KMD Job Spotlight: Customer Experience at Tangerine Bank


Meet David McDonald, a CX Innovation Senior Manager at Tangerine, and a customer experience guru. David, a former U of T grad, has an abundance of knowledge on designing for consumers and providing the right solutions. From Sociology and Political Science at U of T, to acquiring numerous design certifications and growing this passion for innovation, David now looks for ways to creatively improve and problem solve the overall customer experience at Tangerine. Below, David has answered  questions about his job, experience and advice he would provide individuals, such as you and I, who are looking to find a career within UX and Knowledge Media Design. One main skill that David emphasizes will get you ahead in your career is the ability to, “demonstrate an appreciation for user empathy.” David is a firm believer in story telling with personas and  implements this user experience design technique to better understand his customers.

“You can’t keep a consumer by exceeding expectations but you can lose one with one bad experience.” – David McDonald

Continue below to get to know David better.

How did you get into Customer Experience?

“I’ve always applied a consumer centric mentality to my work. Bad design, poor service and experience gaps always bother me. In a service lead industry, I apply the simple logic that without customers I wouldn’t have a job. Consumer experience has always motivated my decision making, so when the opportunity presented itself to exclusively focus the innovation team on resolving consumer pinpoints and designing new experiences within the bank, I jumped at it.”

What school did you attend and what was your concentration?

“I went to U of T for sociology and political science. Since then I have received numerous certifications in design thinking, UX and creative problem solving.
Consumer experience qualifications can vary greatly, we generally look to balance our team with a broad list of qualifications and experiences. When hiring, the ability to appreciate and leverage consumer empathy is paramount in all successful candidates.”

Why are you interested in this field and what led you to Tangerine?

“It was important to me to work for a company with a clear cause, or in the case of Tangerine, improving the financial health of Canadians. Tangerine has always stood out as a disruptor within the banking space. The size and culture of the organization encourages lots of collaboration but it was ultimately the opportunity to be a challenger in a very transitional industry, which drew my attention.”

What advice would you give someone looking to get into field?

“Ask lots of questions and network with people who interest you. Learning more about the functional responsibilities of a role can help you shape a resume and experiences to be considered as a leading candidate. Within consumer experience, being able to demonstrate an appreciation for user empathy is a desirable skill, which is often harder to find than you might expect.”

User Experience is a difficult stream of work to get into. With the customer needs constantly changing and as a designer trying to appeal to everyone’s needs, UX presents itself as a complicated subject. David shares light on what has made him successful in his career and how having a clear cause and the ability to be empathetic will give you an advantage. More importantly, what I found from meeting with David was that in this field you must be up for the challenge of constantly looking for ways to innovate and solve problems and that success doesn’t always happen on the first try.

By Renee Ridout, Master of Information Candidate

Ridout is completing her Masters of Information this summer in the concentrations of Culture and Technology and the Knowledge Media Design collaborative program. During her time at the iSchool she has developed a keen interest of User Experience and how to design for users.