Trends in Design for Financial Services, April 2014

I frequently design financial services, and having just rolled off a project took some time to reflect on trends I’ve noticed. Here’s the first three that came to mind:

  1. Active participation by the affluent: Sometimes financial services companies assume the affluent don’t want to interact with computer services themselves. In reality, the affluent don’t want to feel like they have second-class tools compared to their less-affluent friends who use sexy mass market services. I first saw this in 2008 doing international research for the private banking unit of a giant bank and again more recently with an insurance company.
  2. Breakdown of client vs. consultant views: It used to be common to pour all the design work into the client-facing screens and rush through the consultant-facing screens. With the spread of smartphones and tablets everyone expects top-notch design, and consultants will work on their tablets alongside the client.
  3. Breakdown of mobile vs. desktop: When mobile was new a lot of attention was paid to what it meant to design for mobile. Now people expect services to just work on whatever device they’re using.