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The Service Request Portal at BNY Mellon

Helping users find the support they need

Visual of the Service Request Portal. Some words have been removed for proprietary reasons.


At BNY Mellon, the ITSM (Information Technology Service Management)/IT Request Portal was an outdated system that was built up as needed and never had a clear design to follow. If a team needed to offer a request form for their users to seek help or start a service, the team would create their own form in the system without much, if any, guidance. Users would have to navigate the request system using whatever the teams decided worked for them. Sometimes finding a form was a complete guessing game. However, despite it being hard to navigate, it was also a widely used product.

former ITSM

A screenshot of the old ITSM at BNY Mellon

Anyone at the company who needed to make a request from onboarding a new hire to creating a new database instance would need to use the ITSM system to submit a request. Users would also use the system if they were a request approver or fulfiller.
The redesign of the system was attempted in years prior but was abandoned because resources needed to be allocated elsewhere and no one was able to take on this scale of a project. Later, the redesign and rework were brought back on as a necessity since the software being used for the ITSM was no longer going to be maintained. It became a priority to find a new solution.
The solution came through BMC's software and my team's effort to create a more cohesive, clean, and simplified system.


BMC and Remedy's MyIT
BMC's Remedy out-of-the-box solution MyIT (now called Digital workplace) is a self-service catalog experience for users to request and track their issues. The only problem for my company and team was that the out-of-the-box solution needed to be configured, customized, and rebranded to what we now call the Service Request Portal. Due to the clear need for a redesign, the team asked me to come on as the UX design lead to ensure this redesign would be consistent and focused on user goals rather than tossed together as before.

My role
After my work on the UI Asset Library, I was brought onto this project as a single design resource. I started after the development of the project had begun and needed to learn the ropes quickly to jump in and help the developers. 

It became my job to take on all the design work from rebranding to recategorizing. Since we have been moving requests from an old system, it also became my job to push the message to our service teams that we wanted to redo the way requests were submitted and handled. It became my job to ask, "Why?" on all the requests. As this is a large project, the first release alone involving work on over 300 forms, it is still the project I am working on now. The first release is set for January 2019.

My role is to merge the needs of the users, the bank's rules and guidelines, and the many service teams' forms, to help my team build a better and more useable request system.

Focus for the users
When I started I hit the ground running -  trying to catch up and understand the project so I could then lead the effort for the users -  making an experience for them that would make sense and work well.

One of my constant goals is to work with the users to figure out both the problem and the solution. The users of the current system know it best and know what needs to be changed- so during the first few months, to catch up and create a plan for further development, I went to the users and gathered feedback. Here were my methods:

  • Create user personas to ensure I was covering all users at the bank

  • Conduct user tests, using the UX testing facility, to learn how people used the older ITSM offered at the bank

  • Facilitate workshops to see what users wanted from the new project using various methods such as card sorting, user journey mapping, and rose, bud, thorn reviews

card sort picture
journey picture

Images from a workshop I ran to gain user insight on the sites architecture, specifically the form categories

After the first few months of working to understand user needs across all my user base, I started setting design guidelines. I heavily researched form "best practices" to ensure I was creating a unified experience. I wanted to ensure any user who needed to submit a request, whether they used the form before or not, would be able to open a form and easily fill it out. By doing this I could also ensure all approvers and fulfillment teams would have the right information they needed to improve their turnaround speed and get requests completed quickly and painlessly.

Focus for the developers
Since I work across the globe from the developers I needed to find the best ways to communicate with them. They began development before I joined the team so I worked with them to find a way to communicate changes based on the data I collected with the users. Here were the methods used:

  • Build and maintain a "UI/UX standards" made by following common UX principles, UX standards created at the bank, and form specific standards created with the team

  • Reserve daily time for developers to ask me questions and discuss issues

  • Lead a UX review session each sprint to discuss as a team and concerns, needs, or changes

notes picture

Some of my notes and reading material for building out UX best practices including Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think Revisited

Working with my team we continue to make changes to our living UX standards documentations. As we move forms into the new system, we learn new things. So we make sure to incorporate changes into our guidelines. The time needed to develop and get UX sign-off from me on all forms has dramatically decreased since the start of my joining the team. With each form, I see my team gain comfort and confidence in their ability to create forms that will meet the goals of our users.

Focus for the bank
While working with my team and with users, I had to keep in mind the many standards of the bank, set by both marketing and legal. I worked with both these teams to first, ensure the rebranding of MyIt to the Service Request Portal (name also created with marketing and legal) would fit into the bank's rigorous guidelines. Our marketing team has an extensive branding site that has resources to ensure all client-facing applications are consistent. Since this system had a client-facing element, I worked directly with the marketing team to ensure it was on brand. This included the new name, colors used, iconography, and any other visual design standards.


Color and icon guides from the BNY Mellon Brand Center

Besides ensuring a cohesive look, I also created internal how-to's, communications, and guidelines for the product's use. A big ask was documentation of the site so no matter the user type -  whether they were requesting a form, approving a form, or fulfilling a form -  all would be able to understand how to perform their role within the tool. With the aid of my team leads, I drafted several documents and tutorials and then asked users to test their usefulness. I then posted our documentation to the internal communications site as well as within the product, and have had positive feedback on the level of detail and scope of the documentation. 

How I left the project

I worked on this project for over a year and was able to get all the major design testing and decisions done by the time I left. I was seeking new opportunities for growth, and so was unable to see the project to its first launch. However, I was able to speak with several former coworkers who have since used the product. Though it is only hearsay from a few friends, the portal seems to be working infinitely better than its predecessor. 

Taking on this project as the only UX resource was both challenging and interesting. As such, I have done more research and hands-on work to make sure the standards I set and work I do is beneficial for the team and the users.  In my role as a designer, I seek to give people back time in their day to enjoy the things they truly care about - not submitting requests. So by making what can be an annoying though minor part of a person's day easier, I believe I am fulfilling my duty as a voice for the user.

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