I decided to do an analysis of Personal Capital’s onboarding flow because Personal Capital has similar features and functionality to the fintech app I‘m currently building.
The first thing I like about the onboarding process is that you have prompts on the bottom to log in, see a demo, or join now. I especially like the demo option because you get a view of what the app is like without having to commit to signing up. I do not like that the demo itself (screen on the far right) looks very busy and complex. My assumption is this would turn off young adults who are not very comfortable with finance. It may also stress out the user or make them anxious.
With any sort of banking app, security is going to be a very high priority in the onboarding process. Personal Capital starts the user off easy by putting in an email, then provides a new screen for each sequential step, such as confirming your device by text or phone call and enabling touch id. I found this to be a clever way to not overwhelm the user. It keeps the screen clean and simple and the task is straightforward. Touch id was stated by multiple people in my user interviews as a valuable convenience, so it’s great that it’s included in the onboarding process.
Next, the user is asked to enable notifications and then put in some basic information. In the screen on the right you can see that you are asked to estimate your current savings. I think including anything like this with potential to make the user struggle if they are unsure or have to go looking for information is a negative in the onboarding process. If I put myself in the shoes of the user, the ideal solution would be to link my accounts and have the app automatically calculate my savings accurately.
In my own finance app, I have thought about what information should be displayed prior to the user linking an account and the app importing the necessary data. Personal Capital solves this by not allowing you to actually see anything in the app until you link at least one account. The background looks populated in the image on the left, but it’s a generic image that doesn’t reflect your account. There is no way to move forward from here without clicking on the CTA link account button. When you do, you are taken to the second screen with common banks to choose from. You can also add a manual account. I had no issues with this process.
Overall, I think Personal Capital managed to make the onboarding experience a pretty good one. Everything is smooth and functions perfectly. My only complaint is that the demo looks like information overload. This could in the worst case stress users out and discourage them from using the app. It’s also not easy to understand what your looking at. Another UI issue is that the branding is very traditional, ugly, and generic. Personal Capital looks old school, like Chase or Bank of America. It’s not appealing to look at and does not in the words of Marie Kondo “spark joy.”