User Experience Banco Santander User Experience

How we have improved the Santander App thanks to the UX ✨

03/02/22 7 min. read

At the Bank level in Santander Global Technology and Operations, both for customers and employees, in recent years, we have achieved numerous milestones at the User Experience (UX) level where we have managed to excite, empathize and connect with the real needs of users. For us, it is essential to understand our customers and think about how they are going to act. This allows us to take their needs into account and design our Online Banking in an easy and intuitive way.

We reveal 8 key changes that we have made to our App to improve the User Experience for our customers. ✨

1. A single predictive search engine vs. several search fields

This seems like a no-brainer, but even so, today we still find internal applications with search engines with multiple fields and little hierarchy. For many years we have been proposing more compact search engines with a single search input, with predictive search and gradually we have been removing search engines with infinite fields, like the one shown here, where in the end the user most of the time performs the search in only 2 fields at most.

Gradually the use of “google” type search engines is present in many internal tools where the interaction becomes easier, you can search without having to browse by categories, it is faster and you find what you need in a clear and direct way. It is important to keep in mind that the indexing technology behind it must be good to show the results that are clearly of interest to the user 💥.

2. Show a call to action on the screen

📳 To facilitate navigation between different pages is another important key to improve our relationship between the screen and the user. The important thing is to make the user think as little as possible and achieve their goal effortlessly.

In our case, in Santander bank, red is the primary color so it is important that there is only one red button, the call to action, per screen.

A few years ago we found screens full of red buttons all over the place that were just misleading and confusing, other times we didn’t see any primary button at all.

call to action user experience

Based on the premise that users read little or their reading is “scan” type (look at line after line to have a small notion of what is written) we have to guide and make clear what are the steps to be performed and clearly mark, by color, size and position on the screen what is the next action to be performed.

3. Improve the information architecture in the menus.

Create simple menus with no more than 5-6 sections are recommended for both websites and native mobile applications 📲.

Using menus with a single level of navigation makes that many options appear and this, for the user, is complicated to read and it is very difficult to find the information.

To avoid these situations there are UX techniques such as card sorting that group the main sections by categories. Also through user tests we can analyze if the user understands this classification or categorization.

According to Miller’s Law “The average person can only hold about 7 items in their working memory”. Therefore leaving between 4-6 sections, and creating a second level of navigation, or taking advantage of the main page of each section to put content, will improve interaction and facilitate the use of the menu.

4. Keep a clear hierarchy of contents

When we create an opening page, home page or landing page, it is important that we ask ourselves several questions that must be answered by the user: What? How? Why? Where? 🤔

What – In the content of the screen we must make clear what this page is for, what is the main service we are going to show and what advantages the user is going to have by using this service.

How– In this section we must list how we are going to solve our user’s needs and how our service will work.

Why? – With this content the user must solve the doubt of why the user is going to choose us and what will be the advantages.

Where? – What will be the call to action to solve your problem, where you have to go to hire or resolve any remaining doubts. It can be an address, a contracting button…

This conversation that we have with the user does not have to be literal, but we must organize the screen with content that clearly responds to these questions.

5. More orderly step-by-step guide highlighting important fields

When data uploads are performed, especially at the banking employee level, there are forms that can take 5-10 minutes to fill in data. From UX we have always tried to make step-by-step guides that mentally help to organize the information, provide massive data uploads through excels (when they are tables with many records) and highlight the most important and mandatory fields.

6. Help at the right time, when the user really needs it 🤝

The help sections or manuals are less and less visited. From UX we always try to contextualize the help in the areas where the user will have a doubt or may feel lost.

Next to the fields where data is introduced, for indicating to the user what type of data he has to put since the label is confusing or can not be very long.

7. Anticipate user failures

In many situations, we must indicate to the user before an error appears, a message with information to prevent the user from performing an action twice.

A very clear example is in the login screens, if the password must have alphanumeric characters and some symbol we must anticipate before you type it in order to prevent it from failing and avoid frustration.

8. More visual presentations and less text

From SGT&O UX Center we try to spread and evangelize that powerpoint presentations are an additional support to make an explanation of a product, a service or corporate information. From our point of view we should avoid filling the slides with messages and content, it is better to give a message per slide than to fill everything with text, our audience will appreciate it.

As Guy Kawasaki said in the “Art of Getting Started”, he called it the 10,20,30 technique. 10 slides, 20 minutes of presentation and 30 minutes of font size. You don’t have to be strict in these values, but the audience will always appreciate it, but anything we go out of these values will harm our audience. I recommend you to watch these 2 videos where Sergio Cabrera, SGT&O’s UX Center colleague, gives us some tips on how to create “Out of the box” presentations.

With these examples we want to demonstrate that thanks to the user experience allows us to create designs and experiences that can improve quality of life and provoke positive emotions to our users. Interaction and interface designers have in our hands the power to create those memorable moments simply by taking care and pampering many points that sometimes go unnoticed.

Santander Global T&O is a global company of Santander Group with more than 2,000 employees and based in Madrid, we work to make Santander an open platform for financial services.

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manuel medina

Manuel Medina

Santander Global T&O

UX Lead at Santander Global Tech.

Lasagna lover. I believe in empathizing, thinking, prototyping and designing as the way to innovation.


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