Continuous Refinements of the Chase Bank Application

The past several days, since the last presentation of the work, went under the sign of refinement and reviewing all kinds of feedback received throughout the past iterations.

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A lot of feedback was received around the Accounts and Activity sections. First, many people were getting confused on what “Activity” means and what can be done there. While it’s designed to be a place where you just consume information – review the past transactions, and get a glance at future, scheduled transactions – many thought that it’s a place where you can actually perform some kind of Action.

Then, you could see the activity of an individual account by going into Accounts and opening an account in there.

3.A Account Main - Recent
(old version of the Account Activity screen displayed)

However, when you go in the Activity section, you can see all of the activity within all the accounts – giving a full overview. Which is exactly what most people actually want!

“I like being able to see flow of all money”

Why do people look at their account activity? They want to see the balance, then take a glance at their expenses, understand, how they’re doing in terms of their budgeting (and everyone has their own, unique way of budgeting), and also make sure everything looks correct, there’s no fraud or any erroneous transactions out there.

In order to accomplish these goals, do users really desire to open up a specific account and see activity (transaction history) on that specific account? Well, they certainly are forced to by pretty much all the banking application out there.

But what really matters to most is having the full picture of things that are happening, in the end of the day for all activity across all their accounts. An average person might have a checking, a savings account and a credit card; so why force them to look through each account’s activity individually, when we can provide a way to have a glance at all activity?

5.A Transactions Main - Recent
(old version of the Activity screen displayed)

That was the reasoning behind the separate Activity tab, and I found it successful throughout user testing.

“I like seeing transactions from all accounts in one place together”

Now, while Accounts, and the 2nd-level screens in the Accounts section, and the Activity section are so similar, why not take a shot at combining them?

So I came up with the concept where those two sections are combined into one… called simply a “Home” screen, and displayed below. By default it shows the flow of all money in all of your accounts, but also gives an option to filter things out by account by tapping on the specific account. For example, after tapping on Checking account, all transactions that don’t relate to the Checking account disappear. Additionally, when selecting an account, it gives some account-specific options, like “See statements” for all kinds of accounts, “Deposit a check” for checking accounts, or “Pay bill” for credit card accounts.

Accounts+Activity Screen

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The other area of focus for me was the “Move Money” section of the application. Here’s the original version: with the horizontally-scrollable areas and a “See All” button that shows those same items, but vertically in a list. The three areas available in that concept were: “Favorites”, “Transfer Money” and “Pay Bills”.

4.A Move Money

(old version of the Move Money screen displayed)

First, the language used is “Move Money”, and is something that Chase has originally used in some of their interfaces, although they’ve never really consolidated everything under a single umbrella. I’ve decided to take advantage of that phrase, since it directly reflects the actions you can take in that section: anything that involved moving money, from one place to another. From one account to another, from the user to someone else, from someone else’s checking account to user’s (via depositing a check), and so on.

“Why isn’t just “Bill Pay”? [about wording Move Money]”

It’s way more than simply bill pay, and I find that keeping everything money-related in one place is beneficial and makes it easier for people to get used to, instead of dealing with several highest-level navigation menu options.

“I like that it’s all here, and you don’t have to hunt these things down.”

One of the very consistent feedback received is that people weren’t sure why the “See All” button is even needed.

“Why is this page necessary when I can scroll it there?”

“The difference isn’t much. Just horizontal or vertical.”

I got rid of the “See All” function, since there wasn’t that many option that would warrant a separate screen with a vertically scrollable list there.

Two other consistent themes of feedback: the “Transfer Money” section wording being odd for some of the options within it (like Deposit a check), and the fact that Pay Bills area is its own things with many sub-items available for choice, but is separate from the “Transfer Money” section.

“Shouldn’t “Pay Bills” be a part of moving money or transfering money?”

“I do not think of depositing a check as a transfer”

So, I’ve put Pay Bills under the “Transfer Money” header in one of my options displayed below, but then removed the “Transfer Money” header altogether to avoid any confusion. It all nicely stacks as 6 items that logically seem to have a lot of sense.

Ideating on how to combine it with the Favorites feature – which is the list of transfer that you know you might be doing more than 1 time (some bank applications call it “Templates”, which is not too user-friendly, in my opinion) – I came up with some options on displaying that screen, and will gather fellow students’ feedback, as well as user feedback to choose one over the other and see if there are any flaws in it. Option 1 (Variation B) has so far been the leader.

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One of the things that I found people wondering about was the “Chat” option in the tab bar.

Why don’t just call the bank, like people have been doing for years?

I’m sure that will never stop being an option. The phone number on the back of the credit card is always up to receive your phone call.

However, with the millennials forming bigger and bigger part of the US workforce every year, banks find plenty of reasons to acquire millennials as customers. That demographic becomes the one most important, and relatively profitable category of people banks want to do business with.

It’s wide known that most millennials very much prefer to communicate via text messages, chats and social networks than via calls. Many just hate phone calls! As a bank, you don’t want someone to leave just because they don’t feel like calling… When calling is the only way of communication.

More and more companies find it helpful to communicate with customers via text, and many take advantage of social networks, like Twitter and Facebook. Banks, however, seem to be relatively behind; most don’t provide a quick way to communicate with a bank representative while on the go to resolve some kind of issue or answer a question.

I took a stab at one possible scenario that a user may want to use Chat feature for: losing a credit card. The beauty of the chat is the customizable visual tools that come with it and can help in communication, in my example, the representative is able to give the user a choice of the user’s cards to easily select the one that they lost access to.

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That is just one of the many, many possible scenarios, some of which might even be executed by a bot behind the scenes. However, it should never get in a situation where it gives a response that would not make sense to the user (then those same millennials will have a very bad impression and unhappy about the service that was supposed to be convenient), and until the technology gets perfect, human eyes on the conversation are going to be very important.

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The following weeks are going to be all about finalizing every flow, and creating every single state for every screen in the application. Which is very important: that 1% of people who will run into some kind of issue or irregularity would already be unhappy about it; we need to make sure the experience that they have dealing with those issues is as good as possible, and they’re not faced with weird generic error that don’t make sense and don’t have an action associated with it.

All screens created so far are available for downloading here or by clicking on the image below.

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