Designing a high-performing and pleasing user interface for a FinTech application is more difficult than simply following trends and picking popular color schemes. In fact, there is a whole scientific process and creating one according to the established rules requires not only artistic talent but also a holistic approach to the way users perceive and interact with software. Unfortunately, many designers and product owners overlook too many factors that need to be considered during the design process. Do you know them ? Let’s find out!
Real User Perception vs User Experience Myths
Like any other art, UX is also myth-filled territory. Some of them are silly and irrelevant, while others can lead to disaster and the complete failure of a promising application. In order to design a user interface that people will love, designers need to understand how users think and what they want from the app. Also, what they hate.
FinTech UX design is about two main things: smooth navigation and emotions. Details such as choosing an appropriate color scheme, the shapes of the buttons or even the texts on them are not so important. You want the user to be certain what action leads to what results, if it fails, all fails. If the user wastes time searching for features, the application fails.
UX is also an interface between a human and a machine. Machines do not understand abstract thought and are unable to understand user intentions, so commands must be precise. If a feature is not logically designed, the application will fail again.
In summary, UX is not about how apps look, but rather how they work in practice.
The Biggest FinTech UX Myths and How They Can Kill a Product
1. Solve problems with smart design – exploded
In fact, design isn’t meant to solve user problems, it’s a very common misconception, probably the worst one. The application should solve the problems, not its design. The designers are not solely responsible for ensuring that the app delivers what the user is looking for. The whole company is responsible for it, from the HR department that hires the developers to the managers who need to have a clear vision of the product.
In this case, the design is only one of the factors and it is mainly about visualizing the concept and presenting it in an understandable way. The designer’s job is to spot and identify problems, so that the whole team can find a way to solve them.
2. UX only focuses on the user – exploded
Customer orientation is one thing, but it cannot be the main approach for all problems. Even if it sounds good. In reality, projects can be extremely complex and something as basic as creating product mockups is a process that requires a lot of people to do well. It requires a joint effort from project managers, graphic designers, UX/UI designers and many others. In such a team, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and they must all be taken seriously.
For a good UX in a FinTech application, creators must know the personality of their users, understand their needs and expectations. Then they have to break everything down into smaller pieces and put those pieces together into an actual product. So what is the connection with customer orientation? Well, because products are built by teams of real people, those people always influence the end result and leave some of their DNA behind in what they create.
3. UI design only focus on product appearance – exploded
UI and UX design is not only about visual aspects. Many users and even business decision makers who decide to create a new product believe that the appearance of an application is the most important factor when it comes to a successful launch, but it is not. the case. They often think so, because they expect the product to work perfectly, but the road to this step is long and winding. Success is not guaranteed and the appearance of an application is less important than its use. In reality, creating a good user interface comes down to translating a mental model into visual elements. And the mental model must take into account the habits, typical behavior, way of thinking and expectations of the users.
4. Testing FinTech apps on 5 users is enough – broken
The world has changed a lot since the first commercial software. However, many developers still take for granted what was written 30 years ago. Consider the case of Robert A. Virzi’s article Refining the Test Phase of Usability Evaluation: How Many Subjects Is Enough? In it he claims that a focus group of 5 should generally work quite well. But that’s just not true anymore. The contemporary solution is more expensive and the rule is simple: if you can afford it, pay 500 users for testing. If you can’t afford it, add 5 more to the base 5. Then add 5 more, rinse and repeat. Only maximizing focus group and repetitive testing can guarantee resolution of the problem.
5. Be an imitator, because people like what they already know – busted
This idea is simple and seems to be true at first glance, but following it blindly leads to a crucial problem: you are a scam. Why would someone consider choosing your product, if it is apparently the same, but new? The competition already has a user base, how can you steal it by offering the same thing, only new? Plus, why don’t you fix what the competition can’t do right and just copy their mistakes? Be brave, create new solutions that people will love instead.
6. I can’t afford it – busted
Don’t be stupid – you can afford it and you need it. Such a wrong approach is often the result of believing in other myths, for example that about UX design focusing only on the visual side. In fact, investing in proper UX design is a must in today’s market conditions because every major company does it. And how can you outsmart them with an important ingredient missing from your recipe? Suppose you are thinking of designing a user interface for a financial application. FinTech giants like Revolut succeed because their products are well designed. Without a good UI designer on board, you can either copy the competition or come up with nothing new and functional at the same time. Additionally, consider the emotions your users feel when interacting with your app – we call this user experience.
It can be said that these services are still expensive. This can only be true when they are not well planned and executed. Small businesses don’t even need to hire a full-time expert, often outsourcing and only paying for what’s actually done saves tons of money.
7. A UX designer only needs to understand users – exploded
The real scope of what a good designer does is much broader. Or at least should be. After all, a software product is a way to make money and the business model of the application, its market environment or even the competitive solutions are equally important aspects to consider. Contemporary designers are doing much more than in 1992, when the Virzi article mentioned above was written. And modern UX architects have a number of great tools to choose from when working. They have access to market research, they know precisely the business objectives of the company, they can collect data from users, they participate in the creation of the product vision. Everything counts, not just the user.
8. Only cutting-edge solutions matter – exploded
From a technological point of view, it is generally preferable to use the most advanced technologies. But let’s not forget the users here. Let’s ask ourselves a simple question: how can we make people happy while interacting with our product? It’s always good to keep up to date with the latest trends, but sometimes enough is enough. Don’t overcomplicate the simple things just because someone invented something new. Also, Moore’s Law is nearly dead, the computing power of modern devices is already at such a level that it doesn’t limit most functionality, and we don’t get new, faster hardware as often as it 20 years ago. The revolution phase is over, now the technology is evolving.
9. Build first, then test – exploded
It’s an old and outdated way of thinking. In contemporary and Agile working methodologies, every stage of the software development lifecycle should include testing, right from the start. Testing the application and each of its parts every sprint or every few days helps catch errors before they turn into bigger problems. Adjusting the product in real time generates huge savings, both in time and money.
What works for one doesn’t always work for another.
We’ve compiled this list through interviews with experienced FinTech UX and UI designers and they all agree that if something works for one business, it doesn’t have to work for another. What is important is to always have a careful and unique approach. Trusting professional engineers and designers is the only way to get them to adopt such an approach. Because users don’t always know best.