Checking the bank account balance is a finance-related activity we do rather frequently, sometimes even on a daily basis. It's really the only way we can stay on top of how we're doing financially. We can see our earnings, our expenses, and know exactly where we stand.
However, while our accounts contain a great deal of financial information, the average user can find it difficult to make sense of it or draw any real insight. The problem is the visual presentation. Even though online banking is a modern way of banking, our account balances are still based on the paper statements we're sent by mail. This flat presentation prevents us from finding key information at a glance, and from quickly understanding its significance.
At Hexoo we came up with a fresh and solid UX concept focused on the bank account balance. It demonstrates how a usable, rich and interactive user experience can empower people to better grasp their current financial situation.
We want to create a better online banking experience. One that can make a huge impact on user satisfaction.
Here are some of our ideas:
Money CAN have shape
Shapes are a great tool for helping to tell a story at a glance. In this case, the story is how the account balance changes over time. Very simply, we translated this into a graph where dates are on the X axis and account balance values are on the Y axis. We added icons representing types of transactions and connected them with a simple line. And just like that, money can have shape!
For some people this may make it easier to see the trends in their financial behavior – to spot outstanding transactions, to understand spending patterns, and to see how their balance fluctuates. This kind of visual makes the minimum and maximum balances readily apparent, and can also help clarify what kind of financial solution should be taken. This is the type of information that is simply unclear with a standard table view.
Connecting shapes to spreadsheets, adding interactivity
In order to spruce up the very familiar table, we added a graph and then made sure to connect the table and graph in an interactive way. Hovering over any icon on the graph will highlight the relevant line in the table, which will easily provide more details to the user.
The interactivity of the graph and table is another element designed to increase the user's engagement and spice up user experience.
Get more details without losing orientation
So what's the best way to display detailed information in an account balance? Should the page operate with an expand-collapse mechanism, or should an entirely new page be used to display the information?
We thought it would make sense to be able to get a detailed view of any transaction in an expanded line, providing more information about that specific transaction without having to leave the account balance statement. Relevant functionality can be presented in an 'open' mode together with graphs, pies and other informative goodies. For example, when we look into a certain credit card transaction, we would be able to see:
- Detailed overview of the transaction
- Further actions that can be taken in regard to that transaction
- Image of the credit card
- Credit card transactions
- Graph showing monthly usage in comparison to previous months
Supply multiple perspectives to demonstrate account activity and financial behavior
There’s a variety of financial information and summaries that could be pulled from an account balance statement, such as:
- Incoming vs. outgoing transactions
- Spending categories, usage of payment methods
- Personal promotions and financial suggestions
- Display of transactions over time
This is all information that could help users ‘see’ their financial behavior and help them understand when they need to take action, seeking assistance or service from the bank.
Personalized promotions of products and relevant actions
The modern bank-customer relationship could be personalized with promotions and suggestions that fit any given financial situation. Messages are always better received when they are relevant. For instance, a bank could:
- Offer products and services in relevancy to customers' needs and cash-flow cycle
- Use graphs, charts and interactivity to present the "problem" and the "solution" where the solution is a service provided by the bank
Every bank account balance has the potential to be a highly detailed, highly personal summary of a person’s financial situation and behavior. Money can have shape, and it can give users better access to both information and solutions.