When was the last time you went to a bank branch for a transfer, or to create a new checking account? Banking websites (and their corresponding apps) are quickly gaining popularity and possess more functions than ever before.
Usability, or how easy and pleasant it is to use your user interface, is more important than ever, especially since more and more customers are expecting at least a basic online offering. There are already banks that offer all of their business opportunities through an online interface (hello, Hello! Bank). If users don’t understand your website, they will leave, or, even worse, decide to go to one of your competitors.
In the world of UX design, the mantra is “Always be testing”. Therefore, at UXprobe, we have developed a new tool that can help companies with their usability testing. It allows anyone that uses our tool to gain new insights into how people interact with that person’s website in order to get the knowledge needed to make their website easier and more functional to use!
We were eager to try it out ourselves! In order to do so, we’ve decided to test two real-life scenarios: sign up for a free bank account online, and – with the upcoming holidays in mind – find the costs of withdrawing money when travelling abroad. We’ve chosen three Belgian banking websites: Belfius, ING & KBC.
Ready, Set, Test!
Let’s meet the banks!
Together, Belfius, ING & KBC own around 40% of the Belgian bank market (based on total assets)1.
Testing websites from the banking sector allowed us to more easily find testers and to try out our tool on websites that are visited by a broad range of customers regularly. UXprobe did not do these tests at the request of any of the banks mentioned above; these tests were performed solely for the function of trying out our newly developed usability testing tool.
Belfius is in fourth place right now in Belgium. It boasts 600,000 active users of their mobile app (out of their 3.5 million customers), with a 99% satisfaction rate. Belfius has a satisfaction objective of 95% for all of their new and existing customers.
ING comes third in Belgium, but it is the biggest bank in The Netherlands. ING serves its customers (34.4 million of them from more than 40 countries) through its website, apps, and online banking initiative called Home’Bank.
KBC is the biggest of the three. The bank was formed in 1998, and it is now an international bank with approximately 10 million clients. Although they have around 1,560 physical branches, KBC has a big online presence, both with its website which was recently completely reworked, and with their mobile apps, such as KBC Touch.
How were the tests performed?
Today, our usability-testing tool works with all desktop-optimized websites, with a mobile version coming out later this year.
So, we put our testers in front of our laptop and start them out on these webpages:
Tests were conducted from May 24th through May 31st, 2016. We used both the Dutch and English versions of the website, based on each tester’s personal preference.
Testers were asked to perform 2 tasks on each website, namely:
- Sign up for a checking account as a new customer
- Find information about the cost of using a debit card to withdraw cash from an ATM in a non-European country
After each task, testers were asked to rate their experience on a 5 point scale, ranging from “extremely easy” to “extremely difficult”. We also asked some additional questions based on their reactions during the test.
Usability testing done easily with UXprobe
These tests were all performed using the new usability testing feature of UXprobe. This allowed us to quickly set up a test and perform it using several websites. Each test generated an URL which could be shared with our testers via email or social media. That way, we could choose for ourselves if we wanted to target specific users, limit our user base, or go for as many testers as possible.
It would also have allowed us to do our tests remotely without inviting people into a test lab or requiring personnel to physically be there when users were performing their tests. Multiple tests at the same time could have been performed that way.
Nevertheless, for this particular test, we chose to have a moderator accompany our testers each time. Each test lasted only about half of an hour, which meant that we could easily test multiple people in one day.
Both the screen as the webcam and microphone of each tester was recorded, which was useful for writing notes about the reactions users had after testing was completed. Results, such as the time needed to perform each task, were stored immediately together with the video and audio.
The results at a glance
We found the average time taken to create a new bank account as shown in the graph below.
In addition, we measured the users feelings on how easy or difficult it was to create a bank account across the 3 banks. Not only did they rate their responses, but their facial expressions and thought processes were also recorded, allowing us to know exactly at which instant of the whole banking experience were they more satisfied or dissatisfied with.
With the holidays in mind, we also researched the average times and opinions for finding the cost of withdrawing money abroad for travelling.
All the results are available in the full study that you can download for free.
What are the insights gained from the study?
Armed with these data, we proceeded to find out some insights into how users feel about the modern bank today. We realised that users abandoned their task if they could not find information in 5 minutes. The chart below shows the abandon rates for the task to look up information online:
We see that on average, 5 minutes is all we have to keep our users engaged. But that’s not all!
For more insights and common usability issues, read the full study for free.
So which bank is the most user friendly?
With UXprobe’s usability testing feature, we set up 3 tests, performed them with multiple testers, identified several usability issues and found ways to improve 3 separate websites, all in less than a week!
For this test, the winner is revealed in our full study!
Want to improve your own websites or products yourself and learn more about UXprobe? Click here for a free trial!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tests were conducted between 24th & 31st of May 2016 on 8 participants. Participants were chosen based on the fact that they are familiar with online banking. UXprobe is an independent company and did not perform these tests under the commission of KBC, ING or Belfius.
1According to Febelfin Data – 2014. Retrieved from https://www.febelfin.be/nl/cijfers/individuele-cijfers-bank
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