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Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set
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Senior citizens and Mobile Finance: Design and Support Solutions to Empower the Senior Set

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Recent studies by the Pew Research Center and Sachs Insights highlight a growing segment of mobile device users – senior citizens. Dubbed the “newly mobile senior set,” this demographic tends to have …

Recent studies by the Pew Research Center and Sachs Insights highlight a growing segment of mobile device users – senior citizens. Dubbed the “newly mobile senior set,” this demographic tends to have its own distinct uses for smartphones and tablets, but they also struggle with a unique set of challenges. At a recent NYC UXPA event, Tammy Sachs presented her firm’s findings on mobile users aged 65 and older, outlining how seniors are using these devices and the common usability issues they experience.

When it comes to health, wellness and travel, many of the elderly participants in Sachs Insights’ study are using their mobile devices in innovative ways. We weren’t surprised to hear that these same seniors expressed a reluctance to conduct financial activity via the mobile channel. We expected security fears to be the main thing keeping seniors from using their bank or brokerage firm’s mobile apps; however, that wasn’t the case. Instead, seniors cited a fear that they would unknowingly do something to harm their own account.

This fear of human error stems in part from the small screen size of these devices. Many seniors who participated in the study noted having difficulty reading text-dense screens and interacting with certain touchable screen elements, e.g., navigation buttons or a device’s internal keyboard. In that same vein, participants felt uneasy performing certain tasks on mobile devices because they lacked access to the training or guidance that would have made them more comfortable.

Based on Corporate Insight’s user-testing expertise and ongoing mobile finance research, the following slides discuss some specific areas where seniors may struggle with financial services apps and the best practice solutions that will give this valuable client base the support it needs.

