Design Tips to Increase Satisfaction in Banking Apps – Part 2 of 2

Design Tips to Increase Satisfaction in Banking Apps – Part 2 of 2

In the first part of these series, we covered examples of best practices that we have seen play a role in facilitating engagement and improving the user experience.

For the second section of this two-part series, we will cover examples of best practices that we have seen play a role in facilitating engagement and improving the user experience.

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Search & Navigation Part 1

Content Part 1

Guidance Part 2

Privacy & Security Part 2

Appearance Part 2


Part 2: Guidance

Similar to what we mentioned for Search & Navigation— ease of use is the most important factor in overall app satisfaction. If users need to complete tasks, make sure you help guide them through the process from start to finish. Here are some tips:


Related functions not grouped together.

If you have multiple ways to complete the same task, organize the navigation in a way that makes it easy to find all the similar tasks in one place. For example, some financial applications separate sending money via a mobile number from other payment/transfer operations.

guidance search and nav bank apps

Unnecessary steps to make the user get to where they want to go.

Don’t make the user dig for the information they need. Several banks hide useful details behind another tap, and some even request the user to fill out a form before showing them the details they are looking for. For example, some banks don’t provide easy access to view savings accounts and/ or interest rates.

my credit card - showing info

Progress trackers help users understand how many steps it takes to complete a task, what the next step is, and how far along they are in the process.

Providing a stepper is an easy UX improvement in terms of giving a user more guidance in completing their tasks. You’d be surprised how often you see a multi-step process in bank applications that don’t incorporate this simple yet effective guidance method.

progress trackers in banking app

Provide guidance when you are not letting the user proceed to the next step, let the user know why and how to resolve the necessary actions.

If a user is not allowed to transfer more money than their account balance tell them why.

provide guidance for next step in banking app

User real-time validations on field entries

Don’t play “gotcha!” Whenever possible, let a user know right away if they’ve made a mistake or need to correct something.

User real-time validations on field entries baking app

Either indicate which fields are required, OR only indicate which fields are optional.

indicate which fields are required in banking app

indicate which fields are required in banking app banking app 2

Make it easy to contact the support center

When a user can’t complete a task they are trying to perform they are frustrated, and making them look for help will make them even more frustrated. Make it easily accessible at all times.

support center contact banking app

Part 2: Privacy & Security

Generally, only 31% of bank members use their bank’s mobile app. Of this 31%  there are advocates for the app and prefer using the app over visiting a branch, or using the website. If people are enjoying the app so much why is adoption only 31%? The primary hurdle banks need to overcome is trust. This isn’t a surprise to anyone. We are all aware of this hurdle and have seen great efforts in increasing trust. However, there is always room for more improvement.

Biometric login

Some banks have been making the switch to utilize device biometrics like fingerprint, voice, face recognition. These security measures are not only comforting for consumers but easy to use and adoption is high.

Biometric login in banking app

Provide privacy policies in context

When asking for personal information in an effort to make the app more beneficial to the user, explain why you need it and only when you need it.

privacy policies in context in banking app

Bank first, instead of the customer first

Some apps will not provide the interests rate for a product until after the user applies and provides personal contact information. This is a breach of privacy for the benefit of the sale/marketing and not helpful to the consumer. All the user wants to know is the interest rate so don’t hide it from them.

customer first mobile banking app showing loan amount

Part 2: Appearance

components of app satisfaction chart

Appearance is the second most important component that impacts user’s app satisfaction, coming in at just 1% lower than the most important— Ease of Navigating. An aesthetically beautiful app will elicit a positive emotional response to the experience. At Shockoe, we understand how important this is, which is why we value UI just as much as we do UX. Here are a few tips we’ve used to help clean up bank app interfaces:

Poor content hierarchy

Content organization is a role for both the UX of an application and the UI. Determining the type of content display, and the order in which it’s displayed is pivotal in UX design, while UI design will bring that experience to life using visual hierarchy. Visual hierarchy is based on the Gestalt theory which examines the perception of elements in relation to each other and shows how people tend to unify elements into groups using size, contrast, proximity, negative space, and other design techniques.

content hierarchy in a banking app

Crammed screens

Order makes everything more comprehensible. The same works with user interfaces of digital products. Make sure the focus of the UI is clear and minimized. Don’t cram lots of unnecessary text that doesn’t help the consumer accomplish their task. Don’t bombard them with too many actions to choose from.

comprehensible screens for banking app

Illegible text

Accessibility is mandatory. Make sure all content is legible and follow contrast & size guidelines.

illegible text banking app


Make sure actionable items look interactive.

For mobile devices, Google Android and iOS have guidelines on how large a touch-area should be so that any finger large or small can tap an interactive element with ease. Make sure these guidelines are being met.

Make sure actionable items look interactive banking app

large a touch-area should be so that any finger large or small can tap an interactive element with ease on banking app


Make sure the interfaces have visual cues as to which elements are actionable or not. Keep in mind that depending on the type of action; hold, swipe, tap, etc— that the correct commonly understood visual cues are being used.

What did you think about these design tips? We’d love to hear your feedback!

