UX and Banking

An interesting talk looking at the future of banking at how the industry thinks it will evolve. Some good speakers with a couple from agencies such as Athlon, but most interesting was the two speakers from Lloyds and Monzo. It was great to see these two gently spar throughout the evening, sharing comments about how the two companies operate. The two comments that stood out most, was how Monzo tested their products, trying to steer away from usability testing within a controlled environment in their office, preferring to go into people’s homes where users are more comfortable, knowing full well that Lloyds would have testing facilities set up in their offices. Another dig back from Lloyds was looking at these new start up banks as non-banks as at the time hadn’t acquired the right licenses to be called a bank.

The talk started with Lloyds,  speaker Tiago Marques who went through the history of banking, and how it went from a trusted serves within the high street, to how bankers were awarded for risk during the 80s. Eventually these people moved up through the company, changing the culture of banking throughout the industry, resulting in the crash of 2008. Now the efforts are trying to move these companies back to more human organization, but as with any large organisation it will take time. He went on to speak about how human interaction within banking was still important, and mentioned with something important like life insurance or buying a house, people still want to be able to go and speak to someone who has knowledge of the area. Despite the user being able to go online and find the same service. Finally mentioning how there is still some way to go with online activity where 40% of customers haven’t registered online.


The head of UX at Monzo Hugo Cornejo came on and talked more about the process of design within their company, talking about how they don’t state what the company ethos is, and how the role of UX is the responsibility of everyone within the company. A main focus point on his talk was about Fitt’s law, and looking at what user expect from a design, and not deviating away from that mental model the user already expects from their product. As well as looking at ‘Poka yoke’ to prevent error by design e.g. placing constraints that forces the user to adjust their behaviour, such as error messaging within a form field, and looking at over complicated designs. The main focal area for them is making sure their users know what’s going on within their account at every point of the process.

The talk then moved onto Fintech and AI from the speaker Bence Csernak from Bencium, talking about predicting future events on past behaviours and how AI is already part of everyday life, and has been part of our lives for a while with such systems as auto correct with mobile phones and the old Microsoft office helper Clippy. Moving onto users he showed a video of how teenagers and early 20s are consuming media, and made quite a valid point about how they are used to distractions and how banking communities serve up a bland form for them to fill out. Making a point about how we can start to use AI to change branding and functionality to suit these users. Other useful snippets from him was within amazon and facebook how they are introducing slide buttons to stop users clicking buy by mistake, as well as how happy users are more open to new content, which is similar to a point made in the book ‘110 Things every Designer need to know about people by Susan Weinschenk’ that mentions how studies have found that users are open to new brands when shopping when happy, but if upset, or are in a bad mood supermarkets are better to offer up well known brands, as users search for that familiarity and comfort.

To the future, all presenters mentioned that it is quite an exciting time and what with new legislation, you may see 3rd party companies accessing users accounts and serving up the user interface for them, with the banks becoming almost a safe house for the users account. They mentioned how it will be important for these larger companies to get their product to market first and offering up API’s for smaller companies to hang off, similar to how Google works with such technology as their maps.