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Great array of web sites… refreshing, clean, fun, smart, saavy, hip…
With the notion of a holistic brand experience…and convergent brand channels… it would be great to see if and how these institutions have made a connection between their virtual brand experience and their bricks and mortar experience. I realize some don’t have bricks and mortar.
Great question Brett. It would be a big disappointment if you walked into a branch for any of these 50 institutions and it looked like the same old typical, traditional, functional bank space.
Interesting list of finance websites!
I think OCBC Bank’s website (not just FRANK) should have been on this list as well, I find their products nicely structured and pages easy to understand.
Some great websites here. Love SimpleBank, I think it should be a bit higher ranking. Standard Chartered would rate even better if you included their new country websites which are breaking new ground in terms of truly responsive design, such as http://www.sc.com/in/ — most of these sites are clean, but look like cr@p on mobiles. Btw, it’s easier to design for limited offerings. Things get complex when Simple had to launch tailored offerings for corporates, small businesses, etc.
Please leave links to any websites you think should have been included in this list. Many banks maintain multiple websites — personal banking, business banking, private banking, a corporate website vs. one for the bank, and different websites for different countries. Thank you.
I think although interestingly designed most of the examples above are on the wrong side of the balancing act between Functional and Fancy….
Banking and Financial Services websites generally dont need to be boring but given their broad demographical appeal, that they are working to service numerous product and service sets and that they are equally talking to existing and potential customers the clarity that single line product websites can bring just doesnt cut it for the business functionality required.
Lots of the websites in this listing could dramatically improve their web experience and business performance by being slightly less fancy and becoming a little more functional.
Realistically in my experience working within digital FS now for ten years id say out of the top 10 only 8 and 9 would be something that i would consider for a bank i would be working with.
David, that’s why the list is labeled as “most visually spectacular,” not “50 of the Most Functional” or “50 of the Best” websites.
Sure but i would suggest that “mirroring other consumer retail sectors” isnt the most practical endeavours for FS clients trying to balance bigger bases and with much more complexity around their products and services. Always nice to have some nice pictures though.
Additionally i dont think “faster internet speeds” has been an enabler of this and that we are seeing people doing it because of this more that it hasnt been used before mainly due to the complexity of the site and its practicality.
Be interested to see the 50 best websites when you guys get round to it.
Having looked at some 5,000+ bank and credit union websites in the last couple years, The Financial Brand is comfortable saying that the UX offered by most in this list surpasses what you’ll find at 95% of financial institutions today. Take these two billion-dollar credit unions, for instance:
Great list of sites. As a vendor trying to further the cause of online experience, we greatly appreciate Financial Brand’s commitment to design and experience. You are a great reference for us and our clients.
1st United Services Credit Union just launched a new website, which I think could be a part of this list. Operating Engineers also has a great website.
How did we get missed?!?!?
http://www.FirstNiagara.com — humanizes the banking and digital experience with a strong UX approach.
Please note: This is not a list of “The 50 Best Websites,” nor is it even a list of “The 50 Most Attractive Websites.” This list is simply “50 of the best looking websites” seen by The Financial Brand in the last year. Please keep in mind that there are 15,000 retail financial institutions in the US alone, and the US is just one of the 15 or so English-speaking countries covered by The Financial Brand — lots of websites seen, but impossible to see them all.
If anyone feels like they were overlooked, left out, slighted or snubbed, it was not intentional.
Thank you for the nice array of sites. I was surprised that you did not select fhb.com as it is cleaner than many that you chose.
As I explained in my last comment, this is not a comprehensive, all-encompassing list. The first time I ever saw FHB’s website was Tuesday March 12, 2013 after someone submitted FHB to the “Top 100″ social media list — one day after this list was published. The URL for FHB’s website is bookmarked, and the next time a list comes out FHB will be on it.
This is rather a list of 50 best login pages. Suspect most of those look dull and boring AFTER one logs in.
Excellent observation Alexey. Very true. Many financial institutions are able to control the visual aesthetic on their public-facing marketing site, but not able to shape the UX within the online banking side (dictated by the constraints of the online banking provider).
