Skip to content

Table of Contents

    Key Steps to Perform Usability Testing for Banking Application

    Usability Testing (1)

    Banking products and services directly influence people's lives and often have a high number of users daily. So, when the products aren't user-centric, it's not merely a missed opportunity for your business—it disrupts your customers' financial journey.

    By tackling usability issues in the initial stages, banks can guarantee a user journey is seamless, offering customers an intuitive product they need. In this article, we’ll explore why usability testing is crucial in the banking app development process and know the key steps to perform this type of testing effectively.

    What is Usability Testing?

    The usability of an application pertains to user-friendliness and the degree to which a user can use a product effectively without encountering difficulties, doubts, or questions.

    Usability testing involves observing users as they navigate through websites, apps, or other digital products, gathering feedback on the user interface, and identifying any usability issues. The primary goal is to assess how easily and effectively users can interact with a product to achieve specific tasks. This process helps designers and developers make informed decisions to improve the overall user experience.

    The Importance of Usability Testing in Banking

    1. Improve Customer Experience and Build Loyalty

    Usability testing simplifies daunting processes such as mortgage applications, transforming them into more user-friendly experiences. By actively engaging users in the testing process, banks gain valuable insights into areas where users often encounter difficulties and exceed their expectations with innovative solutions. Moreover, this type of testing also ensures that banking platforms are intuitive, easy to navigate, and meet users' expectations.

    2. Ensure Products Relevant Throughout Its Lifecycle

    Usability testing is an iterative process, providing essential insights into product development, whether the initial stages of creating a new product or refining features in an existing one.

    • Running usability testing in the early stages using low-fidelity wireframes or prototypes enables the development team to track user interactions with software design and navigation components before moving to full-scale development.
    • In the development phase, usability testing becomes necessary to evaluate specific features and functionalities and ensure they are compatible with users’ requirements.

    3. Enrich Customer Base with Enhanced Accessibility

    This test plays a vital role in comprehending how users with different requirements and capabilities engage with the platform while maintaining compliance with accessibility standards. 

    Moreover, usability testing helps businesses create products and services with inclusive design principles, ensuring that they cater to a broader audience, including those with disabilities or unique needs.

    4. Provide an Unbiased, Accurate, and Direct Examination of Product

    Due to the extensive involvement in the product development process, the engineering team may find it challenging to empathize with end-users and gain the proper understanding of what they demand.  Usability forces engineers to see the product through the lens of the end-users, avoiding relying solely on subjective opinions and ensuring that the data collected is based on actual user experiences rather than personal biases.

    How to Perform Usability Testing in Mobile Banking App?

    Step 1: Define the Usability Test’s Objectives

    It’s essential to identify the goal of usability testing at the beginning. What is your team striving to achieve by performing usability testing on mobile apps?

    For instance, you can consider these main usability attributes:

    • Learnability: How quickly can users comprehend the functionalities of the banking app (i.e. transferring money, checking history, etc.)?
    • Satisfaction: What makes users feel happy while using a banking app?
    • Efficiency: After learning how to perform a specific task in the app, how fast can users do it again?
    • Memorability: How rapidly can users regain proficiency when returning to the mobile product after a period of inactivity?
    • Error Reduction: What is the frequency and severity of user errors, and how easily can they recover from these mistakes?

    Step 2: Craft the Tasks

    Once you've established the testing objectives, the next step is to craft the tasks that users will undertake. Tasks are typically concise and express the interactions users need to execute. For example:

    • Registering with a new account
    • Changing the profile settings

    Different from test cases utilized in functional testing, these tasks are designed as scenarios. When creating the tests for mobile usability testing, concentrate on:

    • Core app functionalities
    • Navigation mechanics
    • Potential challenging areas

    Step 3: Choose the Usability Testing Method

    There are two main ways to conduct usability testing: Lab settings and Remote testing. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. 




    Lab settings

    - Get a greater number of observations, as even subtle actions such as hesitancy can reveal a lot about participants' experiences. 

    - Gain total control over the testing experience and the setting in which it takes place.

    - Framing effect on results. If too much information is provided in the question, the probability that the answer reflects your own expertise and experience is high.

