Just the other day, i logged into my bank account online with The National Bank to do what i do every day, make payments, check the account and download files etc. When you first arrive at the log-in screen they present you with a little message at the top of the login, that for some reason slows the screen down to the point that momentarily i have to wait for it to resolve before i can add in my details. Grrr... and this is everytime i arrive, which is alot. What's funny about this now i look at it, is that i could not tell you what this annoying delayed message said until i went online to screen clip it. I have visited this site so many times in the past few months and not once have i read this message. When i finally read it, i realised how silly it was that this message was there causing a delay. All they needed to do was create a simple link like the forgotten password and make logging in a priority. But on this screen, their message is a priority. Yet its value is low compared to logging in.
After logging in, The National Bank in all its wisdom decided to make what should have been a roll-out menu a clickable menu that is different from most other websites in the world. When we click on 'Payments' up pops an elaborate little window menu which has text next to each action. I find this odd because in my mind they have designed the site as if we are all new comers. Yet most of their customers are not. Its likely that over 90% of people using this login and payments option are regular weekly, if not daily, clients.
The National Bank also made changes to their 'Bill Payments' selection tool process. When i used to make payments i could see my whole list of payees from a drop down. Now i am presented with a restricted drop down which makes me have to scroll to find them! Don't get me wrong, i like the new site design and some of its features. Their website allows me to make large payments to payees with a 'auth code' that the site texts to my phone for me to enter and verify that its me. I love this, it makes banking easy and paying my suppliers simple. However, the day to day tasks that i do most often when i use the National Bank online service, makes the service frustrating.
Gerry McGovern taught me that Web is about 'high volume low complexity tasks'. He is completely right.. web is self service, so your website should be simple and do a volume of simple things your customers need to get done on a daily basis. This is where you can add value. Find a phone number, find a brochure, find a specification or maybe an address etc. Don't make life hard for them with little messages, boxes or confusing links. Give your customers what they want. Design your website with your viewers in mind, not your company.