It’s amazing how many projects there are where money doesn’t play a role; as long as it doesn’t involve user experience, or a user interface that makes sense to users.
Recently I was on a project in the financial sector which focused on digital change.
We had very fruitful discussions in terms of what to change meant, and what was necessary to transition from the status quo to a digital institution.
The focus was, as stated by the project owner, on user experience.
I tested a lot of their software, and one thing that jumped into my face was the fact that there are user interface did not differentiate clearly between a process that was successful or a process that was unsuccessful.
Example: a customer would issue a wire transfer, which had to be confirmed through a mobile transaction number/MTAN.
When this transaction number was entered correctly, The user was redirected to a success page.
If the user entered the transaction number incorrectly, they were redirected to a page which said that the transaction was unsuccessful because the transaction number had been entered in a wrong way.
The cool thing was that the pages looked so similar that it was very difficult to differentiate whether the transaction was executed or not.
The argument of the IT people from this financial institution, and the high-end boutique agency they had in charge of their website was that this was intentional so that the user experience is not interrupted.
A few weeks later I contacted several clients of this institution and conducted interviews with them.
Lo and behold it turns out that a large variety of the customers were very displeased with this similarity between the two pages, and had to complain repeatedly because processes they had executed we’re not fulfilled by the bank simply because the clients did not read the error message.
We made some minor alterations upon these findings, making it clear to the customer that the transaction was executed by redirecting them to a green side with green text, and a green background. In case of a transaction number being entered wrong we directed them to a site with a stop sign as a graphic, and a red background to clearly signal that something had gone wrong.
During the months leading up to the release of the new website, with this new distinct user experience enhancements I had the IT staff gather data about the number of transactions that went wrong, and were not successfully executed.
The result was astounding!
While the number of wrongfully entered transaction confirmation numbers were noticeable, after the release of the new website they shrunk to almost 0.
So what is in focus?
Is it corporate vanity of maintaining the corporate ID to words the customer? Or is it a customer who must be satisfied so that a corporate ID makes sense in the next couple of years?