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Designing A Credit Card Application

Client: MK Transfer (FinTech Industry)

Dates: March 2019 
My Responsibilities: User Research, Synthesis, Wireframes, Prototypes, Usability Tests
 

Overview: 

  • Users completed the application in an average of 156 seconds

  • 88% of users did not feel anxious or overwhelmed with the design 

  • 100% of users indicated that they trusted the app to handle their finances
     

Introduction:

The MK Transfer app is a mobile platform that enables users to transfer money safely and efficiently. To better help their users with their financial needs, MK Transfer wanted to offer credit cards through their platform. The credit card would help users seamlessly purchase goods in two different currencies. 

Problem:

As we move towards a cashless society, more companies are coming out with their own credit card and more consumers are opening new credit accounts. In fact, the demand doesn’t seem to be slowing down; Researchers found that by the end of 2017, there were more than 364 million open credit card accounts in the United States.

 

With so many options, finding the right credit card can get overwhelming and stressful. 

Finding the right credit card can get overwhelming and stressful

Competitive Analysis

Before interviewing users, we decided to perform a competitive analysis of popular banks to understand which features users might be expecting from the market.

Common Features In The Market:

 

  • Hidden fees are shown

  • Offers for new members

  • Ability to compare different cards

  • Card categories for various purchase types

  • Customer service 

Understanding which features users might be expecting from the market

User Interviews

The goal of this research was to uncover what we could do to make it easier for users to apply for a new credit card through the MK Transfer mobile app. 

 

We first performed 5 user interviews with a mix of participants who regularly use credit cards and those that are infrequent credit card users.

Objectives:
 

  • Learn about their last experience opening a card

  • Understand how they use their card today

  • Understand why they opened an account in the first place

  • Discover their frustrations with financial apps

Understanding users' experiences with credit cards and financial apps

User persona of a novice user's goals and frustrations

Taking into account the needs and wants of expert users

Users value transparency

 

Users value when companies are transparent about their fees because they don’t feel like they're being cheated.

Users don't have time

 

Users don’t have a lot of patience because they don't want to spend too much time in financial apps. ​​

Users trust humans > companies

 

Users often rely on friends, social media, and customer reviews before purchasing a new product because they tend to trust humans more than companies.

Users are overwhelmed and confused

Most users were overwhelmed and confused with their last financial experience due to information overload and the inherent stress that comes with money.

Brainstorming

To make these insights actionable, we established "How Might We" questions to help us brainstorm solutions to problems uncovered.

Looking for opportunities to design

Wireframes

To start defining and iterating on the interaction design and user flow, I created sketches and wireframes of some potential solutions to our "How Might We" questions.

Design Decisions

Now that we had a better idea of a potential solution, we wanted to see how effective it was. We created a prototype and tested our design, improving on it through three iteration cycles.

Illustrations to reduce anxiety


The research showed that making financial decisions increases anxiety for users, so we wanted to use illustrations to alleviate nerves early in the application process.

Offer help to reduce chance of abandonment


We created a prominent “Help” button to reduce the chance of abandonment because it would offer confused users support through their journey. Users are reassured that if they have a problem, a person is there to help.

Clearly show the benefits 


Clearly indicate the benefits of signing up so that users are more likely to apply for the card. 

Be transparent to increase trust


Based on our research, users quickly lost trust in services and abandon apps if they feel like they are being lied to or cheated at any point. For this reason, we can gain a user’s trust by being transparent about hidden fees and extra payments.

Build trust through customer reviews


Our research showed that social affirmation and reviews are a strong reason for user decisions. By showing customer reviews, we are able to continue to build a user’s trust in the service, increasing the chances that they apply for a card. 

Humanize the app 


Using real customer names and photos helps humanize the service as well. Our research showed that users are more likely to do something if they see others like them doing the same thing. 

Use copy to make the form conversational


Adding copy here can reduce anxiety by making the form feel more like a conversation and less formal. It can also help differentiate the brand from other credit cards.

Break the application into smaller categories


Important to show a user where they are and how much more they have to do to finish. Our user tests showed that breaking the form into smaller categories also helped make it appear less intimidating.

Transparency about data use  


Research showed that data privacy is extremely important to users as well so it is critical that we tell users exactly why we need certain personal information like an email address

Keep most difficult questions in the middle


The most difficult part (financial info) is kept in the middle because we found that users already expected this part to take long. In testing, we found it helpful to keep security questions at the end since it is the shortest. After completing such a long form, it’s helpful to ask some easier questions.

Checkboxes > Radio Buttons > Text Inputs


Our user tests showed that using a checkbox reduces the time/effort needed for a user to complete the field, in comparison to a radio button or text input. 

Encourage users through their journey  


Continue to add text to encourage a user incase they are feeling tired or overwhelmed with the form.

Impact

After 9 usability tests, we reached a point where we felt confident that the design was meeting our success metrics.

Results:

 

  • Users completed the form in an average of
    172 seconds

  • 88% of users did not feel anxious or overwhelmed with the design 

  • 100% of users indicated that they trusted the app to handle their finances. 

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