Alex, as the founder and chief strategist at UXDA, you have been involved with UX engineering for over six years now. Can you distill the essence of user experience engineering into a few sentences?
There are millions of problems customers face every day. Any successful business starts with a solution-to-solve problem, but not every solution is usable enough to help customers. Service interface design ensures digital solution usability by matching solutions with user needs and psychology.
Comparing the usual service design approach is not about art; rather, it is science that impacts user decisions and behaviours. Holistic approaches combine user-centred engineering with business needs and product capabilities to design positive user experiences utilizing financial solutions.
From our extensive financial project work, we have created step-by-step financial UX design methodology that involves marketing analysis, business expertise, research, psychology, system analysis, strategy and interface design.
Why is UX engineering a must in today's financial services industry?
According to scientists, 80% of consumer behaviour is determined by that part of the human brain referred to as our subconscious. Finance is an artificial concept that lies in the neocortex of the brain — our rational consciousness. That`s why people are not adept at calculations and controlling their financial behavior.
Many people don’t like banks because they don’t understand how banks work. The average bank offers many services, but 70% of it's customers use only a few of them. Digital technology can reinvent this system to make it more transparent and user-friendly.
Only through understanding humans is a positive digital user experience possible to make finances more comprehensible for people. That`s why the mission of the UX Design Agency (UXDA) is to raise consumer understanding about financial services by engineering simple, intuitive design.
What is the impact of UX on digital disruption in finance?
The average consumer’s trust level in banks is about 40% compared with 70% trust level in technology companies. Technology firms design a user experience as part of a value-generating process instead of old-school push marketing.
There is a plethora of financial services, most of which are complicated and confusing. Statistics shows that 50% of financial service customers switch providers because of a bad experience. Disruptive Fintech startups have a vision that traditional services lack, and that vision is user-centered design.
Financial disruptors think and see finance through the customer’s eyes. They choose to be all about the customer and create products they want to use. They have an understanding that finance is not the easiest thing in the world, and it confuses and even scares many people.
Disruptors build technology and finances around customers and deliver needed solutions in a simple way. They don't just build useful and appealing software; rather, they seek to change the whole financial experience for users.
Can you tell us more about the work process at UXDA?
Our work process includes three key stages: Research, Engineering and Design.
It starts with understanding the business, followed by user research and product-feature audits. Our team is experienced in lean UX, so we only conduct research and offer tools that provide key insights.
By understanding core product user personas, it is possible to understand users’ needs and gain insights in order to engineer UX strategy, information architecture and user journey maps. Based on that insight, we can implement key screens in wireframes that allow us to deliver initial products to test our core hypothesis.
Financial UI design completely differs from traditional web design. Our main challenge is to convert complex multi-feature solutions into user-friendly, intuitive interfaces that are portable to different platforms and resolutions. To achieve this, we consider usage patterns and habits, usability research, cognitive psychology heuristics and trending UI approaches.
How does the UXDA team collaborate with clients?
All of our projects are conducted using online communication tools. All project files and progress are tracked in the cloud. Design prototypes and interactive concepts are shared with the client team, so they can fully participate in the engineering process.
Our regular collaboration includes daily check-ups, hourly reports and cloud-based interactions to ensure clients have full "flight control" of UX services provided by UXDA. We operate as a remote part of our client team. Thus, we are not only helping to create an optimal financial user experience, but also ensure that our client team employs best practices in a user-centred approach.
Our hourly-rate invoices are based on regular reports of what we have done in the previous period, with time and UX design tasks explained, thus achieving flexible and transparent, agile-friendly process and budgeting.
What would you recommend to financial providers?
Today’s digital customers have higher expectations than ever. To be successful, financial companies need new and innovative approaches to attract and retain customers through highly relevant and personalised experiences across multiple channels. Customers now have the freedom to switch providers more easily than ever before, so it is our number-one priority to switch from product-centred to customer-centred thinking.
To meet customers’ expectations successfully, we need to look outside of the traditional finance industry. That means hiring designers, user-experience professionals, FinTech developers and innovators who have an understanding of customers’ needs and expectations. This strategy, mixed with a flexible in-house innovation culture, provides a formula for success. We would greatly enjoy helping you make finance simple!
Founder of UX Design Agency
UX Architect & Strategist