The UX Trends Impacting the Financial Technology Industry

Financial technology couldn’t boom at a better time — the world has moved to mobile and consumers, even enterprise clients, are strictly relying on mobile-only Fintech applications without hesitation, as these apps are allowing for, literally, on-hand information and immediate transactions.

However, since Fintech companies have a rather targeted audience with an unflinching focus, eye for critique, eagerness to adapt and take responsibility for their own financial state, creating a transparent, honest and personalized user experience is of the utmost importance.

Don’t Jump the Gun — It Starts at Square One

There is an increasing requirement for UX designers to be business literate now more than ever. Because the financial technology market is huge (with various user types and needs) and is expected to grow dramatically in the next five years, UX professionals must have an understanding of the business logic of each financial technology company.

“It’s not enough for user experience designers to know tools and processes.”
 -Sarah Doody, Author of The UX Notebook

UX designers must know the different sets of “WWW”s of financial organizations:

  1. What’s for sale?
  2. Who are the clients?
  3. Why should they buy this?

While this learning-curve presents a challenge for UX professionals, understanding the business before the design research is no less than critical, as professionals in the finance markets will not pursue a project with a UX designer, or anyone else, for that matter, on business they know nothing about.

Challenges aside, what are the major user experience trends that will have a major impact in the success of financial services applications in 2016?

3 UX Trends Boosting the Success of Financial Technology Applications

1. Creating Transparent & Frictionless Customer Journeys with User-Center Design

As UX professionals, we need to keep in mind that we are dealing with a massive target market that has high expectations and an already rigid mindset that they don’t trust any institution. Link this factor to an industry with extraordinary mistrust — quite the oxymoron.

This year, we will see more Fintech products providing transparent, frictionless and holistic customer journeys, allowing users to control and empower themselves.

This requires UX designers to become empathetic to users. UX designers must make sure they discover and understand visitor’s expectations, needs, and objections; analyze these observations; think about the best solution for the users; then prototype and build.

2. Increased Understanding of the Virtue of Usability Studies

The past decade has shown the UX marketing channel as maturing, to point where UX professionals understand they need to conduct usability research as opposed to relying strictly on assumption.

Today, with the availability of analytics tools, usability studies are not as expensive as they used to be. And, because Fintech deals with money — lots of it — and money is emotion, Fintech companies recognize the value of usability studies.

The importance of usability studies is being more easily acknowledge by stakeholders. In fact, organizations are willing, now more than ever, to invest more resources in this direction.

In 2016 and moving forward, we will find that the demand for UX researchers, or at least UX professionals with research experience, will increase in the financial technology space.

3. Mastering Design of Big Data-Powered Dashboards

The amount of data available today is astounding. However, UX professionals in the Fintech industry are faced with the challenge of translating financial data to their customers in a manner that is useful, relevant and usable.

“Pressure from millennials and Gen X will force banks to utilize data analytics much more effectively to anticipate customer needs and deliver a value enhancing experience similar to what they receive from their most used non-financial applications.”
-Luveen Sidhu, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer at Bankmobile

This year, we will see user experience designers mastering the design of data-dashboards. The creation simple and honest products that are designed for direct user understanding, in turn, will increase financial literacy, eventually changing behavior over time.

You May Also Like: 3 Fintech Advantages for User Experience Pros in 2016


Originally published at www.uxcrunch.com on January 12, 2016.

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