How To Improve User Experience
Earlier this month, Finalytics.ai released its 2023 Credit Union Digital Experience report on the state of digital at the largest 100 credit unions in the United States. In our first post on the report, the overall winners were recapped. In the coming posts, we will drill down into the various categories and scoring that made up the final results.
All scoring in the Finalytics.ai report is on a one to five scale with one being “poor” and five being “most innovative.” The average score for user experience (UX) was 2.31, indicating a substantial gap between the leaders and laggers. Many factors go into offering members a good UX, but two parameters set the overall tone: how easy it is to find and understand information on the site and how simple it is for users to complete their overall journey based on their needs. A number of elements contribute to determining the quality of these two attributes.
In the 2023 report, Finalytics.ai evaluated the UX of each of the largest 100 credit unions’ websites across the following attributes: responsive display, scannability, site architecture, layout and organization, navigation, calls to action/member journey, friction, and micro-interactions. Based on these, the following five organizations had the highest UX scores: VyStar CU 3.86, Alliant CU 3.50, PenFed FCU 3.13, America First CU 3.00 and ESL FCU 3.00.
Two areas where the leading credit unions excelled at UX were product-focused primary navigation and optimizing the user journey.
Product-Focused Primary Navigation
At some point in their journey, all visitors rely on the navigation to “information scent”: a hint to what the site is about and what they can expect to find on it. While some visitors may prefer to use search or explore links further down the page, a site’s most important and visually striking menu, its primary navigation, is crucial to the entire experience.
Despite a recent trend toward using action verbs (e.g., Bank, Borrow, Insure), product categories (e.g., Accounts, Loans, Insurance) are the clear winner, employed by just over half of the sites we considered in this review. Unfortunately, more than a third of sites use an information architecture that buries product links a level down under a single audience, hamburger, or other menu. This forces the user to make extra clicks and reduces their ability to find products.
Optimizing The User Journey
Creating a site that is user-centric means organizing it around the user journey. The journey may vary depending on the persona and their goals. It may even span multiple touchpoints, channels, and sessions. All sites, of course, need to support the journey for new member acquisition.
Fortunately, 50% of the sites we reviewed made it easy for users to continue their application journey using prominent calls to action. Another 43% of sites show room for improvement. Unfortunately, the final 7% of sites created friction for the user, with missing or hard-to-find links to key product applications such as checking and savings.
Interviews with credit union prospects have revealed an additional challenge: calls to action such as “join” or “become a member” may confuse visitors who are unfamiliar with how credit unions work.
Read the entire 2023 Credit Union Digital Experience report.