    Remote testing

    - Users can complete the test on their own time, making it more flexible and time-saving.

    - Help prevent the framing effect.


    Step 4: Identify and Find the Test Participants

    Screening and recruiting suitable participants pose significant challenges in usability testing. While Nielson Norman Group recommends testing with only five participants in each study, the key is to ensure that these participants also closely resemble the banking app’s real user base. So, it’s worth choosing test participants based on demographic information obtained from the app owner, such as age, income, gender, and geography.

    Participants should:

    • Represent the target audience
    • Have a device with the operating system that the banking app is designed to build on 
    • Present at the scheduled time and place (for lab-based usability)
    • Be able to sign an agreement to participate in a usability test.

    Step 5: Run the Usability Tests

    When running the test, request participants to independently accomplish one task at a time without your assistance or guidance.

    Asking participants to think aloud is an effective tactic. When conducting remote tests, this approach could offer a deeper understanding of their cognitive processes. However, a drawback is that speaking out loud may be disruptive or require the user to complete the tasks more slowly than they would otherwise.

    By conducting lab-based tests, you can leverage your physical presence to pose questions while participants engage in tasks. However, it’s essential to ask questions that are non-judgmental and non-leading. You can also consider retroactive moderation, where participants watch a recording of their activities and elaborate on their actions or provide comments on the decisions they took.

    Step 6: Analyze the Test Results

    With a ton of qualitative data after performing usability testing for banking app, you can identify the challenges and bottlenecks, gauge the severity of each issue, and offer design suggestions to the engineering team. For instance, if the test results show that the majority of participants often find it’s complex  to perform the money transferring, a design suggestion regarding cutting down the process is worth considering.

    Through usability testing, engineering team often gain identify both favorable and unfavorable trends and patterns. Verify results against other metrics to determine if trends are specific to certain devices or particular segments of your audience.

    Step 7: Enhance the Banking App Based on the Users’ Feedback

    Review the data obtained in the previous phase and determine which areas should be prioritized. Assess priorities on a scale from low to critical, considering their significance and impact on the user experience. 

    Examples of Successful Usability Testing in the Banking Sector

    Here are some real-world examples of usability testing in practice can help inspire and shape your approach:

    1. Garanti BBVA

    A Turkish bank - Garanti BBVA, aimed to swiftly enhance its operations by concentrating on debt restructuring for personal loans and refining the skip-trace process for customers that collections have been unable to contact.

    The bank promptly introduced a personal loan-on-phone process, eliminating the need for branch visits. Additionally, they customized the skip-trace process based on the specific type or reason for non-contact, incorporating usability testing and automation testing to enhance efficiency. This initiative resulted in significant improvements:

    • A 46% enhancement in debt restructuring default rates
    • An 80% reduction in inbound abandon rates
    • Improved utilization of technology and analytics, along with more efficient staff allocation.

    2. TBC Bank

    TBC Bank decided to deliver a multi-channel experience and validate the designs for new kiosks before proceeding to the development stage, particularly focusing on enabling users to cash in through these kiosks. 

    To achieve this, the bank conducted lab-based usability testing with participants. In the testing environment, a touchscreen mock-up of the kiosk was presented, and participants were provided with a TBC debit card. The outcomes of this testing initiative resulted in the creation of:

    • A user-friendly interface
    • A seamless cash-in experience
    • An enhanced multi-channel experience
    • Valuable user feedback and insights
    • Validation of design decisions

    Ready to Create the Banking App That Your Users Love?

    Usability testing plays an indispensable role in maximizing the ROI of businesses, helping banks and financial institutions to create an application that is:

    • User-friendly - leads to reduced customer support costs
    • Intuitive - helps improve customer satisfaction and loyalty
    • Efficient - shortens development cycles and lower costs
    • Engaging - help increase sales and conversions

    The success of usability testing is affected by empowering your team with the appropriate tools and resources. If you’re uncertain about suitability or simply don’t know how to optimize your usability testing process, finding the experts in this field is necessary. 

    Explore how KSM Solutions teams design exceptional digital banking experiences that earn customer trust and loyalty for many BFSI businesses worldwide!

    Meet Our Testing Experts