ReintroduceOverdraft Protection

After successfully reintroducing overdraft protection, we observed major improvements, including a 30% decrease in user complaints related to overdraft issues, a 7% decrease in the abandonment rate, and an increase in deposit revenue. This was evident when comparing the 12-month period before reintroducing the functionality to the 6-month period after.

Project Summary

The project aimed to redesign and reintroduce the overdraft protection feature to address the current lack of functionality and improve the overall user experience for members. As the lead UI/UX designer, I collaborated with a cross-functional team of business partners, developers, and stakeholders.

PenFed Credit Union faced a significant problem due to the absence of overdraft protection. Over a 6-month period, data showed that 15-20% of user complaints were related to overdraft issues, causing a 5-12% abandonment rate from PenFed and resulting in a loss of millions in deposit revenue. The goal of this project was to reduce user complaints by 50% and decrease the abandonment rate by at least 5%.

My Contributions

As the sole UI/UX designer leading this initiative, I analyzed available data, identified opportunities for improvement, conducted usability testing sessions with users, and redesigned the legacy Overdraft Protection Flow.


  • Discovery and requirements gathering

  • Competitor analysis

  • Wireframing: paper and digital

  • Creating low-fidelity wireframes and prototypes

  • Developing high-fidelity layouts

  • User interface design

  • Ensuring accessibility

  • Conducting usability testing and validation

Analyze Legacy Flow

Before diving into the next step, I analyzed the legacy overdraft protection flow to understand the experience our members used to have and identify improvement opportunities and experience risks.

Listen to Call Record and Complaint Data

We listened to over 50 call records, identified the major compliance reasons, and found that most users called because they were not aware that overdraft protection was no longer available, had an NSF fee that was unable to be refunded, or there was no overdraft protection available to protect their account.


Saved for service representative

35 min



1.1 Competitive Analysis

I conducted research on the financial institutions that are currently in the market. I examined the user flows, navigations, and account types of various banks and credit unions. I also looked into their overdraft protection policies, which can be quite important to our members.

a diagram of a user interface of a user interface
a diagram of a user interface of a user interface

1.2 Persona

After conducting in-depth interviews with over 15 users and analyzing 50 user complaints related to overdraft issues, we created Sara to represent the common issues faced by our members and their immediate needs. As overdraft protection is closely tied to the checking account, we also asked general questions about their banking experiences to gain a deeper understanding of their overall experience with PenFed.

Key findings from the research show that:

  • Sara primarily uses her PenFed checking account for monthly expenses and purchases.

  • She is interested in protecting her account from overdraft fees.

  • The legacy overdraft protection is time-consuming and confusing, and only allows for a line of credit to protect the checking account.

2.Lets get ideas flowing

Our priority is to quickly address the issue of overdrafts and ensure that new users can set up overdraft protection during the onboarding and account opening process, existing users can manage or set up overdraft protection under the "Manage Account" tab displayed on their checking account, and in-person service is available for members who prefer to manage their overdraft protection in person or over the phone.

2.1 Considerations for New and Existing Member Experience

👇 Concept 1

Based on our research of new and existing users and their needs, we have developed a design for the first release. The purpose of this design is to present it to users and get feedback before implementation.

👇 Concept 2

Based on our research of new and existing users and their needs, we have developed a design for the first release. The purpose of this design is to present it to users and get feedback before implementation.

Final Interaction Design

After defining all of the page layouts and functionalities, I collaborated with our content strategist to refine the wording, ensuring that the language was both user-friendly and consistent.

I implemented our design standards and added padding. Additionally, I restructured the Landing Page and separated the Overdraft from the Savings Page, turning it into a two-step process.

Based on additional feedback, we have made the following improvements:

  • Consolidated steps: Users felt that the entire setup flow could be consolidated to make it quicker to set up overdraft protection.

  • Educational information: Since this is a new functionality, members would like more detailed information to educate themselves on how each available protection account works and how the fee structure works in case of withdrawals.