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As people continue to adopt online banking as a means of managing their bank or credit union relationship (5 million more online bankers are expected by 2007, making the total population of online bankers an astonishing 45 million people) 1 , the quality of a user's online experience is a core competitive differentiator for every financial institution. Now more than ever, it is vital for credit unions to deliver an experience that strengthens their ability to attract, retain and serve members via the online channel.
Critical to ensuring the quality of the user's online banking experience is the Web site's “usability” – the overall ease with which the user interfaces with your credit union online. According to a recent report from Forrester Research, “usability has now gone mainstream, driven by economic benefits including improved user performance, increased conversion rates, and lower customer service costs.” 2
If your Web site doesn't allow users to engage online with absolute self-sufficiency, these benefits will elude you , jeopardizing your credit union's ability to achieve a return on its investment. Are your online users constantly calling customer service for help? Are you noticing a high percentage of incomplete online tasks or ‘empty shopping carts' from your users? You may need an R x for improved usability – which will foster a healthy Web site ROI!
Know Thy User
Online users demand that online banking be at least as intuitive as an ATM, as trustworthy as walking into a branch, and more useful than both.
To create a user-friendly site, be aware of the following:
12 Steps to a User-Friendly Web site
In order for an online banking to be successful, it must be effective , efficient and satisfying to the user. Developers and designers must take the fundamental principles of human behavior and performance into consideration to achieve this outcome.
The following 12 steps will take your Web site down the path of usability wellness (we'll address the critical design elements that help drive usability in part two of this series) 3 :
The user isn't you!
Step outside of your own experience and into the user's experience. Take advantage of u sability testing, which validates the strengths and uncovers the weaknesses of the end user experience during online banking. And strive for best practice design and writing, which will be addressed in part two of this series. Follow these guidelines and your online banking service will provide a healthy ROI.
1 eMarketer Inc, September, 2004
2 World Usability Day 2005 — Usability Gone Mainstream, Forrester Research, Inc., November 4, 2005.
3 Derived from various sources, including: Ten Usability Heuristics, www.useit.com
About Digital Insight - Digital Insight ® Corporation ( www.digitalinsight.com ) is the leading online banking provider for financial institutions. Through its comprehensive portfolio of Internet-based financial products and services built upon the company's unique architecture, Digital Insight enables banks and credi t unions to become the trusted transaction hub for their retail and commercial customers. Digital Insight offers consumer and business Internet banking, online lending, electronic bill payment and presentment, check imaging, account-to-account transfers, Web site development and hosting and marketing programs designed to help increase online banking end user growth and more. Each Digital Insight product and service reinforces the strength of its financial institution clients.
August 14, 2006
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