But We’ve Always Done It That Way. That’s Why It’s Bad.

I’ve been using mobile banking a lot, and it annoys me that the experience is bad. The visual design looks bad – feels like I’m taken back to 6-8 years ago, the layout is bad, the flows are bad. Almost everything is bad. I wonder why they couldn’t get it right. I’m imagining that whenever someone brought an idea to make it better, other people would say “But we’ve always done it that way.” That’s why it’s bad.

Existing Homescreen - UOB Mobile App

Existing Homescreen – UOB Mobile App

Steve Jobs said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” We need to keep finding a better way in designing the experience. I challenged myself to improve the main screen in less than an hour. I make it a rule, never to criticize some design, unless I can offer a better one. With some help from my daughter and my son in selecting the icons (I was too tired to browse through all of my icons collection), I came up with the design below (You can also see this shot on Dribbble: UOB Mobile Banking App Main Screen).

Mobile Banking App Main Screen

“The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction.” – First Law of Simplicity.

We tend to add (or throw?) more features to our app, thinking that ‘more’ means ‘more’. In today’s chaotic world, people need simplicity. It makes their lives easier, simpler. Simplicity means having ‘less’ for ‘more’. I tried to remove the bottom bar, and re-arranging the items there. I assume that the company wants to push communication (private message to the customer) and make it easy for them to call the help center, so I put messages and call at the top. The rest can be arranged inside the dark area below the login button. There’s also one small detail. On their website, UOB is using ‘Login’ on their button, but on the app, they’re using ‘Submit’. I made the copy the same as their existing website.

UOB Personal Internet Banking - Website

UOB Personal Internet Banking – Existing Website

See the comparison between the existing app and my design. What do you think?

Comparison between the existing app and my suggestion.

Keep finding a better way in designing the experience, don’t get stuck in the past, be flexible, and have an open mind, then you’ll have a better chance to be a leader, not a follower.

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