Best practices of user-centered design
Let's take a look a the best practices that have evolved user-centered design:
- Data sources
- Managing complexity
- Devices and channels
Where do I collect information?
DO product reviews and ratings. What are your customers actually saying? If just one person is having a bad experience, that is an indicator many others have the same sentiment. Users have an emotional response to products that are hard to measure quantitatively but will still have a very real impact on your business and brand. In the age of social media and hyper-connectivity, word spreads quickly.
DON’T rely solely on historical trends. We are in an era of massive digital innovation which means the industry is changing quickly, so your bank has to stay agile. Your track record of past excellence will not serve modern-day users. It’s time to break from the past and react quickly to new findings.
Is design form or function?
DO make it beautiful. Let’s be clear, good design is not just a beautiful interface. However, users often perceive aesthetically pleasing design as design that’s more usable. They will also be more likely to remember the experience fondly. This provides a unique challenge in banking given the subject matter is usually abstract and can be difficult to comprehend. Some have trouble visualizing their finances. Distinct use of colors and clearly labeled charts can help your users finally understand their financial situation or options. The goal is to delight the user, not confuse them.
DON’T forget about function. Good design is not just how something looks, but how it works. You should make sure the underlying experience is smooth and seamless before you even attempt to make a sleek version. Do not try to hide usability issues in a beautiful app. Users will catch on.
What is the users’ most important goal?
DO keep it simple. Finance and banking is pretty complex by nature, making simplification a tough challenge. But if you are able to make your apps intuitive, your users will be very grateful and prefer your service over others. Everything should be clearly labeled with a simple navigation and obvious calls-to-action. Make the process as clear as possible by providing alerts before important steps, and feedback along every step. Encourage your user along the journey – everyone relates to that.
DON’T overload on features. A common mistake banks will make is load up their digital experiences with features, thinking that will please customers. The opposite is often true. The more options a person has, the more time it takes for them to make a decision and the more likely they will even get overwhelmed and abandon the process. According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of the user’s value will come from 20% of the features. Focus on the 20% and make them really great.
How do we get users excited about the app?
DO Make onboarding delightful. The first engagement with your user may be your only chance to win them over. The onboarding process is a make or break moment so it’s important to get it right. Onboarding should be informative, fast, and exciting for the user. One way to do this is to use a chatbot, which asks questions about the user’s goals, with simple “yes” or “no” answers. Wizard design models and interactive onboarding are a great way to welcome new users to your digital experiences. This doesn’t ask much from the user, while still capturing enough data to personalize the experience.
DON’T ask for personal information before absolutely necessary. Be careful that you are not demanding personal information such as addresses or credit cards before the user is sold on the value of your offer. Otherwise users may drop off and never return.. This could also lengthen the process more than users will tolerate.
Devices and channels
What devices do our users use most?
DO create a seamless omnichannel experience. Someone may require access via mobile devices, in the branch itself, while they’re on their work PC, or on their personal tablet relaxing on the couch. Make sure the experience is seamless across all devices by testing your app on all popular devices and practicing responsive web design. Don’t get complacent keeping up with new and emerging digital platforms (AI, smart watches, smart speakers, smart TVs). Stay current and your users will stick with you.
DON’T neglect mobile. These days everyone is glued to their phones. This is why many companies opt for a “mobile-first” design approach to ensure the mobile experience is taken care of. 47% of Millennials use mobile banking, twice as much as baby boomers. Interestingly enough, millennials are also the fastest to jump ship due to a frustrating user experience and likely (31%) to share their negative experience with others. The best way to capture and retain users under 35 is to make sure the mobile experience is running smoothly.
The simple answer is that FinTechs have recognized that customers were quickly transitioning to the subscription mindset of buy now, pay later. With this recognition came a huge uptick in the number of FinTech players offering direct-to-consumer financing options.