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The Future of UX Design: Trends and Best Practices to Elevate User Experiences

February 21, 2024

Why you need design thinking, key principles of winning UX design, how UX boosts revenue (case study) and the future trends in UX design to drive engagement

Want to provide great experiences, boost user satisfaction and conversions in FinTech?

It’s a vital step, since studies show consumer trust in banking and finance no longer relies on legacy – over 78% of financial decision-makers have already experimented with disruptor brands and 58.8% of younger consumers are willing to switch over to new platforms simply because they’re simpler to use and the “user interface is more appealing”.

One clear answer to this is to empower yourself with the same tools disruptors are using: design thinking and advanced UX design to attract and retain customers.

We dive into the essential aspects of design thinking and UX design, key principles, best practices, a compelling case study, and future trends shaping this dynamic field.

About Design Thinking and UX Design

Traditional players in the financial sector are losing customers to disruptive brands that excel at listening to customer needs and creating tailored solutions. The solution lies in adopting a customer-centric approach through design thinking. 

This methodology involves several key stages: empathising with customers, defining their problems, ideating new solutions, building prototypes, and rigorously testing ideas until the right solutions are found.

Discover why you need design thinking in finance.

This process allows financial institutions to focus on customer needs, enhance customer experiences (CX), drive innovation, and increase operational efficiency. By embracing design thinking principles, fintech companies can reap numerous benefits, including:

  • Increased User Engagement and Adoption: User-centered design leads to intuitive and engaging experiences, driving user adoption and long-term engagement.
  • Reduced Time to Market: Continuous prototyping and iteration enable early identification and correction of design flaws, leading to faster product development.
  • Cost Efficiency: Catching usability issues early in the design phase minimises the need for costly fixes post-launch.
  • Market Differentiation: Creating unique, intuitive user experiences helps fintech companies stand out in the market and attract new customers.
  • Enhanced Brand Reputation: Positive user experiences translate to positive brand perception and increased trust in fintech solutions.
  • Improved Business Performance: Focusing on user needs results in solutions that address pain points, ultimately leading to increased customer satisfaction and business growth.

Learn how to build user trust through UX design.

The Key Principles of Design Thinking in UX Design

Design thinking in UX design revolves around five key principles, each integral to creating user-centered solutions:

  1. Empathise: Start With the User: Begin by deeply understanding the user's needs, emotions, and motivations. This involves conducting research and engaging with users to gain insights into their experiences and challenges.
  2. Define the Problem: Clearly articulate the problems based on the insights gathered during the empathy stage. A well-defined problem statement guides the subsequent stages and ensures the focus remains on addressing the real issues users face.
  3. Ideate: Brainstorm Creative Solutions: Generate a wide range of ideas and potential solutions. This stage encourages creative thinking and out-of-the-box ideas, fostering innovation and enabling the exploration of various approaches to solve the defined problem.
  4. Prototype and Gather Feedback: Develop scaled-down versions of the potential solutions to investigate their feasibility and effectiveness. Prototyping allows for the practical evaluation of ideas, making it possible to identify strengths and weaknesses early in the process.
  5. Test and Iterate Continuously: Rigorously test the prototypes with actual users, gathering feedback and making necessary adjustments. This iterative process ensures continuous improvement and refinement of solutions, ultimately leading to a product that truly meets user needs and expectations.

Discover more on the key design thinking principles for UX.

UX Design Best Practices

Building trust and loyalty through emotional UX design involves understanding and addressing users' emotional responses at different levels:

  1. At the Visceral Level: Focus on the immediate, instinctive reactions users have to your product's look and feel. Design elements should be visually appealing and elicit positive emotions right from the start.
  2. At the Behavioral Level: Ensure the product is user-friendly and functional. The interaction should be seamless and intuitive, making it easy for users to achieve their goals without frustration.
  3. At the Reflective Level: Consider the lasting impression your product leaves on users. Reflect on their experiences and how the product aligns with their values and self-image. Positive long-term associations contribute to building brand loyalty.

Learn all about implementing more emotional UX for better engagement.

How to Incorporate Emotional UX Design in Your Products

  1. Empathise with Users: Begin by understanding users' emotional needs and responses through research and engagement. This step is crucial to design a product that resonates on a deeper emotional level.
  2. Define the Emotional Journey: Map out the emotional journey users will experience when interacting with your product. Identify key touchpoints where emotional design can make a significant impact.
  3. Ideate and Prototype: Brainstorm creative ideas to enhance emotional engagement and develop prototypes to visualise these concepts. Prototyping helps in exploring different ways to evoke the desired emotional responses.
  4. Test and Gather Feedback: Test the prototypes with real users to gather feedback on their emotional experiences. Use this feedback to refine the design, ensuring it effectively meets users' emotional needs.
  5. Refine and Implement: Continuously refine the emotional design elements based on user feedback and insights. Implement the final design in a way that seamlessly integrates emotional UX principles, creating a product that not only functions well but also builds trust and loyalty.

When building a new prototype or MVP to test, see how to design it for maximum performance, the entire design process unpacked, as well as how long it takes to design a product and how much the design will cost.

Case Study: Using UX Design to Boost Revenue by 42.86%

We helped increase Ackermans’ monthly revenue by 42.86% through strategic UX design improvements. Here’s how we achieved this significant growth:

Context: Ackermans, a subsidiary of the Pepkor Group, specialises in offering a wide range of clothing, footwear, and accessories for women and children, both online and in-store.

The Problem: Similar to many retailers with physical stores, Ackermans faced the challenge of adapting to a rapidly digitalising market. Their traditional customer base was hesitant to shop online due to unfamiliarity and perceived complexities associated with digital shopping.

To address this, Ackermans embarked on a comprehensive digital transformation journey aimed at increasing their digital customer base.

Our Solution:

  1. User-Friendly Online Store: We designed an intuitive and easy-to-navigate online store to improve the user experience and make online shopping more accessible.
  2. Building Trust in the Online Platform:some text
    • Enhanced Security Measures: Implemented robust security features to ensure customers felt safe when shopping online.
    • Transparent Communication: Provided clear and consistent information regarding the online shopping process, return policies, and customer service support to build confidence and reduce hesitancy.
  3. Brand Perception Refresh: The combination of an improved user interface, enhanced security, and transparent communication contributed to a refreshed brand perception, making the online platform more attractive to customers.

See our entire app developers portfolio and the business benefits of doing a UX audit.

Future Trends in UX Design

The landscape of UX design is rapidly evolving, with several emerging trends set to shape the future:

  1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: AI and machine learning are revolutionising UX design by enabling more intuitive and responsive user interfaces. These technologies can analyse user behaviour and preferences to deliver personalised experiences and predictive suggestions.
  2. Embedded Finance and Open Banking: The integration of financial services into non-financial platforms, known as embedded finance, along with open banking, is creating seamless and convenient user experiences. This trend allows users to access financial services directly within their favourite apps and platforms.
  3. Hyper-Personalisation: Leveraging data to deliver highly personalised user experiences is becoming increasingly important. Hyper-personalisation tailors every aspect of the user journey to individual preferences, enhancing engagement and satisfaction.
  4. Blockchain: Blockchain technology is enhancing transparency, security, and trust in digital interactions. Its applications in UX design include secure transactions, data privacy, and the creation of decentralised applications.
  5. Gamification: Incorporating game-like elements into user experiences can increase engagement and motivation. Gamification techniques, such as rewards, challenges, and interactive elements, make digital interactions more enjoyable and compelling.

Plus: Discover 5 more important UI trends for finance and banking.

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