Being a customer of Santander, I am constantly faced with the eye sore that is their website. With a spare couple of nights I decided to have at look at if they as a bank could be better represented.
I’m not a massive fan of the bank, I’ve had countless problems with their awful admin systems and terrible customer support. So as a side note, their site isn’t their biggest problem, not by a long stretch! Still, it doesn’t stop me having a go at tidying them up.
The first thing to say is, that we won’t be playing around with information architecture. That is a separate blog post altogether and way beyond this experiment. True to say Santander (and most other banks) should be looking at it though. Also, this isn’t a branding exercises, so we will keep the main Santander red as a starting point for the site.
Banks have two types of customers, pre-existing and potentials. We will concentrate for the most part on pre-existing customers (like myself), as most potential customers will seek advice outside of a banks website to see whats right for them. (moneysavingexpert etc…)
So, on with the show…
Two types of research have been covered. Internal, that is, current banks websites and the functionality and similarities across the board (after all, there must be something in it if they are all doing it). After that is an external look. A questionnaire to current bank users (some Santander some not).
Bank websites were remarkably similar across the board with only one or two bucking the trend for layout. Obviously these sites are heavily leaned towards function and so couldn’t complain on that level, but it seems they stop there and haven’t connected function and style into UX design.
Some bank website trends worth implementing in some way:
– Big product list at footer
– Extra products with benefits list
– FAQ & Question box
– Online bank link
On top of that, the questionnaire (not extensive, 12 people, just a flavour of their experience).
From this questionnaire, the following has been highlighted as of some use:
– Account login
– Find a branch
– Customer Support
The following notes regarding the users overall impression, reveals the following:
– Too scattered
– Too many links to look at
– Celebrity endorsement is a turn off
– Existing Customers are an after thought and no longer cared for
Summary of problems
Having done some research and reported the findings, I took some screen grabs of the site, and using my findings, as well as my own thoughts, started to pick apart the site.
For clarity, here are the main pointers:
– As a company they don’t connect with customers (celebrity endorsements)
– Most common tasks don’t stand out
– Current customers feel they are an after thought (they have a small sidebar to the right).
– Too many links all over the place
– Lots of products but no explanation as to how they benefit the customer
– Calls to action not obvious enough
– Current customers not buying in to new products
– information going down the page not necessary (What I’m not doing is reading through all your guff. I’m looking for a product, an answer, as soon I find the right link I’m not looking any further. I’m not on the site to browse).
In all, most of the functionality of banks website aren’t bad, they are just poorly executed
– Site needs to be cleaner
– Easy navigation
– Lose celebrity endorsements, nobody cares
– Explainer videos for home page products highlighting exactly what the product will do for the customer
– Main tasks grouped together (Common tasks, products, product explainer videos)
– Bring existing current customer value in line with potential customers (do something with the small right sidebar)
– Show contacts for customer support
– Options are too cold, start each sidebar with a help option, for a customer focus rather then product focus
– Foldable list of every link in departments
– FAQ (everything should scream helpful)
A bit of wireframing jiggery pokery…
And here it is…