Using behavioural design to promote financial health at National Australia Bank

National Australia Bank

The challenge

Establishing healthy habits is a particularly tough design challenge.

This is especially true when it comes to something as sensitive as a customer’s personal finances.

NAB set out to learn and adopt behavioural design techniques to help their customers establish good financial habits.

Our expert

Ben Ralph

Head of Academy | Founder

Our process

We worked closely with NAB’s Head of Design and Financial Health and Literacy Product Manager to integrate Behavioural Design principles across a range of their products, including Home Loans, transactional accounts and financial hardship support services. 

We curated and designed a deck of cognitive bias cards that could be used to diagnose some of the irrational behaviour that underpins flawed decision-making. We also created a deck of design strategy cards that encouraged their team to design interfaces that actively corrected customers’ cognitive biases. 

We translated these resources and theories to life by facilitating behavioural design strategy sessions, ideation workshops and customer testing.

Finally, we left them with a Behavioural Design playbook that integrated industry best practice techniques into NAB’s existing design capability: a tool kit that they could put to use on future projects.

The Cards we Supplied:

Services Delivered

Agile Coaching
Organisation Design
Portfolio Design
Agile Training
System Design
Resource Augmentation & Hiring
Agile Project Management & Delivery
Service Blueprinting
Ways of Working and Org Design
Prototyping and Concept Validation
Ideation & Innovation
Experience & Journey Mapping
Customer Research
Experience Design
Technical Roadmap Definition
Product Management
Strategic Vision
Business Case Development
Business Model Definition
Market definition and validation
Product Innovation
Product Strategy

The results

Beaker & Flint demonstrated how behavioural science could be leveraged to create better customer outcomes. We helped develop a model of behavioural maturity that will be used to measure a customer’s financial health and literacy, and brought real customers into the process to help NAB better understand their needs and how to better support them. 

We coached and upskilled NAB’s internal design and product teams, and co-designed and developed the NAB Behavioural Design playbook and toolkit. These teams are now equipped to  practice and apply these techniques to any current and upcoming projects.



Successful organisations are continuously looking for new ways to serve their customers better. There’s a multitude of ways to do this and behavioural design shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to choosing new methodologies. 

To simply function in society we need to triage. Choosing to focus our time and attention on the important decisions, while demoting seemingly less important decisions to lower level, automatic and instinctive parts of the brain. This automated decision making leads us to make mistakes, act against our own interest and form bad habits. This faulty decision making is known as a cognitive bias. 

Behavioural design comprises powerful tools to understand, predict and correct this faulty decision making and to start solving higher-order customer problems.

Long-term habits are formed and changed over time, through a series of feedback loops and design interventions. If we are tactical in our implementation of behavioural design, leveraging small nudges timed for maximum impact, we can help combat faulty thinking and promote healthy digital behaviours.