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CIBC Rewards

CIBC Rewards is a program that provides cardholders with the ability to use their loyalty points toward products, travel and other financial services. NOTE: Due to confidentiality, final designs with the look and feel applied will not be shown here.


  • UX Director

  • Client management


  • UX Design

  • UX Research

  • Workshop facilitation


The goal of this project was to redesign the rewards website for CIBC cardholders. To ensure customers were able to enjoy the benefits of their rewards (even during travel restrictions) the team was tasked with creating an experience that focused on redeeming points for products.

Problem space

Analytics provided insight into cardholder abandonment at a key point during the check-out flow. Since there was a need to pivot away from travel redemption due to COVID restrictions, this constraint bolstered the need to redesign the product redemption flow.


Existing insights

During the initial phases of this project, the analytics team did a deep dive on the CIBC Rewards website to assess problem areas that may impact the ability to pivot away from prompting cardholders to redeem points for travel to redeeming points for products and other services.


Once the point of cardholder abandonment was uncovered, this provided the team with enough insight to begin focusing their efforts on redesigning the flow and subsequent pages that would address the problem.

Kick-off workshop

To ensure the team had total alignment before the redesign could be begin, a human-centred design workshop was conducted to ensure there was a shared understanding of the problem the team was solving for. Conducting a workshop also allowed the team to sketch design ideas and rapidly iterate on an early-stage direction.



In order assess the new design prior to release, the team needed to get feedback from cardholders. Two groups of cardholders from different age ranges were recruited to provide feedback.

Research plan

1. Methodology

A prototype was created to represent the cardholder's experience as they would see it while redeeming points for products. A usability study was conducted using the prototype to assess ease-of-use and efficiency.

3. Analysis

Once the usability test was complete, the UX team reviewed each video from all participants. Commonalities across the two participant groups were mapped back to the research questions and included in a findings and recommendations report.

2. Participants

Recruitment criteria

  • Current cardholders - older age demographic

  • Current cardholder  - younger age demographic

4. Key finding and recommendation

Finding: Older demographic cardholders took slightly longer to complete the tasks than the younger demographic. It was stated by participants in the older demographic that search would be their first action when redeeming points for a specific product.

  • Recommendation: Designing a fully functional search field to test the assumption that a search would assist with completing the redemption flow with increased efficiency.


During the early stages of the UX design process, the plan was to conduct the usability test on the redemption flow in a medium-fidelity format (wireframes with proposed content). The goal of testing the redemption flow early on was to ensure that any critical errors in the design could be captured and included into the wireframes and mock-ups. The client was firm in their request to conduct the usability study after using the mock-ups, which still provided great insight. Upon reflection, the team might have helped the client understand that conducting research on a fully designed prototype would have resulted in more downstream work and would ultimately affect timelines.

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