Ready to increase user satisfaction in your app? Connect with us here.



Samantha Carbonell

Samantha Carbonell

UI/UX Designer

In addition to traveling all over the world — China, Thailand, Korea, Germany, Amsterdam, and El Salvador — Samantha has experience working overseas in Japan. While living in Okinawa, Japan, she freelanced as a graphic designer for a transportation company, tasked with finding a creative solution for encouraging a younger audience to use the bus system. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Sam holds a degree in Graphic Design. Inspired by modern, simplistic design, she adds an aesthetic and conceptual quality to all branding material she creates.

Finance Institution Custom Development vs. Out-of-the-box Software

Finance Institution Custom Development vs. Out-of-the-box Software

Today banks, credit unions, and financial institutions are in a constant battle to offer users the latest technology features. Features like cards on/off, mobile deposits, and card management seem to be among the standards users have grown to expect within the ever-growing fintech industry (common competitors in this space include PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App).

As a software developer focused on created financial applications, I’ve learned that these features do not come easily. Let’s discuss why.

Many financial institutions already use out-of-the-box, white label banking systems for their digital experience.

The majority of the small banks and credit unions’ core banking solutions are developed and maintained by only a handful of vendors. This results in banking products which are built on the same functionalities that, unfortunately, are not easily customizable during the development process.

Although an out-of-the-box solution may seem like an economical way to go, this introduces severe limitation in customization and competitiveness. White labeled banking systems provide a consistent build and user experience regardless of the financial institution. Adding new features that are unique, company-specific, and user-centric to a banking institution becomes a complex challenge.

Core banking systems often provide the necessary backend infrastructure. Banking applications rely heavily upon an infrastructure that includes a white-labeled user interface. Yes, this user interface can be customized to fit a financial institution’s branding (i.e. logo placement, terminology, and mainstream features).

So why choose an in-house solution instead of an out-of-the-box product from the system vendor? A custom solution helps financial institutions secure quite a few advantages.




Custom provides the tools users want:

Core systems provide very common modules and services readily used by financial institutions. However, such services fail to cut it in this competitive fintech environment. Innovation is key in engaging customers and an in-house solution provides the flexibility that gives users the latest features. In our recent deployment with Virginia Credit Union (VACU) we added a simple new feature to its banking platform: displaying account and routing numbers. Our custom solution was able to resolve many of the limitations presented by the white labeled vendor’s ERP.

Custom design for a thoughtful customer strategy:

Some vendors may provide a customizable interface (think drag and drop elements, color pickers, etc.) within their core system. These customizations cannot account for the unique needs of every financial institution. The core system used at VACU provided a tile layout with drag and drop elements. Based on their users’ feedback, VACU wanted to steer away from this layout, but the core system was not flexible enough to accommodate the desired usability strategy.

Custom solutions saves money:

A custom solution adds value to customer expectations because a thoughtful roadmap will be dependably better received than plugging in half-baked modules Always start by building on what your users expect from your business. Deploy a solution from the ground up that is thoughtful of the end-user rather than pushing in the core system’s ERP that can be a mismatch to the way the bank operates.

Core system ERP’s are designed to capture the needs of a general audience — they succeed with the broader picture but sometimes fall short when getting into the details of what makes one bank unique from another. Custom can provide an opportunity for banks to stand out, listen to their customers, and create an experience that is tailored to fit.

In the case of VACU, customers were looking for a way to access routing and account numbers, but the cost of producing this feature from the ERP system was prohibitive. The vendor’s resources would need to be allocated directly to the financial institution – which would have ended up costing the union both time and money. The credit union chose Shockoe to rebuild a customized accounts module so that the feature would be present.




When to consider custom:

VACU’s mobile roadmap stated that certain features were integral to driving repeat mobile traffic and engaging a growing contingency of young users that won’t step foot in a bank. Therefore, VACU paired up with Shockoe to steer away from some of the core system features that were currently dictating their mobile user experience (more on this in our complete case study here). They wanted to keep the necessary parts of the core, such as the backend infrastructure, but rebuild the UI from the ground up with new designs and added functionality.

How we approach custom:

To follow the agile approach we use here at Shockoe and to accommodate our client’s needs, the application architecture was split into different sprint-sized modules: View Accounts and a Transactions module. Each new module was developed based on VACU’s prioritization, and deployed by embedding it into their existing application without disrupting the existing UI and UX that would house it.

The idea has been to progressively rebuild their online banking platform modularly until the whole platform can be replaced with the custom solution.

Users deserve a digital experience flexible to their needs and expectations as they are constantly shifting. I’ve had the opportunity to work first-hand on an application that increased productivity and provided cutting-edge technologies to the highly loyal customers of VACU. As with most financial institutions, staying innovative and user-centric is the key to succeeding in both the digital and brick and mortar space.


Lucas Mezalira

Lucas Mezalira

Lucas is a full stack web developer who has experience working with different backend and frontend javascript frameworks. He has been writing code for over four years and is always curious to find out how things work under the hood. He started by creating simple digital circuits using VHDL and FPGAs, moved to low-level kernel programming in C and ended up in the web programming world.