top of page


In late 2021, I started a project called One Ally or Single Pane of Glass (lovingly called SPOG) with the goal of combining the Ally Auto app with the Ally Bank app so that customers would have a single place to log-in to manage all of the relationships they have with Ally regardless of line of business. As a part of this work, the Ally Auto app was going to be decommissioned, so it was critical to make sure that customers had access to all of the functionality from the Ally Auto app inside of the Ally Bank app to avoid degrading the experience for Auto customers. Another thing I had to be wary of was ensuring that any changes I made inside of the Ally Bank app to accommodate Auto features didn't compromise the experience for bank or invest customers who didn't have an Auto loan with Ally.

This project proved to be extremely challenging at many points due to scope change, accelerated timelines, and having to work closely with business partners from all lines of business at Ally so that they didn't feel like changes were being made to their section of the app without their knowledge, but I think that I came out the other side as a better collaborator, design leader, critical thinker, IA and employee due to the lessons I learned throughout the course of this body of work.

The Team

The SPOG project was carried out by a team of three on the UX side: a designer focused on web, a content designer and me, who was focused on the mobile apps. While we had our own separate roles, we worked very closely together during brainstorming, sketching and high-fidelity comp creation openly sharing our feedback and ideas so that we could ensure that we were aligned at all times. We also made sure that web and app were presented as a complete product during stakeholder reviews and at all levels of internal approval so that we could better tell the story of how we had arrived at a solution.

Research and Competitive Analysis

Since the Ally Bank and Auto experiences had lived separately for so long, the team kicked off our work by doing research on how competitors who offer many different financial products structured their web sites and apps so that we could get a sense of what felt natural and what we might want to avoid. We also used this phase of the project to ensure that we understood and documented all business requirements that would need to be addressed in order to deliver on the ask. We asked a million questions and spent countless hours whiteboarding and creating spreadsheets to document everything we learned, but this proved to be the most valuable time the team spent on the project I think in that it set us up to succeed as we kept moving forward with the work.

Sketching and Testing

Ally's Savings Toolkit allows customers to create digital envelopes inside of their accounts so they can divide their money and save towards specific goals. Before I joined the team that introduced bucket goals, users were unable to set target dates or target amounts, so users had to track their progress manually outside of the app, or add that information to the name of their bucket:"Beach Vacation 2021 – $5,000." I knew there was a better way to handle goal creation and tracking that would also encourage people to reach their financial goals by the target date.

The Work Itself

When this project was initially sized, it was determined that it should be broken up into smaller pieces so that the design process and approvals could happen quicker and we could start to hand off assets to our developers to keep them busy. Because of that, the team and I started to develop a cadence where we would work on one or two pieces of the overall project at a time and take them through the necessary steps to gather feedback and approvals from UX, business, legal and accessibility partners. Once a piece of work was approved, we'd move onto the next piece or two but remain connected to the work once it was handed off to our teams to develop so that we could answer any outstanding questions that might come up once the developers started coding.

One of the major challenges of doing all of the IA work as well and the UI design during this project was that this project touched the work of lots of other squads who were simultaneously working on unrelated projects within our app and website. So for example, I redesigned profile and settings portion of the app so that it could more easily be combined with the auto app profile and work more efficiently for multi-line-of-business customers. At the same time, our enterprise app designer was working within the profile to add a section for preferred pronouns. This means that she and I had to work very closely together to make sure neither of us were making changes that would negatively affect the work the other was doing. At the same time, we had to connect our business and technology partners to let them know that we were talking and making decisions together that would be beneficial for both squads.

Working like this wasn't new to me when I started this project, but I really had to teach myself to over-communicate and also pick my battles since there were so many cooks in the kitchen for this work.

I also want to call out the strides my team made under my leadership during this project in terms of how closely the app side and web side were working together. This means we stayed in lock step during every part of the UX process. We sketched together, designed together and took our assets through all levels of approval as one cohesive product which isn't always the case with the way UX is set up at Ally. At one point, I presented a piece of this work for approval and a member of UX leadership described my presentation as a masterclass in presenting a cohesive body of work in an informative and persuasive manner.


This project had a huge scope and the team has been working on it for almost a year and a half, but the feedback from business partners, design leadership and executives all across the company has been great. This project has always felt like we are putting together a huge jigsaw puzzle as a group and we haven't been given all of the pieces up front. Maybe we need to hunt for pieces, or ask others around us if they have any pieces laying around, but we've found that if we communicate effective and ask the right questions, everything we need will be made available to us.

In many ways, we knew that this project was going to be a beast because it will effectively set the direction of the company for the next few years and usher in a new era where all lines of business start to flow together seamlessly. In this way, the team that worked on this project has to think about problems in an unprecedented way, considering every channel, every touchpoint and nearly every customer and persona who may interact with Ally and its products going forward.

For this reason and many more, I have truly enjoyed working on this body of work. It certainly hasn't always been easy, but it has forced me to grow as a leader, a communicator and a designer in many unexpected ways. I can't wait to see the final developed work and learn how this new framework for the app and website that I have contributed to makes life easier for our current and future customers.

bottom of page