Design Critique : JP Morgan Chase Mobile Banking (IOS Version)

Banks are going digital with the mobile apps trend and making banking more convenient for users, and Chase Bank is not lagging. It is among the banks which have the highest number of mobile customers. The banking app lets you securely pay bills and deposit checks, transfer money, check your balances and transactions, and more. 

My phone and the app support fingerprint technology, and the icon signifying it is well mapped on the Login Page, right next to the blank where password has to be fed in. Among other affordances of the app, which are discoverable on the same page, are the ‘Privacy’ and ‘options menu’ – signified by three dots. Should a user be concerned about the privacy policies, this button redirects you straight to the respective webpage. The three dots ‘options‘ button is a shortcut to a number of features of the app.

Login Page
‘Options’ Menu

On the Accounts page, along with the indispensable ‘available balance’, ‘account details’, ‘recent transactions’, and so forth, a distinctly discoverable feature is Today’s Snapshot. This attribute graphically displays the user’s daily and weekly card usage. In my opinion, this affordance of the app enhances user experience. 

Today’s Snapshot

The Activity page lists all card, check, and transfer transactions in chronological order alongside respective dates, amounts in question, and remaining balance. While the debited amounts are in red with a ‘-’ subtraction sign preceding them, credited amounts are in blue. This characteristic of the app helps the user instantly recognize a transaction as either payment made or received. This well designed feedback and conceptual model helps to bridge the gulf of evaluation.

Activity Page; notice the gray arrows missing on certain transactions

On this very list, some transactions have a gray arrow on the right signifying an affordance which allows you to click and land on a page which provides more details of the transaction. However, this affordance is not available for direct deposits and non-Chase ATM transactions. If users wants more details on those, they can find it on the website. This is a constraint, of lockout nature. Most likely this is done owing to privacy and safety concerns. Hence, even though this constraint is an inconvenience, it cannot be eliminated.

A feature here which is non-discoverable is that if you slide a transaction listing towards the left, you will discover an affordance of the app which lets you split the cost and send a memo to whomsoever is concerned. There is an absence of a signifier here. The following gif could be a way of resolving this.

A very convenient affordance of the mobile banking app is the attribute which allows one to deposit checks through it. This extremely easy function is found in the main menu on the top left corner under ‘Deposit Checks’. Exhibiting good mapping and signifiers, the app requires you to click on the noticeably large $0.00 to feed the amount specified on the check, and take a front and back image of the check by clicking on the camera icons right under. The app automatically detects the routing and account numbers, and does not ask the user to manually feed them in.

Deposit Check

The bottom most feature under the same main menu is ‘ATM & Branch’. This attribute saves me a switch to another app and allows me to look up ATM and bank branch locations on the app itself. One can look for something near to their current location, or type in an address, or even just click on the map icon on the top right to see all locations. Chase mobile app has impressive mapping here. White place markers on the map identify every location in the city, and details of the one which is blue are given in a box at the bottom of the screen. Another box, adjacent to this one, is partly visible on the screen on the right, signifying possible sliding. As you slide, another location is detailed out and simultaneously the respective markers change color from blue to white and vice versa. This immediate mapping and feedback is excellent interaction.

ATM & Branch Location Map