What a disappointment it would be to see the standard, boring online banking layout after being presented with such a tantalizing visual feast…
Great list with some stunning use of imagery.
An interesting followup would be the top 50 “responsive” or “adaptive” site designs in the financial space. I’d recommend ours: https://www.pioneermilitaryloans.com/.
Thanks for the list. Very useful. I would have added http://www.principality.co.uk/ and http://www1.firstdirect.com to the list also.
No complaints from me. Great list. Reminds me of what Frost does with theirs, although they make it more customer-centric by posting a new photo taken by a customer every day.
Wow. Hadn’t seen Frost Bank’s website in a while, but it is remarkable. They should be on the list — definitely next time.
Thank you for developing this list.
The agency EXTRACTABLE was responsible for the Logix Federal Credit Union Site: http://www.extractable.com/index.aspx
A full case study can be seen here that includes results achieved : http://www.extractable.com/case-studies/logix.aspx
I would be interested to know how many from the list above have iPad apps?
The reason I ask is because, in our recent Tablet Banking market review, we found that banks are now much more succesfully using the visualisation opportunities aforded by the Apple device than they were before- whilst still retaining the functionality that David Brear reminds us we need.
Certainly we are excited about what we see as the positive impact of tablet Computers on the banking experience.
Hi Mark. “Tablet App” is outdated thinking. Any good web based presence should be responsive these days. Standard Chartered’s country websites with India being the first — http://www.sc.com/in/ — are already responsive, which means they take the shape of a mobile phone, a tablet, or a computer, or a large iMac or TV screen. That should be your question, not about tablet apps.
We’ve written about responsive web design here at The Financial Brand. Indeed Mark works at the very same firm who penned the article.
How about http://www.ezonomics.com? Fresh design, captivating visuals and it’s all designed and written from a consumer’s perspective.
Great list – thanks for highlighting that beautiful design can (and should) be incorporated across industries.
How many of these sites (or bank sites in general) are currently done with responsive design? Any idea on how pervasive that approach has become in banking?
Thoughts on the importance of desktop > tablet > mobile responsive design?
Good question Jason. Most sites were tested for responsive design, but it was really uncommon — maybe 1 in 20?
The strategic question isn’t whether or not your site should or should not have “responsive design.” The big question is, “How does your site look and work on [device X]?” For instance, The Financial Brand does not have a responsive design, but the site looks/works pretty darn good on a tablet. Honestly, responsive design woudn’t even work for The Financial Brand, since ads would be clipped out. More importantly, practically no one looks at The Financial Brand on an iPhone, because (1) most readers hit the site while at work from their desk, and (2) the articles are so long, few people feel like reading them on an iPhone.
Cost is a big question. I’m not sure how much it costs to take a website and make it responsive. For instance, say you like the look of your website today and would prefer to make no substantive changes — that’s as cheap as it’s going to ever get. How much would that be? If it’s not a lot, then heck… go for it. But if it costs a significant amount of money, then it’s going to be tougher to justify unless (a) the website is overdue for a total makeover/redesign anyway, (b) the website looks like poop on mobile devices, (c) you have plans to deliver unique experiences specific to each device (e.g., tablets = more PFM, phones = more transactional activities), or (d) all the above.
In other words, the more expensive it is, the more badly you should need it. But I’ve heard nothing from anyone anywhere about the costs of responsive design. It could cost $500, $5,000 or $50,000.
Here’s an article on responsive web design in the CU Times.
These frontpages have big graphics and a login button. What is so spectacular about that? And you cant tell us that the whole site has spectacular design just by looking at the startpage.
Why cant we see the rest of the sites? THAT would have been interesting to see.
This is a collection of visually spectacular websites, not a list of interesting features and amazing UX. It’s a beauty contest. If makes you feel any better, change the headline to “50 of the Most Visually Spectacular Website Homepages.“
I understand the concept of visually spectacular. I have never mentioned UX design or features. My point was that I don’t find these FrontPages very visually spectacular. And I really would have liked to see inside the bank website, after you log in, to see the rest of the visually spectacular site, not just the frontpage of the bank.
Sorry Paal, this is the best banking has to offer.
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