Competitive Research on Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi, Chase, Discover, And Amex — Solution: Manage Money

Development & UX Researches
9 min readOct 10, 2022

Please reach my complete website and portfolio for the project here: https://www.notion.so/yasinbekar/Home-c96d36f51815441581fa6b1de1736a26

Competitive research is one kind of UX research that is all about scoping out the competition. This is a process that happens during the research phase and designers target to waive possible issues with their ongoing research and designs as well as broaden their view spectrum. Within this stage, the designers conduct homework on ‘how others do?’ among their team members.

A UX competitive analysis is a technique UX researchers use to understand the competition, identify opportunities, and find an edge. This analysis provides UX design teams with valuable insights to develop a UX strategy to enhance a product’s user experience and business value. — UxPin

Analysis Topic

UX researchers;

Consider how business impacts the overall user experience, Understand the market positions, Discover how competitors solve similar usability issues, Determine competition strengths and weaknesses, and so on.

In this research, I planned to lay out the features of top banking mobile apps. Also, I will handle one of the features I found valuable from all competitors’ designs and deliverables to the end-user. You will find the design reflections on differences/similarities among these competitors, from my point of view. Also, I will discuss the possible vivid future implementations that would be adopted by these giants.

Let’s get our papers, mouse, and partially Figma dirty 😎

The Challenge

Make the banking app less confusing, straightforward, and reach the most important items directly on the first screen with proper tabs!

Analysis Plan

Why did it bother me to conduct a banking domain mobile app?

Money and managing it are the most vital habits in this world while positively sustaining our lives. Focusing on the top Forbes locomotive industry companies banking apps will be fruitful for this study. Let’s see how they approach their customers while addressing the Golden Circle.

What/How/Why they are selling? How often do they release their new version? What is the customer satisfaction rate? How their UI and UX look like? How much user-friendly is their product? What are some best implementations others lack? What is the item bugs the product and it should be improved?

Here we are to kick off this exciting work!…

Credits: Plaid

The story began with a payment activity when I was accomplishing on the Wells Fargo app. Even though Wells Fargo surprised me with their newest release, I wanted to conduct this research, anyway! Hence there is a lot to share after analyzing these beautiful designs.

It was a few months ago and I tried to sign off after I completed my payment on their app. Strangely, I could not find the sign-off button. This button was buried under another tab. And my approach was to display this weak feature and how it was supposed to be improved in the future. However, it was my last visit during this month and as soon as I logged on, I realized a lot was already changed. The sign-off button was just right there which I was trying to implement in my research.

Once, it caught my eye that American Express lacked this same sign-off button. Even though I am using their app for several years, I figured out that I should be pulling down the account overview screen, then sign-off pops on the right. Previously, I was clicking on Account and scrolling down at least two and a half screens on my iPhone then I would see sign-off at the very bottom of the page.

That is correct! I did not pay much attention to where to log off easier but UX is there to address such concerns. Amex designers did an amazing job but as a customer, I realized after a few years how to sign off easier. It really depends if it was my bad or the designers’ bad, nevertheless, I believe Amex could come up with a better UI for this implementation because I couldn’t catch this for years.

Continue scrolling, for more of my findings.

Data Materials

In this research, I will target the below banking domain companies, relying on iPhone Appstore, and bank website data. The below banks I have chosen for this comparison and analysis are among them. The reason is, I am already familiar with these banks and as a current user, I know how they perform overall in their customer service and satisfaction. For the data, I did a bunch of research and spent days gathering the information, because knocking out unclaimed informative ads wasn’t easy 😎

Banks, selected for research

Once we compare realities we sometimes rely on the amount or standard of the product and it can happen to have us select only one from them; Quality or Quantity!

Research should contain the findings and these will address quality of course meanwhile we must mention numbers to strengthen our analysis.

📊 Competitors Analysis Report

Online research details

Credits: BankRate, Ascent

Analysis Reporter Findings & Reflections

To see all these details of comparison in Lo-Fi designs;

Lo-Fi Sketches of the best UI designs, in my view. All four app designs located Sign Off / Log Out buttons on the right corner and that made it easy for eyes to catch it as soon as you are done with your actions.

Now let’s see the other two designs here. Chase has the second screen pop for the Sign Out button.

American Express has two options, one is the shortest way to reach the Log Out by pulling/tapping on the upper Amex card-like image. I learned this feature lately, unfortunately. The second option is the Account > scroll to the bottom > Log Out.

I loved BOA and the way they reflected the Log Out feature because it is a sign, plus the text with an astonishing design. WF also has a similar design but Sign Out was redundant to me because of the below reason. All other apps placed it either Log/Sign Out/Off. Only text, only a sign or sign with text options must be exposed to a large number of audiences. A good report could reflect which one is useful in UX design. I vote for the Sign plus text design as it looks beautiful and has no room for confusion.

