Usability Testing Data For Mobile Banking App – Part II

Mobile Banking Usability
Mobile Banking Usability

After getting frustrated with not being able to find usability data for mobile banking, we gathered 415 customers and potential customers to ask them what they thought of a variety of features. The results surprised us. We presented some of our findings earlier this week, and now we present Part Two of three covering four more specific topics. In each case, we chose a base case and then compared variations for usage and desirability by each customer. The numbers below are the percentage points difference, positive or negative from the base case (Version A).


Language Selection


Depending on your demographics, the language selector turns out to be an essential consideration when designing mobile banking applications as most all focus group participants had opinions and a vast majority of foreign language speakers, no surprise, deemed this an “important” feature. Ironically, we thought denoting a language switch by a flag would have been the winner because it was easily discernable. However, it turns out we believed that because of our anglo-bias.


Focus groups participants of Mexican or Cuban descent, for example, didn’t appreciate the Spanish flag denoting a Spanish language switch. Meanwhile, native English speakers wanted this function visible, and easy to use but didn’t want it in their direct line of sight adding to an already confusing screen. The upper right toggle switch tested the best followed by the plain link that most banks use.


Finding were the same across demographic lines with the only notable lesson is that the older you were the less you cared about this topic with 45-to-60-year-olds caring the less out of any other age group for some reason.  

Mobile app graphic usability test


Background Color


Perhaps one of the most explicit lessons we learned during usability testing was that while users don’t mind a darker background on a screen where they don’t have to concentrate or complete a task, a white background was the winner for any screen that contained numbers or decision choices. “Hard to read” was the most common comment we received about white type on a dark app screen.


No surprise, the 18-to-29-year-old cohort slightly preferred the darker screen while the older a person was, the more they preferred the white background with the 60-year-old and older set, preferring white at almost twice the rate of the 18-29-year-old group. 



Mobile banking usability comparison




On the other side of the spectrum, we are not sure what we learned by asking participants to view eight different home page screens with various layout configurations and icons. In retrospect, this was perhaps too many choices, and too different variant layouts, but choice “B” below was a clear favorite with “ease of navigation” cited as the most common reason. Interestingly, participants liked having both the ability to see their balance and navigation on the same screen. In addition, it seemed that the larger the type and numbers the better the rating and usage was. These correlations partially explain why Screens “B” and “C” excelled.


While the output was mostly consistent around demographic categories, the one notable exception was that the most profitable demographic, those between the ages of 45 and 60, liked Variant “G” the best.


Mobile banking usability comparison for icons


Mobile banking usability comparison




When it comes to navigation, we were surprised again as we predicted that bottom navigation would have faired the best followed by side navigation. Our premise was the top or middle navigation was hard to recognize. However, in testing, participants liked having their navigation at eye-line and didn’t want to slide it out from the slide. Ironically, side navigation is the most common navigation within banking apps.


All that said, it occurs to us that as our app grows in capabilities, you almost have to put the functions in side navigation in order to present the breadth of choices.


In terms of demographics, the older you are, the less you appreciate side navigation as the 60+ crowd preferred top or middle navigation more than seven times the rate of side navigation. 


Mobile banking usability comparison


Stay tuned for Part III, of our final part, where we will look at the best way to arrange and display navigation, the best way to present both positive and negative numbers and the best layout for a statements page.