The difference between user ACCOUNT and PROFILE

While I was working as a senior product designer at Reward Gateway I was involved in a major Account restructure provoked by the decision to make the platform more social and improving the overall user experience related with that part of the platform. We went on that journey because we listen to the HR professionals who rely on Reward Gateway every day to make the world a better place to work.

We started the discovery process, did some initial mock-ups and figured out we have a bigger problem to solve. We already had an account section that contains some personal data, order history, vouchers, settings… So what goes to ACCOUNT and what to PROFILE? Solving this for a varying setup of products, each of those bringing new things on the table (account/profile), proved to be a no easy task.



It’s workshop time!

We don’t do guess work, we design with data. That is why with the support of the whole product design team I organised a workshop where each designer had to do some research in advance and identify common user scenarios and user pains. We had to have in mind context and think of possible solutions. The whole team, together with our Head of Product, did a design sprint where we:

  1. Listed all the found issues and grouped them through an affinity mapping exercise;
  2. Prioritised by voting for the most critical areas that needed improvement;
  3. Created “How might we” notes to focus on what do we want to improve and listed multiple ideas under each;
  4. Voted for the best ideas and created multiple solutions
  5. Created prototypes and tested them with users
  6. Set the steps for future research, improvements and validation of our designs

As the person who organised the workshop, I am very happy to share that it led to a number of improvements which benefited all our users. From easier access to vouchers to more organised settings and making the platform more social with the help of public profiles. We put everything in order considering the upcoming new features and improvements. And iteration after iteration it all came to life!

sticky notes on a workshop



Account vs Profile

We created a survey to check what people’s understanding is when it comes to the terms “account” and “profile” and which information belongs to one or the other. With all the answers gathered from the survey, we could conclude that almost all of the participants had a similar and relatively clear understanding of what is “account” and what is “profile” and what are the specific features distinguishing these particular pages.

The Profile page is considered to be a space which is more public, where users can share social activity and personal information and learn more about each other. A space that is a part of the company directory. Whereas the Account page is considered to be a private space, where you can manage, edit or configure your data related to orders, transactions, benefits, privacy, security and any other settings and personal information.

account slideout account slideout with discounts profile page on mobie device



User data and privacy

We want to let co-workers connect more easily. But some other concerns arose. What about all the data their employer had provided? Who should be able to see that?

Another survey helped us see what people think on the topic and how to make it easier to share information if you want to, but at the same time respect privacy.

I created an onboarding experience when Profiles were enabled which let people effortlessly decide what to share and what to keep private. I did additional research for a new feature that will show a timeline of that person’s activity. We started with privacy at its core and all the findings from the previous research helped make this new feature pass the usability testing with great approval and even make people excited for this new feature.

profile onboarding popup



A living organism

Just like any other software, Reward Gateway’s platform is a living organism made of different products and the people who use them. Their needs change over time so it is fair to say that the designer’s work is never done and we always listen, research and make things better.

Client feedback and additional research shows the demand for features such as adding custom fields in the profiles, team pages and other useful new features.

This was first published on
More detailed information on this work is not available due to confidentiality of the employer.