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  • 1. SENIOR CITIZENS AND MOBILE FINANCE DESIGN AND SUPPORT SOLUTIONS TO EMPOWER THE SENIOR SET ALAN MAGINN & SEAN MCDERMOTT OCTOBER 2013 COPYRIGHT 2013 CORPORATE INSIGHT, INC.
  • 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS  Introduction  Key Issues o Interaction Issues ─ Readability ─ Voice Commands o Education Issues ─ Help Centers ─ In-person training  Recommendations and Solutions  Corporate Insight Thought Leadership  About Corporate Insight 2
  • 3. INTRODUCTION 3
  • 4. INTRODUCTION Recent studies by the Pew Research Center and Sachs Insights highlight a growing segment of mobile device users – senior citizens. Dubbed the “newly mobile senior set,” this demographic tends to have its own distinct uses for smartphones and tablets, but they also struggle with a unique set of challenges. At a recent NYC UXPA event, Tammy Sachs presented her firm’s findings on mobile users aged 65 and older, outlining how seniors are using these devices and the common usability issues they experience. When it comes to health, wellness and travel, many of the elderly participants in Sachs Insights’ study are using their mobile devices in innovative ways. We weren’t surprised to hear that these same seniors expressed a reluctance to conduct financial activity via the mobile channel. We expected security fears to be the main thing keeping seniors from using their bank or brokerage firm’s mobile apps; however, that wasn’t the case. Instead, seniors cited a fear that they would unknowingly do something to harm their own account. INTRODUCTION This fear of human error stems in part from the small screen size of these devices. Many seniors who participated in the study noted having difficulty reading text-dense screens and interacting with certain touchable screen elements, e.g., navigation buttons or a device’s internal keyboard. In that same vein, participants felt uneasy performing certain tasks on mobile devices because they lacked access to the training or guidance that would have made them more comfortable. Based on Corporate Insight’s user-testing expertise and ongoing mobile finance research, the following slides discuss some specific areas where seniors may struggle with financial services apps and the best practice solutions that will give this valuable client base the support it needs. 4
  • 5. IN THIS SECTION: KEY ISSUES INTERACTION ISSUES o Readability o Voice Commands 5
  • 6. SMALL SCREEN SIZE CREATES PROBLEMS READING TEXT AND INTERACTING WITH TOUCHABLE SCREEN ELEMENTS INTERACTION ISSUES Age may lead to wisdom, but it also tends to bring a deterioration in eyesight and fine motor skills. As a result, it should come as no surprise that the seniors interviewed in the Sachs study consistently identified screen size as a top usability issue on mobile devices. The limited screen real estate on smartphones and tablets creates two distinct problems for seniors – content can be difficult to read and touchable screen elements (e.g., navigation buttons or the internal keyboard) can be difficult to interact with. While mobile software developers are restrained by the size of the hardware (the average screen size is 9.26 inches among 61 market-leading tablets), a well-conceived design that has been vetted through user research can help designers ensure they create an effective, usable interface. 6
  • 7. PROVIDE CUSTOMIZABLE TEXT-SIZE OPTIONS FOR CONTENT-HEAVY SCREENS INTERACTION ISSUES – READABILITY Many seniors have difficulty reading text-dense screens on their mobile device. To combat this issue, firms should offer customizable text options within logical sections of an app, such as the Market News section found on most brokerage apps. While some devices’ internal settings allow users to customize text size – like the Dynamic Type option on iOS – the user’s preferred text size is not guaranteed to display in a third-party app. Giving seniors the ability to select their font size within an app eliminates the risk that the app is not compatible with dynamic type or that the user has not customized their device’s settings. The BBC News app offers an excellent example, featuring an adjustable slide bar that provides a great deal of customizability to the user. CNN’s app also allows users to adjust text-size, but limits users to three size options. Users can tap the button to toggle between three different text sizes. BBC’s Text-Size Slide Bar CNN’s Text-Size Button 7
  • 8. INTEGRATE VOICE COMMANDS INTO YOUR APP TO MINIMIZE USERS’ DEPENDENCE ON TOUCHABLE SCREEN ELEMENTS INTERACTION ISSUES – VOICE COMMANDS Voice recognition software can free seniors from many of the challenges created by their device’s touch screen. Speak-to-type technology makes it possible for users to bypass their device’s internal keyboard, while voice command features enable users to navigate and initiate actions (e.g., “Call Susan”) without touching the screen. While Apple and Android operating systems offer built-in voice command and speakto-type functionality, a user cannot use these native features to navigate the interface of a third-party app. As a result, firms might consider incorporating voice command technology into their app, allowing users to perform tasks (e.g., transfer funds, pay bills) without the fear of accidentally pressing the wrong button. As highlighted in Corporate Insight’s 2013 Mobile Finance Trends and Innovations study, there are already two firms in the industry that employ this tactic – E*TRADE and USAA. 8 E*TRADE’S Voice Command Powered by Nuance USAA’s Voice Command Feature
  • 9. IN THIS SECTION: KEY ISSUES EDUCATION ISSUES o Help Centers o In-person training 9
  • 10. SENIORS VALUE HANDS-ON TRAINING AND RELIABLE HELP CONTENT WHEN USING NEW TECHNOLOGY Senior citizens’ fear of making a mistake when using a financial app can also be attributed to a lack of training. According to findings from the Sachs study, many senior citizens don’t like to learn by trial and error because they find the process too frustrating, and when it comes to their finances, they’re worried that any mistakes on their part could impact their account. Instead, seniors prefer to be shown how to use an interface in a hands-on environment. According to Sachs Insights, the majority of seniors (59%) learn new uses for their smartphones through personal interactions with family members, friends or coworkers. EDUCATION If they need to troubleshoot an issue on their own, seniors want access to comprehensive, step-bystep instructions. Multiple research participants lamented the absence of an owner’s manual accompanying their mobile devices. Access to detailed instructions can serve as a viable alternative when the opportunity to learn from a trusted individual is not available. Financial firms that address these issues can position themselves to win the loyalty of this demographic. 10
  • 11. APPS SHOULD OFFER BOTH A COMPREHENSIVE HELP CENTER AND OPTIONAL SECTION-SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS EDUCATION – HELP CENTERS In order to have the confidence to use a mobile finance app, seniors need access to comprehensive help material. The ideal help content will not only inform seniors about the various features and transaction capabilities offered on the app, but also illustrate how to interact with the interface. Comprehensive help centers may be commonplace on traditional websites, but these features are notably absent from many financial institutions’ mobile apps. A useful help center should offer section-specific assistance; instead, many help centers on bank and brokerage apps merely direct the user to the firm’s full website. Bank of America is an exception in this case, as the firm’s app features a thorough help center with a great deal of sectionspecific instructions. BofA’s help section has five main topics – Alerts, Mobile Check Deposit, Mobile Banking, BankAmeriDeals and Privacy/Security – each of which houses information for numerous sub-topics. Seniors using this app can rely on the help center if they are unsure how to perform a specific task. BofA’s Help Center Overview & Mobile Banking Help 11
