In one of previous posts, Code & Pepper took you on a full-blown product design journey: from discovery to development. However, that roadmap wouldn’t be complete without at least hinting at some user experience notions. The compilation below focuses on certain aspects of UX, which come to the forefront in FinTech applications as make-or-break moments.
UX Roadmap: Step by Step
Complexity and flow optimisation
FinTech is all about making stressful (from the user perspective) financial services hassle-free and universally available. Hence the extra effort to present even the most complex process in a clear and straightforward way. Keeping it simple or adding a pop-up glossary is one way to deal with this issue. More advanced options can be offered by visualisation, sample previews, robo advice and apt architecture.
Performance is another elephant in the UX design room. Especially when it comes to real-time data algorithms, payment gateways or money remittance solutions, every second of loading or reloading a page view counts. Delays cost you the users’ trust and this precious currency is not easily reimbursed. Having quite a few performance challenges under our belt, we are dealing with this crucial UX feature in a separate post on the meaning of performance in FinTech apps.
In accordance with the Hick’s Law, the time to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of choices. Let’s face it, we’re talking finance here and decisions are inevitable. However, a fitting approach to user experience can make the process more manageable. You can achieve more clarity e.g. by dividing flows into stages or adding chunks of important information with every step (as opposed to one 10-minute read just before the crucial “confirm” button).
User types and expectations
Coming from an exceptionally disruptive and versatile industry, FinTech products are particularly resistant to generalising. Key sectors and subfields aside, each product is dedicated to a specific group of users with precise needs and expectations.
For instance, the rule of simplicity will most likely be the focal point in applications providing financial services to the general public. However, in the case of advanced data-driven systems for finance professionals, you’ll need to prioritise functions enabling in-depth analysis, generating customized data feeds and exporting selected data views. With this in mind, UX design should address the issue of clarity vs. intricacy in a product-based manner, including a thorough research into the target audience.
Perception and memory
Theories rooted in behavioral psychology form the foundation of a meaningful user experience. Some apply to such aspects of human cognition as colour schemes and their impact on emotional conditioning, alertness and the ability to process information. Others focus on thought patterns connected with forming memories (and subjective evaluation of those memories).
It means that no matter how much effort you put in preparing the richest and the most compelling user story, your customers will most likely remember the peak and the end of flow. To add insult to injury, even minor interruptions of that flow will create a longer-lasting impression than the joy of a successfully completed action.
UX designers need to be well aware of certain defining properties of human perception and reasoning. More than that, their biggest challenge is to translate this knowledge into applicable design solutions, which include progress bars, animations to highlight completion of certain steps, rapid troubleshooting procedures, etc. This is valid to all apps, but reaches a new level of urgency in FinTech, where it might be the user’s livelihood that’s at stake. You can read more on the subject in our guide to transparency and feedback in FinTech applications.
Content and display
The amount of data (reports, stats, comparison charts) to display makes some FinTech apps particularly vulnerable to design flops. Sometimes, this problem can be solved with the right fonts and layouts. In other cases, decisions made at this point might be difficult to redo (e.g. choosing between responsive and adaptive design). The bottom line is that your app should work well on all types of screens (including mobiles) and in variable network conditions. UX designers are vital in ensuring that the presented data is readable and scalable. This applies as much to the overall system’s logic as to tiny details like formatting of numeric fields.
Security and Data Privacy
Security and financial services are basically umbilical twins and users’ demands in this area are flying high. Your ideal FinTech app is simple to execute & navigate, loads fast and is secure against cyberattacks. UX design is key to striking the balance between user expectations and technical requirements.
A combination of strategic efforts & stakeholders’ involvement helps introduce effective authentication, encryption and data privacy measures. For instance, as part of UX design, levels of risk can be identified and implemented accordingly. Best practices can serve as building blocks of a solid security policy:
- ACL (Access Control List)
- permissions structure
- 2FA (two-factor authentication)
Moreover, you can regularly educate users about cybersecurity and motivate them to choose stronger passwords.
UX in Tomorrowland
With so many factors coming into play, it’s easy to forget the importance of keeping up to date with the latest developments in terms of available tools:
- collaborative and human centered design
- virtual and augmented reality
- artificial intelligence
- voice interfaces
- enhanced solutions for collecting user feedback
- user behaviour monitoring
Mind you, these are just the tip of the iceberg. What sets aside UX craftsmanship from UX mastery is the ability to be ready for the next big thing in software development.
Watch this space…
Finding the right approach to UX design is one of those defining moments in product development with the potential to either elevate or bury your business proposition. Aiming for the middle ground might be enough to keep the product afloat but is it enough for you? This UX roadmap can be an apt point of departure into the orbit of more-than-optimal user experience and Code & Pepper might just have the space rocket you need.