As more financial institutions utilize digital channels to generate leads and drive account holder interaction, an increasing level of importance is being placed on providing the best website experience possible. Whether making a first impression, or reinforcing a relationship, banks and credit unions recognize the positive and negative impact their website can have when it comes to the perception of their brand. It might not happen overnight, but by assuming a customer-centric vantage point and asking the right questions, financial institutions can create an effective, multifaceted web presence that resonates with account holders in the digital age.
Asking the Right Questions
There are aspects of the financial industry requiring specific website elements behind that user experience would translate well to a banking website. The questions to be asked and answered, then, should ultimately determine what makes a great website for today’s account holder. It is not as complicated as one would believe.
Is the Site Usable?
The web and its users are constantly evolving, which greatly accelerates the aging process for many websites and results in a number of websites that simply don’t provide a good user experience anymore. The rising use of mobile devices is one prime example of this evolution and the impact it can have on a site’s effectiveness. For instance, plenty of Apple® iPad® users can recount the frustration of visiting a website designed to work with Adobe® Flash®, which is not supported on the iPad and ended up making the site unfriendly at best, or entirely unusable at worst. With smartphones making up the majority of mobile phones in the US (52% of all devices according to a 2013 study by Pew Internet Research), the concept of responsive design is becoming more and more important to accommodate the increasing number of mobile web users. Whereas in years past the trend was toward “.mobi” sites — stripped-down versions that played nicely with smartphones — the rise of responsive design has allowed websites to retain much of the unique experience offered to desktop visitors even when viewed on smaller screens. A website made with responsive design will adapt to the size of the screen through which it is being viewed, with styles changing and content shifting accordingly to provide the best experience for the visitor.
The above excerpt is taken from “Creating a Multifaceted Financial Web Presence,” the latest white paper from Harland Clarke. Download your free copy here