Without a doubt, our banking & financial sector has undergone a massive disruption, thanks to the adoption of emerging technologies and the rise of the fintech sector. However, in recent times it is witnessing a much greater change as advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence move from fantasy to a reality, and now banks are all about knowing their customer’s behaviors, needs, and what motivates them than ever before.
Every year, thousands of digital financial services are launched around the world; sadly, most of them are falling short from achieving their desired goals. This is partly due to misaligned user experience and the design approach of the creators. Over the years, Scketch has been working closely with multiple banking and financial services company, and we have come across many misconceptions surrounding User Experience design. Today we would like to bring them to light and help entrepreneurs in creating successful financial services.
Essentially user experience design centers around the philosophy of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability, functionality, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the customer and the product. Hence, when it comes to building financial digital services, it is especially effective to combine UX design technology with Design Thinking. Even lean UX implementation or using basic principles of Design Thinking can significantly benefit an organization and are available at no cost. Rather than creating a full-fledged UX department in-house, partnering with UX agencies for a UX approach implementation can be further cost-efficient for financial start-ups. In the long term, UX design provides a significant return on investment and significantly strengthens core competencies of a team.
We have seen this mantra far too often- look at a successful service, replicate it and instantly achieve the same measure of success. Only if success was this easy. We have watched companies fail miserably in unfortunate attempts to repeat the successes of established companies such as Paytm, Mint, Paypal etc. Blatantly copying financial interfaces from popular services simply do not work. A lot of thought is put in while designing an interface, therefore the uniqueness and success of the design of a digital product involve multiple factors. It is imperative to grasp the thought flow of the ideas that are behind the design of a particular service and how it creates a user benefit and solves the real customer problems. Hence it is always wiser to offer the world your own generated solution for an important problem which could have the potential to become a new benchmark and a source of inspiration.
Innovation has been a buzzword for quite some time now; unfortunately, many Fintech start-ups lose their sight while chasing uniqueness and innovation. As the industry is undergoing a digital transformation, we are all amazed by the incredible possibilities of new technologies, but this does not mean that, if you include them, it will ensure the perfect UX. Yes, it might be a great boost for your PR, but it can also cause users to become frustrated by unusual and unexpected functionality. Most of us are hard pressed for time, and Finance in itself is a complex product. In such situations, companies should refrain from reinventing the wheel, but rather use patterns and solutions that are already tested and familiar to users.
We are practically living in a world where the majority believes in less is more. Everything for everyone approach can pose to be dangerous not only for Fintech start-ups but also for banks. Although it is crucial to deliver ultimate value for users and stay ahead in the game, providing too many products and services can be extremely overwhelming for a user and will ultimately lead to users refusing to use the service in favor of simpler analogy. Going with the Minimal Viable Product concept delivered by start-up is ideal in recent times where before starting a project, it is important to understand which key functions most in demand by your customers are. The key to providing a seamless experience is to maintain the fine balance – avoid overloading your users and leave enough space either on the interface level or at the feature level.
I so wish this statement was true, but unfortunately, it isn’t. A great UX alone cannot guarantee instant success. Just like breaking into a new shoe, people often need time to try a product in order to appreciate it. Even though digital products often see faster results, they are still subject to various market rules. Which only means that success depends not only on the product design but also on how and when it is introduced to the market, what kind of after sales support is provided to users, what is offered by competitors, and many other business factors. Furthermore, UX design is an iterative process, and it does not stop after the product is launched. Services often need to be upgraded and improved based on feedback from customers and usage data. This is definitely time-consuming, but it’s the only way to achieve maximum compliance with market demand is to go organic and stay true to the fundamentals.
When customers choose to pay your site a visit, you will only have less than 15 seconds to influence them, hence it’s is absolutely essential to optimize your UX design to quickly gain trust, brand recognition and ensure user retention. Although UX has been an Innovation driver in the financial sector, it also plagued with many myths. At the end of the day, these myths can be simply avoided by putting ourselves in our users’ shoes more, and by making fewer assumptions about their behaviors or motivations.