Another good discussion to compare all these terms in tech: Log Out/Off, Sign On/Off. I liked the explanation provided by Stackexchange.

In the past when there were no computers, in offices or in any secured place, people sign in by signing their signature and time in while entering the place. When they leave, they sign out by putting the time out and sign. The website followed these words (sign-in and sign-out) in a similar way when computers came. The notebook that people sign in and sign out basically contains logs, so it’s called a logbook. So it’s also valid to use “login and logout” instead of “sign in and sign out”. But in those days, “login” and “logout” was not used much mainly because of the fact that you are signing; signing is the most important event there. When computers came in the 1980s, security is the most important thing, so most of the operations that users do are logged in the system. There are error logs, security logs, transaction logs, and many more. So technically speaking, it’s meaningful, valid, and better to call these events “login and logout” instead of “sign in and out” because you don’t actually sign.

Solution: Manage Money

Do you imagine if this happens online? You find out they don’t have a chatbot service for this type of uneasy time and have to call customer service, hopefully, you won’t get redirected too many times. Meanwhile, you pull your hair because you can’t remember where to tap and see the latest payments. You are lost there if the transaction was a successful process or not and you can’t find a proper answer faster.

What do people need?

  • a faster transaction process,
  • Instant Payments,
  • secure API during purchasing,
  • simplified UI,
  • smarter AI chatbots,
  • personalized Money Management Insights,
  • cardless ATM withdrawals,
  • log on screen with QR,
  • MFA-managed account,

Simply customers/merchandisers want:

less confusion, simpler and faster process with money insight reflection on a UI-friendly app

Creating User Persona

The below persona profile can be reached at Canva.

Jakie Persona.pdf

Goals and Challenges During Research, Design, & Testing

Everybody falls in love with simpler and more fruitful designs and I really like to emphasize this for my app. That was reducing the hassle and bustle during the payment process, account review, bill statements, autopay, card management, deposit a check and you name it.

I wanted to prioritize all these features and bring these very needed highlighted features into the view on the customer app.

However, once I finished my first design and asked for feedback from a testing perspective, I figured out that my app became too crowdy while paying attention to all people’s needs.

Yes, I wanted to keep it simple, more user-friendly, and address more features in fewer taps on the app screen. Let’s conduct more researches and tests to accomplish the task!

UX Task Flow

The UX Task Flow is a less complex design and it is meant to show the big picture of how it works. The below schema is the way the Manage Money app is going to work.

User Flow

Let’s discuss a higher and more complex design of these actions. The most user-friendly, useful, and easy-use app is the one I created: Manage Money. The below profile can be seen on *Miro Board as well*.

The user logs on to the app and Home is divided into:

Top Bar: Chat Box, Bank Logo, Log Out
First Stack: Account Overview
Middle Stack: Last Spendings
Easy Access Line: Quick Access
Last Bar: Alerts, Services, Statements, Transfer, Account

Wireframe

Lo-Fi sketches and research were a bit challenging. Thinking of all people’s needs from different backgrounds yields the design process toward a more research-based analysis and numerous testing.

Mi-Fi brought a better picture to the app design. Because I can still think of more changes to address all people’s needs. It may be an impossible goal to achieve but we are getting there!

Hi-Fi is the design with clicks, ready for testing, Yay!

Prototyping

Here we are for a prototype with images, text, buttons, aaaand clicks!
Please make sure to hit ‘Restart’ on the very right bottom before testing.

User Stories

Participants and their background: I tried to select the proper amount of people for the project and it was not easy to conduct the whole interview session. I was able to see a good amount of participants but I wasn’t capable of recording all inputs properly due to their time restrictions and some other personal reasons.

Usability & A/B Testing

For A/B Testing, I selected my first development which was a bit more clumsy and crowdy with more items. I found out after the A/B Testing that users want to see fewer items while I was trying to reach all needs. So I had to reduce the number of items on the screens. Up above for my inputs ’Goals and Challenges During Research, Design, & Testing’ I had changed to the current view and version.

Extended Research On This Project

To move further, I would like to add left Figma development actions specifically the bottom tabs: Alerts, Services, Statements, Transfer, and Account. Also, Quick Actions is another project. Once we click these tabs what we are supposed to see.

Up until now, I wanted to focus on UX Research in more detail. UX Development comes after a wide spectrum of research and hopefully, I will have more time to do all enhancements on the above topics.

Until then, stay safe and well!

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Development & UX Researches

A self-learner in the programming and UX industry. Keep yourself updated in this journey together ;)