Design Critique: Capital One Bank – (Website Desktop).
The website being reviewed for this critique is a Capital One bank website. The bank provides both app and desktop digital platforms for customers. The platform I will be looking at is a personal user account from a desktop computer. For most financial institutions today customer retention is a tough task and converting new users is even harder. So banks must be innovative in what services they provide to gain and retain customers. Most banks try to provide products of value to their customers, these products must be accessible, easy to understand and use. This platform is designed to give Capital One customers, of which I am one, convenient access to their account. As a current user of the website I will be critiquing two areas I frequently interact with, namely the Landing page and Essential Checking Account page. The ideas I will be using to critique the website are concepts from Don Norman’s “The design of Every Day Things” .
The Landing page
My Critique of this website comes at an appropriate time, as the website has just been recently redesigned. At a point in mid 2017 I had 2 versions of the website interface appear on my screen, that was a little confusing(Looking back I wish I had taken a screenshot) I now realize they were preparing me for the final transition to this new interface.
The landing page of the current website is free of excess text, a good visibility practice to reduce overwhelming text to the eyes. The page also only reflects my three account areas (Essential Checking Account, Simple Savings Account, Venture One-Credit card). The use of this one page to reflect all three account areas reduces complexity and the potential of visual overload. This immediate access to the main areas also makes for quick discoverability, closing the gulf of execution in comparison to the old webpage process when searching for the other areas of my account.
To access the website further you hover over one of the boxes of the three account areas (Essential Checking Account, Simple Savings Account, Venture One-Credit card) Once you click on the box you are led to a new page where more information pertaining to the task you are looking to carry out is visible. This reveals a level of progressive disclosure as you only find out that each box is meant to be clicked when you move to click on the pay bill or view account widgets/buttons.
This current Webpage has more design signifiers to que the user towards the actions that need to be taken, rather than using text to drive the action. For instance the new webpage has a widget that just says “Pay Bill” compared to the old box that explained “If you would like to pay your bill click here”
Essential Checking Account Page
Once you land on the Essential Checking account page the user notices the top banner has arrows that again act as signifiers to guide you forward towards a new page or backwards towards the previous page you came from.
Another area that was updated on the current website was the ability to edit a payment transfer transaction. On the old account you could not edit the transaction once it had been completed which was a frustrating constraint but now on this new website you are given a pop up box after a transaction has been made.
At the end of each transaction there is text confirmation that the transaction has been carried out so I see this as helpful feedback, which helps in closing previous disparities in the gulf of evaluation on the old website. In the past on the previous website, the action might have happened after I clicked the send button but there was not a clear indicator that the action had worked. I can remember times I logged off worried if I needed to carry out the action again.
In looking to recommendations I can make for the user experience on this new website, it would be along the lines of user action confirmation which can be achieved through sound, Norman also talks about use of sound in his book. Users want to make sure actions they carry out on a page work and they don’t have to repeat an action twice. While a properly functioning website that responds to actions and clicks is the ideal goal, I believe integrating sound into a click action can be a feedback, a type of additional experience that helps the user confirm his action was properly done.
Altogether I believe this new website has taken into consideration a lot of user experience best practices along the lines of Don Norman’s principle like signifiers, visibility, feedback and other principles like the gulf of execution and evaluation. While the website still has areas one can argue can be improved, I can feel an easier flow of use as I interact and execute different functions on the update website.