  • 12. PROVIDE INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING A MOBILE DEVICE’S INTERFACE EDUCATION – HELP CENTERS Seniors that have recently adopted mobile technology may require instructions beyond descriptions of the app’s features. There are actions that longtime mobile device users take for granted (e.g., swiping the screen to scroll, tapping and holding to open fly-out menus) that a novice may not be familiar with. Firms such as Fidelity and Merrill Lynch have realized this fact, and responded with helpful user guides. Fidelity offers on-screen tutorials that users can opt to turn on or off. Fidelity’s Instructional Guides will appear on relevant screens and show users how to interact with the screen. Merrill Lynch features a User Guide page that provides an overview of the various ways that users can manipulate the interface. Fidelity’s On-Screen Instructions & Merrill Lynch User Guide 12
  • 13. OFFER PERIODIC TRAINING SESSIONS AND ENSURE STAFF MEMBERS ARE FAMILIAR WITH YOUR FIRM’S MOBILE APPS EDUCATION – IN-PERSON TRAINING When it comes to instructional training sessions, Apple offers a great model that financial services firms might look to emulate. While the company offers paid, one-on-one training sessions, it also provides free, hour-long workshops at its many retail stores. Many of the participants in the Sachs study cited these sessions as an ideal way to learn about their mobile devices. While it may not make sense for a bank or brokerage firm to offer frequent workshops about their mobile apps, a few sessions a year at select locations would be an opportunity for a financial institution to distinguish its mobile offerings from the pack. There are other feasible alternatives to periodic help sessions. Having well-trained staff members that are comfortable using the firm’s mobile apps can provide seniors access to the in-person training they highly value. Branch staff should be able to answer customers’ questions about the firm’s mobile offerings and help familiarize them with an app’s interface. Firms should also make an effort to have devices available in branches for live demos in case interested clients did not bring their own. 13
  • 14. OFFER VIDEO CONFERENCING SUPPORT EDUCATION – IN-PERSON TRAINING Another tactic firms can consider is integrating customer service video conferencing into their app. The newest Kindle Fire from Amazon features an innovative Mayday button that allows users to initiate a face-to-face chat with a live customer service representative via webcam. The ability to access in-person instructions from a remote location is a convenient service for customers, and we anticipate more firms will follow Amazon’s lead if their new program proves successful. Kindle Fire’s Mayday Feature 14
  • 15. RECOMMENDATIONS AND SOLUTIONS 15
  • 16. SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS Coupled with a device’s speak-to-type technology, this feature will help reduce the need to interact with the small screen. Give this feature high-visibility on text-heavy screens so users always have the ability to adjust font size independent of any internal settings a device may or may not offer. Voice Command Technology Customizable Text Size CONCLUSION Improved Navigation & Readability These features increase senior citizens’ ability to interact with a mobile device’s limited screen size. 16
  • 17. SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS A thorough help center and/or on-screen instructions can help seniors self-educate and avoid frustrating trail-and-error situations. In-person training is senior citizens’ preferred method of learning – offering workshops can empower them to use your firm’s apps. Comprehensive Help Material Training Sessions CONCLUSION Knowledgeable & Confident Users Accessible help content and the opportunity to learn firsthand from an expert can increase senior citizens’ willingness to use mobile finance apps. 17
  • 18. CI’S USER RESEARCH SERVICES User Testing is a powerful research tool that can help you: o Understand the needs and expectations of your clients o Prioritize improvements to your interface o Discover design flaws o Improve customer satisfaction Corporate Insight is here to help with all of your User Testing needs. Our User Research team can: o Design studies that test key features of your website or mobile app, as well as those of key competitors o Recruit participants that represent your target audience o Provide you with a detailed analysis of test sessions o Assist you with your existing usability efforts by moderating tests you have designed or hosting tests at our facility, conveniently located above Grand Central Station in Midtown Manhattan CI’s User Research services also include: o Expert Reviews – Focused assessment of your website or mobile offerings based on established usability heuristics, design principles and industry best practices by one of CI’s usability professionals. o Website Audits – Benchmark your customer website and mobile platform against peers in terms of design, functionality, usability, etc. and provide actionable recommendations for improvement. To learn more about our User Research services, please contact Alan Maginn, Director, User Research, at 646-454-2661 or amaginn@corporateinsight.com. 18
  • 19. CORPORATE INSIGHT THOUGHT LEADERSHIP Next-Generation Investing: Financial Startups and the Future of Financial Advice CI tracks over 100 startups that covers a wide range of new ideas across financial advice and investing. This study will focus on each idea, analyze compares them to what established financial institutions offer and examine the potential impact on the industry. Download the study preview! Social Media Trends: Annuity and Life Insurance This presentation analyzes the current social media initiatives and promotions undertaken by leading insurers, highlights key social media findings and trends across the insurance industry, and offer tips for insurers looking to bolster their social presence. Tablet-Friendly Web Design: Best Practices for Financial Services The study examines the tablet-friendly website features provided by four leading firms across financial services and provides recommendations for financial services firms building tabletoptimized websites. User Insights Vol. 2 - Comparing the Desktop and Tablet Banking Experience This usability study provides insights to how mobile applications match up against traditional website interfaces, both in terms of usability and functionality for five leading banks. 2013 Mobile Finance Trends and Innovations This slide deck includes commentary on mobile developments, key takeaways for financial services firms and thoughts on what’s next for mobile finance. 19
  • 20. ABOUT CORPORATE INSIGHT Corporate Insight provides competitive intelligence and user experience research to the nation’s leading financial institutions. For over 20 years, the firm has tracked technological developments in the financial services industry, identifying best practices in online banking and investing, online insurance, mobile finance, active trading platforms, social media and other emerging areas. There are no assumptions in Corporate Insight’s work – we use live accounts at all of the firms we research, providing our clients with unparalleled, unbiased intelligence on the competition. Media Inquiries Corporate Insight welcomes the opportunity to speak with the media. If you are interested in citing our research or would like to schedule an interview with one of our analysts, please contact Intermarket Communications at 212-888-6115 or corporateinsight@intermarket.com. Connect With Us ALAN MAGINN SEAN MCDERMOTT Director, User Research Research Associate, Consulting Services 646-454-2661 646-432-5481 amaginn@corporateinsight.com smcdermott@corporateinsight.com @AlanMaginn 20

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