The most controversial artwork by Maurizio Cattelan was displayed back in 2010 in front of the Stock Exchange building in Milan. While its official name is L.O.V.E., everyone who sees the artwork has different interpretation for themselves.  – see more here.

UX basics for financial services

Once upon a time, financial sector was the motor of the global economy, the money generator, and the place where MBA graduates dreamed of entering.

But today, things are slowly changing. More graduates from top universities are looking for careers in consulting or tech giants instead. Banks – including retails and B2Bs – are one of the least trusted consumer businesses. How can financial sectors win consumer trust back then?

One of the key differentiators for financial businesses is ‘customer experience’, says the UX Magazine. Easy to say. But relatively few have recreated the same in-store user experience on the digital space.

So let’s go through what it takes to replicate the ultimate user experience that will outshine your competitors.

  • Do simplify.

When I say ‘simplify’, it doesn’t mean sweeping whatever you’d consider ‘unessasary’ to sell services. Rather, simplification in a form of optimising the website to meet your clients’ needs.

Many of your viewers are time-pressed consumers, looking for great quality of services/offers. Yet they don’t have enough time to go through every single detail on your wesite. So your landing page needs to give your potential customers the best first impression.

Here is what your users don’t want to see – a website jammed with too many contents, promotions, data, reminders, dropboxes or whatever that exhausts their energy. Despite a complex nature of your services, your website should offer practicality and usefulness.

  • Be predictable

If you are an iPhone onwer, have you ever felt frustrated when using your friend’s Android? Or vice-versa? That’s because of the different operational systems.

Your website needs consistency so that users don’t feel frustrated or startled when jumping from one page to another. On the other hand, an inconsistent website can actually damage user experience and lower your online conversion rate. Your website will need to reflect exactly what your customers expect to see – the right functions at the right place, or the relevant information with some relevant data.

Predictability is also positively correlated with customer satisfaction. For example, one of the Starbucks’s successes is attributed to consistency and predictability. Customers know what kind of experience to expect in every store – the same taste, the same products and the same atmosphere. The same logic applies to financial websites. A seamless website gives ‘a sense of control’ and ‘reliability’ to the users.

So, how to design a predictable user experience? See my next point.

  • Extensive research

User research allows you to understand what your users are looking for and what they are expecting to learn from your website.

Also it is a useful way to understand what factors confuse your users and make them leave your website to another. In order to improve user experience, you need to understand the motivations and purposes of your online visitors.

Through the right qualitative and quantitative research, you will be able get a glimpse of how the users interact with your website. 

  • Think differently for mobile

The number of people using smartphones are soaring. While this may depend on what you offer, many online services need to be optimised to smartphones and tablets.

Let’s look at mobile banking as an example. ‘Many creators of financial apps still copy their interface patterns from the desktop Web’, according to the Smashing Magazine. However the desktop web interface doesn’t necessarily fit nicely to mobile phones. Things will suddenly look quite different on a smaller screen with smaller buttons.

Designing a website for mobile requires ‘sophisticated exercises’ as users experience mobiles differently from desktops. For example, a vertically-structured web design might not be the best solution to lead the users to the next step on a mobile interface.

As technology keeps moving forward, customer expectations change accordingly. So your financial website shouldn’t be left behind. 

What do you think?

Appnova is a digital agency specializing in web design, UX, eCommerce, branding, digital marketing and social media.

Keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff. 



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