This week Eliga Services looks at some of the most important UX banking design trends. We explore how Monzo, NatWest and Nationwide approach different aspects of user experience to align with customer expectations.
Undoubtedly, user experience and customer satisfaction will continue to be major themes in the year ahead and the foreseeable future. Challenger banks have raised the bar for mobile apps, pushing incumbents to develop new solutions to compete in an already crowded space. From hyper-personalised chatbots, speaking a mix of Cantonese and English to video banking services, there’s a lot of experimentation and innovation happening right now. Open banking offers even more solutions as partners aggregate data to build single views of our financial lives.
With 61% of UK banking customers seeking to switch banks at some point in their banking lifetimes and 26% of Brits switching every three to five years, it’s clear that financial service providers need to offer an experience that not only delights but also differentiates.
Here are 3 top UX banking design trends to watch in 2022:
1. Personalisation – Monzo
Neobanks like Monzo categorise customers’ financial transactional data to help them manage their finances better. Whilst personalisation ensures banks like Monzo offer a better, tailored user experience, it also helps people with busy lives budget better, providing the data they want instantly. Whilst most financial services apps divide spending categories into groceries, shopping, and bills, Monzo offers additional categories to help users see how they’re really spending their money. Currently, the app offers 14 spending categories on a Personal Account. These categories do not include Income, Transfers and Savings which are excluded from spending by default and appear in a separate section.
- Eating out
- Personal care
In addition to the standard 14 spending categories, Monzo users can create their own spending category for whatever they like. They can give these categories a custom name (i.e. Fast food) and select a colour and icon. It’s worth noting that the feature is exclusive to Monzo Plus and Monzo Premium customers. Some of the suggested custom categories include House Plants, Kids, Alcohol, Gym, Gaming, Coffee and even a new pet. In the screenshot above, the user has added a ‘Coffee’ custom category with 7 transactions totalling £85.26.
2. Dark mode – NatWest
It isn’t just entertainment or apps like YouTube and Spotify making use of dark mode. Dark mode describes the dark colour palette used in user interfaces. Black and other dim hues are used for the background. Typically, this mode flips the design and text, so the secondary elements stick out in light colours. Whilst this is not a new trend and has been around for years, it’s becoming a default in UX. Not only do a lot of users and designers prefer it, but it’s also better for the planet. According to Weekdone, ‘At 50% brightness, dark mode on YouTube saves about 15% more screen energy than a flat white background. At 100% screen brightness, the dark interface saves a whopping 60% of screen energy.’
NatWest’s dark mode is a great example of an easily accessible appearance feature that is both elegant and simple. Dark mode not only helps users de-stress with screen overload, but it also makes reading financial transactions easier if you have a lot of information to review at one time or you just prefer this setting. The NatWest app has three settings to allow the user to switch modes, using the radio buttons.
3. Dashboards – Nationwide
Whilst dashboards are not a UX trend in themselves and nothing new in the world of mobile apps, they have become more and more important with open banking. Customers’ financial data is increasingly aggregated from different sources to build single views of customers’ accounts. The Nationwide mobile app offers a simple, yet powerful view of all a member’s Nationwide accounts with its dashboard view. This view includes a ‘Good morning’ greeting at the top, which mimics the in-branch experience of a staff greeting.
The building society differentiates itself from other banks with its member-only products. Members also get their say in how Nationwide is run through regular talkback events and Annual General Meetings.
Future UX banking design trends
The biggest trend for the future? More inclusive designs, products and services. Whilst many challenger banks saw an increase in users during COVID-19, the customers of these banks are still predominantly men. According to YouGov, three in five Revolut customers are men. Similarly, more than half of Starling Bank’s are men as compared to Monzo’s 55%. Furthermore, in terms of income, consumers who use these banks are more well-to-do than the average Brit. ‘Whilst 13% of Brits fit into the “higher income” bracket – those who earn over 200% of the median – this rises to a quarter of Revolut (25%), Monzo (26%) and Starling Bank (25%) customers.’ As a result, these banks may have room for improvement when it comes to targeting female users or creating more inclusive experiences that cater to users of all income brackets.
When predicting where UX design will take designers in the year ahead, Wix’s in-house UX designer Avital Santo observes, ‘Personalised user experiences have intensified in the last year, and companies want to understand how they can create a “total package” for the user. Designers are adapting themselves to the users’ personal needs and trying to communicate on a personal level that respects the user while producing an emotional feeling.’
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