Understanding human behaviour: Meet Angeli Humilde, anthropologist

They work to meet the diverse and ever-changing needs of customers and employees. They adapt and innovate, expand their expertise to enrich the lives of those around them. They are passionate and driven.

In this four-part series, we introduce you to some of the unique roles and employees behind the scenes at TD helping to deliver for customers and communities.


Angeli Humilde studies how social and cultural influences affect one's personal finance choices—a role that puts customer-focused innovation at the forefront.

"Even if you build products and services with really smart algorithms, you don’t always know how people will act or react," she says.

Humilde, a design researcher at TD's Design Research Lab in downtown Toronto, uses various anthropological and ethnographic research methods to improve the design of digital products and services, such as mobile apps. Humilde works to uncover why certain social and cultural anxieties exist around personal financial choices—anything from day-to-day finances to home buying.

READ: Meet Jennifer Popkey, Sign Language Interpreter

"Understanding how and why people make their personal finance choices is important for designing digital tools that ease the decision-making process and help customers make more informed financial choices," says Humilde.

To gather insights into how people manage their personal finances, Humilde may go out for a coffee and have a casual conversation or take a more structured approach:  inviting a customer to visit the lab to participate in sessions where various behavioural research tools are used.

"It's incredible how much you can learn about various digital behaviours and habits simply by observing and connecting with different people," she says.

While there is an emphasis on investing in products, tools and services that increasingly use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deliver personalized, connected experiences, Humilde says anticipating the needs of the customer are always front and centre.

"People want to embrace new mobile features and products that are relevant to their lives," says Humilde. "But they want to feel safe and secure transacting and communicating in the digital space."

For example, the Design Research team recently studied customers' reactions to a prototype text message notification asking them to validate purchases on shared credit cards—a trial that tested well with parents whose children were away in college and university.

"Parents felt more comfortable when they were being notified about the type of purchases being made," says Humilde.  "That extra security measure went a long way to ease some of the anxiety parents had about their children's spending habits."


Part 1: Angeli, design researcher  | Part 2: Jennifer, ASL Interpreter | Part 3: Veena, claims analyst | Part 4: Julie, head of TD Innovation Center