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3  Ways to Increase Usability in the Financial Industry

Diego Rivera, Director, Digital Strategy and CX Design
July  2018, Toronto, Canada
Financial services industry is under increasing pressure to digitize and innovate (“The Three P’s Of Digital Transformation” 2018).  Driven by the premise that customers want the ability to bank on their channel, time and place of their choice, digital transformation projects have been initiated. This drive provides a great opportunity for organizations to improve their end-to-end digital experience
Usability is a key project success indicator that along with other project indicators ensures that the end-to-end digital experience meets the needs of digital banking customers (Quality indicator for interactive IT products, 2018). Usability is the degree a product is easy to use by target users. Specifically, usability measures the customers’ view on the effectiveness, efficiency and degree of satisfaction of using digital banking services; for example, transfers and bill payments among others.

Although usability can be improved by different digital means, here are three proven practical ways that you can increase the usability in your digital projects today: feature innovation, process improvement, and usability testing.

 

1. Feature Innovation: In today’s marketplace it is critical to provide relevant functions that are easy to use and competitive. This means having a product backlog which has sufficient end user input to avoid digitizing outdated features. Deprecating features that add minimal value reduces product complexity and allows your customers access key functionality in less clicks (more effectively). In addition to improving usability, feature innovation will likely reduce development cost, project timelines and future support cost since you will only develop features customer actually want.

2. Process Improvement: One aspect often ignored is improving existing processes before digitalizing them. Digital projects provide the opportunity to streamline and optimize business rules that can have huge impact in the perceived ease of use of banking tasks such as third party transfers, sign up for online/mobile services, etc. Although team discussions can aid envision better processes sometimes more formal process improvement techniques and metrics are needed. Direct benefits from process improvements are a reduction in process steps and quicker response times which in turn positively impacts customer satisfaction.

Usability is the degree a product is easy to use by target users

3. Usability Testing:  To ensure usability gets built into your project, it is important to incorporate usability testing throughout the digital project. Usability testing can help you uncover both existing customer pain points and potential issues with a proposed change. There are a variety of cost effective methods that can aid teams remain focus on building customer centric solutions.

To conclude, focusing on digital usability will ensure your project delivers what matters to customers.  It is important to build-in usability as part of your design and development processes. You are improving usability when low value features are deprecated, processes are streamlined and expert usability testing is incorporated as part of your projects. Usability helps your teams maintain the customer centricitynecessary to ensure customer adopt, use and enjoy your financial services.

Note:The orignal version of this article (in Spanish) can be found at: www.ebankingnews.com

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