Our case study explores whether the Business Loans page belongs under the Business menu, the Loans menu or in both locations.
6 reasons why it’s time for a bank website redesign
We know building a new bank website is a big investment.
Sometimes mediocre (or worse) websites linger long past their prime. Others seem to hover somewhere between usable and faulty. What is the average lifespan of a bank website, anyway?
That’s not an easy question to answer. A well-maintained bank website will deliver for months, if not years, beyond a neglected one. Lifespan can also depend on what platform the website was built on. For instance, if you don’t have an easy-to-use content management system (CMS) for making regular updates, your website is bound to age less gracefully.
At BrownBoots, we believe there isn’t a magic number, no definitive mileage that demands a shiny, new replacement. However, there are a handful of milestones that often signify the swansong of one version and an undeniable need for the next.
1. The website is hampered by failing tech
A broken website is a bad website.
Since technology never sleeps, it’s all too easy for a bank website to fall behind. Plugins lose support. What was once capable code no longer works on updated browsers. How people use the internet evolves, including the devices they use to access your website.
When user experience starts to break down, it might be time to pull the plug. Here are a few dealbreakers:
- Your website is not mobile friendly (i.e. it’s not a responsive bank website).
- Your website still uses Flash or other programs that don’t work on many devices.
- Key tools, such as webforms and financial calculators, don’t work.
- ADA compliance is not being addressed.
- Your website doesn’t take advantage of the most secure web hosting options.
While any of those items, on its own, could potentially be retrofitted into an existing website framework, it’s often more cost-effective to start from scratch than patch over numerous flaws. A do-over also allows you to fix other problems.
2. Your bank website is an eyesore
In addition to technology, aesthetics also impacts the aging rate of your website.
Trends come and go. While it’s impractical to give your bank website a facelift every few months to implement the newest visual fad, ignoring the evolution of website design for too long will result in a site that looks old-fashioned at best and just plain sad at worst.
Here are some elements that decidedly do not belong in the best bank website design examples:
- Narrow pages with wide empty margins on either side of your content
- Rounded, tab-like navigation bar on top
- Small images with even smaller text embedded on them
- Busy pages crowded with many columns of content and packed with disparate callouts
- Tiny text and images when viewed on a phone because the website is not responsive
Readers judge books by their covers, and customers judge bank websites by their designs. Even if your online branch delivers in every other conceivable way, a dowdy website sends a message that your bank is behind the times.
In short, an unattractive website does not inspire confidence.
3. Design has been pushed past its limits
Every website is built to function in a specific fashion when it launches. Ideally, needs were identified during the website design and development process so that the website will look and work well for years to come.
But circumstances change, and flexibility goes only so far.
When you find yourself using elements in a way they were never meant to be used, you end up with unappealing results. Best case scenario, you’re spending extra time using an unwieldy tools to create an adequate display. More likely, though, your hard work yields a less-than-optimal outcome. The information appears on the site, but it doesn’t look quite right.
If updating your website requires copious workarounds, it means your website doesn’t really work like it should.
4. The content is outdated and inaccurate
What’s worse than content awkwardly wedged into places it was never intended to go? Out-of-date information.
We said before that a broken website is a bad website. If you are displaying antiquated, incorrect information on your bank website, you introduce confusion — not to mention compliance nightmares.
It’s not uncommon for webpages to become obsolete, especially if you don’t have a dedicated website administrator or your current website vendor doesn’t provide a simple CMS that lets you manage your own website.
We recommend regular website reviews to ensure content doesn’t become outdated. However, if there is more wrong than right, a complete website overhaul will address not only what shouldn’t be on the website, but also reveal information you might know you’re missing.
5. You are undergoing a major marketing overhaul
Whether your bank is experiencing a mission-vision-and-values-altering transformation or the new brand updates are more visual in nature, any change to your brand should have a considerable impact on your website.
After all, your bank website is among the most prominent marketing tool in your toolbox.
A change in logo and/or brand colors can sometimes be implemented by updating the CSS on an existing website. But often, brand updates are much more comprehensive, impacting everything from tagline and theme to the very structure of the business and its online reflection.
If the business itself is facing considerable changes, the website ought to follow suit.
6. You’re being acquired, merging or otherwise transforming as a company
Few things shake up a business like a sale.
If your brand is changing to that of a new parent company, you’ve acquired a new financial that will fold into your existing brand or you now find yourself creating a new brand thanks to an acquisition, there could be website-shattering ramifications.
How will your existing customers interpret the change? How will new customers feel about it? Digital communications — including your bank website — can mitigate confusion, assuage anxiety and nurture an environment of renewed engagement.
In fact, that last sentence nicely sums up this entire article: if your current site doesn’t serve your customers like it should, it’s time to consider taking drastic measures.