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9 Worst Myths of UX/UI FinTech Apps Design

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Designing a well-performing and nice-looking user interface for a FinTech app is more difficult than just following the trends and picking popular colour schemes. In fact, there’s a whole scientific process to it and creating one according to the established rules requires not only artistic talent but also a holistic approach to how users perceive and interact with software. Unfortunately, many designers and product owners forget about too many factors that need to be considered during the design process. Are you aware of them? Let’s find out!

 

Actual users’ perception vs myths about user experience

As every other art, UX is also a territory full of myths. Some of them are silly and irrelevant, while believing others can lead to a disaster and complete failure of a promising app. In order to design a UI that people will love, designers must understand how users think and what they expect from the app to do. Also, what they hate.

FinTech UX design is about two main things: seamless navigation and emotions. Details such as choice of an appropriate colour palette, shapes of buttons or even texts on them are not as important. You want the user to be certain about what action leads to what results, if this fails, everything fails. If the user wastes time searching for functionalities, the app fails.

UX is also an interface between a human and a machine. Machines don’t understand abstract thinking and are unable to understand the users’ intentions, so the commands need to be precise. If a feature is not logically designed, the app will fail, again.

Summing up, UX is not about how apps look, but rather about how they work in practice.

 

The biggest FinTech UX myths and how they can kill a product

 1. Solving problems by smart design - busted

In fact, design is not meant to solve problems for users, it’s a very common misconception, probably the worst one. The app should solve problems, not its design. Designers are not solely responsible for making the app offer what the user is looking for. The whole company is responsible for that, from the HR department who hire developers to managers who need to have a clear vision of the product.

Design in this case is just one of the factors and it’s mostly about visualising the concept and presenting it in an understandable way. The designer's job is spotting and identifying the problems, so the whole team can find a way to solve them.

2. UX focuses only on the user - busted

Customer centricity is one thing, but it cannot be the leading approach to all issues. Even if it sounds good. In reality, projects can be extremely complex and something as basic as creating product mockups is a process that takes a lot of people to be done right. It requires a common effort by project managers, graphic designers, UX/UI designers and many more. In such a team, every person is entitled to their own opinions and they all need to be taken seriously.

For good UX in a FinTech app, creators need to know their users’ persona, understand their needs and expectations. Then, they need to break it all down into smaller pieces and put these pieces together as an actual product. So how does it relate to customer centricity? Well, as products are built by teams of actual people, these people always influence the end result and leave a part of their DNA in what they create.

3. User interface design focuses only on how the product will look - busted

UI and UX design are not only about the visual aspects. Many users and even decision-makers in companies that decide to create a new product believe that the look of an app is the most important factor when it comes to a successful launch, but it’s not. They often think so, because they expect the product to work flawlessly, but the road to this step is long and twisting. Success is not granted and how an app looks is less important than how it is usable. In reality, creating a good user interface is like translating a mental model to visuals. And the mental model needs to consider users’ habits, typical behaviour, way of thinking and expectations.

4. Testing FinTech apps on 5 users is enough - busted

The world has changed a lot since the first commercial software. However, many developers still take what was written 30 years ago for granted. Let’s take a look at the case of Robert A. Virzi’s paper Refining the Test Phase of Usability Evaluation: How Many Subjects Is Enough? He claims there that a focus group of 5 should usually work well enough. But that’s simply not true anymore. The contemporary solution is more expensive and the rule is simple: if you can afford it, pay 500 users for tests. If you can’t afford this, add 5 more to the basic 5. Then add 5 more, rinse and repeat. Only maximising the focus group and repetitive tests can guarantee solving the problem.

5. Be a copycat, 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 one crucial problem - you’re a rip-off. Why would anybody consider choosing your product, if it’s seemingly the same, but new? The competition already has a user base, how can you steal it by offering the same thing, only new? Moreover, why don’t you fix what the competition cannot 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 silly - you can afford it and you need it. Such a wrong approach is often a result of believing in other myths, for example the one about UX design focusing only on the visual side. In fact, investing in proper UX design is a must in current market conditions, because every large company does it. And how can you outsmart them with one important ingredient missing from your recipe? Let’s say you’re thinking about a financial app UI design. FinTech Giants, such as Revolut, are successful because their products are well designed. Without a good UI designer on board, you can either copy the competition or fail to deliver anything new and functional at the same time. Plus consider the emotions that your users feel when they interact with your app - this is what we call user experience.

One may argue that such services are still expensive. That may be true only when they are not planned and executed well. Smaller companies don’t even need to hire a full-time expert, often outsourcing and paying only for what is actually done saves tons of money.

7. A UX designer only needs to understand the users - busted

The actual scope of what a good designer does is much wider. Or, at least, should be. After all, a software product is a way of making money and the application business model, its market environment or even competitive solutions are just as important aspects that need to be considered. Contemporary designers do much more than in 1992, when the above-mentioned paper by Virzi was written. And modern UX architects have a number of great tools to choose from when working. They have access to market research, they precisely know the company’s business goals, they can gather data from users, they participate in creating the product’s vision. It all matters, not just the user.

8. Only cutting edge solutions matter - busted

From the technological point of view, it’s usually best to use the most advanced technologies. But let’s not forget about the users here. Let’s ask one simple question: how can we make people happy while interacting with our product? It’s always good to keep up with the latest trends, but sometimes too much is just too much. Do not overcomplicate simple things just because somebody invented something new. Moreover, Moore's law is almost dead, computing power of modern devices is already on a level that it does not limit most of the functionalities and we’re not getting new, faster hardware as often as we used to 20 years ago. The revolution phase is over, now technology evolves.

9. First create, then test - busted

It’s an old and outdated way of thinking. In contemporary and Agile work methodologies, every step of the software development lifecycle should include tests, from the very beginning. Testing the app and each of its parts every sprint or every few days allows for spotting errors before they evolve into larger problems. Adjusting the product in real time generates huge savings, both in time and money.

What works for one, does not always work for the other

We’ve compiled this list thanks to interviews with experienced FinTech UX and UI designers and they all agree that if something works for one company, it doesn’t have to work for another one. What is important is always having a careful and unique approach. Trusting professional engineers and designers is the only way to make them have such an approach. Because the users don’t always know best.

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