By Todd Akin
The ultimate goal of building out the perfect user experience is to achieve the best solution for the member. But this process is not always an easy task – it can seem like a never-ending series of changes, fixes and enhancements. Those are often proceeded by user research, usability testing, internal testing and even live limited release testing with members.
There is another tool that is often overlooked when it comes to the user experience, yet it can provide profound learnings and insights. And that tool is none other than analytics.
Traditionally, data and analytics have been used for marketing and product strategies. However, there are some key aspects analytics can provide that will help with user interface (UI) design. For example, how many members have logged in once to your mobile app but never again? What drove them to the app initially, and what is keeping them from using it again? Are they using a different channel such as online or the contact center?
Journey of Discovery
Analytics can also help discover what features are most commonly used and, even more importantly, which ones are not. When analyzing activity, one key factor for identifying potential issues is abandoned processes. Identifying a trend in this area can mean a function may be unclear, over-complicated or just not a good fit in that particular channel. After all, it is important to put the right services in the right places, and not all channels should necessarily have identical functionality.
The key to building an experience for the member is that while the UI look and feel is very important, it is ultimately what it does that will keep a member coming back – especially if it does what it does very well. Analytics can help fine-tune the interface to reduce clicks, add clarity and remove or add functionality. And while analytics can provide valuable quantitative data, the qualitative side plays an equally important role. It can be easy to fall into the “data analysis” trap and forget that it is actual humans that ultimately have the final word on what we like and what we don’t. Involving members in the process of design or enhancement can be very powerful. From creating user journeys to user acceptance testing, leveraging actual users can produce some of the greatest insights.
The Next Question
Once you decide to leverage analytics, you might then ask yourself, “Where do I get this information?” There are a few options to explore. The first is utilizing an in-house analytics engine. Your credit union’s analytics team would be a perfect place to start asking questions about what type of data is available and for what timeline. Determine if the data encompasses both the broad picture of member interaction with the credit union, as well as details around the specific channels with which you are working.
If the current data set is incomplete, it may be possible to have missing information added to the analytics warehouse. In some cases, existing tools or products can be enhanced to capture the needed details. If this option is not feasible, it may be time to consider external vendors. Once you have identified the data sets you need, reach out to current vendors and see if there is a way to work with them to obtain the information. While piecing different data components together may require additional work, the result could very well be worth the effort.
Other Available Tools
Aside from obtaining data from internal systems and vendors, there are also tools that allow you to gather information on websites such as Google Analytics or Appsee for mobile applications. Even reading member reviews for your apps, feedback on blogs and other similar channels can provide a treasure trove of data that can feed into your design and enhancements.
By understanding member behavior in a certain channel and for specific functions, you can begin to fine-tune the experience. That may mean moving features to a different page or within a different menu, or even making some simple changes to the UI that could have a drastic impact on member engagement. Forward-thinking design options can be a reality by analyzing factors such as usage patterns, app crashes, frequency of use, end user workflows, popular transactions and unused services. Understanding the underlying motivations will go a long way toward helping refine the experience to meet member expectations.
Todd Akin manages the Integration Services team created in 2016 and is responsible for ensuring that PSCU is leading the credit union industry with APIs and single sign-on options. The integration team works directly with PSCU Member-Owners and multiple third-party vendors to architect integration solutions. Prior to taking ownership of integration efforts, Todd managed the Enterprise Project Management Office and spent nine years in IT at PSCU. In this role, he managed the Enterprise Integration team responsible for integration and web experiences for eCommerce products such as credit cards and bill payment, as well as systems such as Salesforce and Lawson.