Open Finance allows users to actively participate in their financial health by giving them the power to choose which services to share their data. In addition, it connects multiple financial institutions creating new avenues for innovation and choice for end users.
As Open Finance grows in the African ecosystem, it's essential to think about the best practices for building applications for end users on an Open Finance platform. So we'll expand on existing User Experience principles and add in a few bespoke User Journey ideas when building financial services apps.
Crafting Great Financial Experiences
Great user journeys always begin with placing the user's needs at the core. Open Finance provides users with control, transparency and privacy. Combining this with core UX principles is a recipe for experiences users will, at the very least, enjoy or, better yet, love.
Let users know what's going on.
Every system is a collection of processes. When a user makes an action that requires some processing, it's essential to show what's happening. Keeping users informed leads to a feeling of control. A progress bar or simple spinner allows the user to be patient. If an error occurs, banners or simple messages inform the user of what went wrong, creating an avenue for actionable feedback.
Using the Okra widget (you can test it out here), users are aware of when connections fail. Moreover, balance checking lets users know if they can afford an item before making a purchase.
Don't make your users think too hard.
People don't want to learn new interactions when using an app. Taking advantage of standardized and standard app design practices reduces the need to spend time learning. From menu designs and navigation systems, there is plenty to consider. New novel interactions typically require users to learn new ways to get things done - cognitive load - which may work, mainly if the app introduces a new idea.
For financial services apps, it's essential to remember that recognition is more valuable than recall. Using familiar tropes borrowed from social apps and adding some gamification helps create an enjoyable experience. Moreover, your app's smoothness and speed develop a sense of accomplishment in your users and drive engagement.
The Okra widget aims to provide a simple, fast and elegant widget that creates a seamless and secure experience for your users to connect their bank accounts quickly.
Transparency and Data Privacy
Ensure your users stay informed of any data privacy concerns along the user journey. Information on user data should be simple and easy to understand. For example, queries users raise on the use of their data or concerns about data privacy should be easily accessible. Moreover, providing tools that enhance control over data sharing is core to driving trust with your digital financial service.
At Okra, we believe that users should have the power to connect their apps to financial services at will and can control what data is shared and who has access. We embody this with the MyOkra platform, allowing users to view and take action on apps connected to their bank accounts.
Creating great user experiences can be challenging, but focusing on these simple ideas can help drive engagement and retention.
- Let users know what's going on - always show the user the system's status.
- Don't make your users think too hard - users are already familiar with specific navigation and menu systems; making them learn new interaction techniques may be offputting.
- Transparency and Data Privacy - Ensure your users know the data they're sharing, and information regarding how their data is transmitted or stored should be readily available and straightforward to consume. Moreover, providing tools to help control and manage data should be provided.
Start building right away!
If you are passionate about open finance, you should visit our website to see other services that might appeal to you.