadence to record and prioritize feedback to be incorporated before the final release


Entitlements assessment

Worked with BA lead and Dev lead to create a hide vs show feature based on user entitlements


Defect Triage

As the program came to an end, we were faced with huge backlog of bugs.

I helped team prioritize and come to quick resolution on design, accessibility and content bugs

Updated the process to include end-to-end visual QAs that designers conducted on developed version


Defining future enhancements

I worked with multiple DA team Product owners to consult and advice on feature roadmaps based on CDB timelines and capabilities


Process update

As design phase was starting to come to an end and designers spent more time working on visual checks with developers, a new process gap emerged where Jira stories were being checked at the story level, and there were no experience checks.

I worked with the team to find the best way to update our process to address this gap and created a new end-to-end visual QA process where designers looked through the entire experience and captured any UX shortcomings besides the UI checks.

The result was the team came up with a UX backlog and enhancement list.