Zhuck (ЖУК)

A smart-ass Russian banking service aimed at entrepreneurs

3 mobiles screens written in Russian showing statistics

I was part of a multi-disciplinary collaboration between with ELSE, Daljit Singh, Michael Wolff and NB Studio for the inception of a new digital-first Russian banking service. Zhuck (ЖУК) was created specifically to cater to disillusioned entrepreneurs, accountants, managers and investors who want a closer control of their business – a better understanding of the day to day goings on – without getting caught up or slowed down by the bureaucratic Russian banking system. However, unlike many banking/productivity/financial apps out there, Zhuck jokes, provokes and occasionally insults the user, cajoling them into action, making ‘doing nothing’ seem like the difficult option.

animated character standing still and looking bored

A key part of the design process was establishing a “smart-ass” personality for the service, that could be expressed in the user experience not just the visual language. This involved critically reviewing every piece of data, notification, interaction and gesture, to see if and how the brand concept could be elegantly expressed.

I lead the user experience design and defined the initial features and roadmap for the projects MVP launch. Working between ELSE’s UK office and the Russian banking office in Yekaterinburg I was responsible for translating user research in to design recommendations, wireframing and interactive prototyping to demonstrate and evaluate UX concepts. The brand was undefined initially and I worked closely with NB Studio to provide technical insight, and share digital examples of how their initial design concepts could be manifested using sketches, mockups and interactive prototypes they could experience on their own devices.

This project won a D&AD award for Branding/Digital Brand Expression.