User experience (UX) should be at the heart of any core banking system.
A great user experience brings operational efficiency and employee happiness and retention. This in place can result in customer satisfaction. So it is of great importance, even for a core banking system, to offer a great UX.
Design consistency is crucial to user experience. If you plan on integrating third-party modules, it's almost certain that they won't fit your own product's design out of the box, so additional work will always be required. How much work depends on how customizable they are, hence, customizability is a powerful consideration when selecting which modules to use.
When integrating the design of third-party modules, there are two high-level approaches:
A. Make integrations obvious
Here you don't try and hide the fact it's not native to your product. This is telling the user "We didn't make this, but you can still use it." If you go this route, make it visually clear that integrated functions are 'different'. You can do this by wrapping them in a different container or including the third-party logo. This approach will be necessary if your selected modules are not customizable.
B. Blend them in
Choose modules that can be customized and style them as close to your design as possible. How well you can do this will always depend on how customizable the modules are.
How to prioritize module selection for design:
In composing your banking landscape it is likely you run into various vendors offering more or less the same. Here are three guidelines to prioritize for design.
1) Functionality first
It seems an obvious one, but functionality comes first. This is where we deliver the core value to users. Aesthetics take a back seat to users 'getting the job done.
The alternative is Form over function. If something doesn’t offer the required functionality, no amount of impressive design is going to compensate for that.
2) Visual customisability
Even a slight variation in spacing, sizing, and font styling can shatter the user experience, and make it obvious that this piece 'doesn't belong here, so the more customizable, the better. The pieces that should be customizable, in order of importance:
- Font styles and sizes
- Buttons styling (size and shape)
- Spacing (usually margins and padding)
- Additional styling (drop shadows, 3D effects)
- Animations (hover behavior, transitions, etc.)
3) UX Customisability
You'll rarely encounter modules that allow you to customize user flows and where and when certain elements appear, but they do exist. In such cases, you'll be able to change the placement of buttons and input fields, which when coupled with visual customizations, allows you to create an experience similar to that of your core product.
Ultimately, the quality of the user experience is only partially defined by visual consistency. The best user experience is created for your users and validated by your users. We recommend you speak to your users regularly and validate each integration as part of your product development process.
What we did: When creating °neo we employed intensive user research and validation practices and they gave us absolute confidence in our designs, and our product.
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