Persuasive Design in financial services. SOFI's compelling product marketing blueprint

    Build a high-conversion marketing page by creating an effective persuasion ladder for your target consumers

    Persuasive Design in Financial Services Product Marketing (SOFI)


    Users prefer Check My Rate applications because they promise ‘a personalized rate fast’ without dinging their credit. And it gives users an opportunity to test-drive the bank, credit union or fintech.

    In this conversion design examples, I picked two fintechs and a bank to see creates the most persuasive experience – i.e. who does the best job of getting their user throught their financial application as efficiently – and painlessly – as possible.

    Evaluation Criteria: Financial application design
    1. Getting Started – Is the starting screen clear and simple?
    2. Input Speed – How fast does it ‘feel’ to complete (
    3. Error handling – How easy is to find and fix errors
    4. Abandonment – Are their tooltips, live support available
    5. Interaction Design – Are native features and appropriate form elements used?
    1. Getting Started

    On the web, people DO judge a book by it’s cover.

    For webpages that translates to two things:

    1. Initial impression
    2. Positioning

    Initial Impression
    Simplicity of navigation, modern look and feel, whitespace and a clear visual hierarchy go a long way in creating a favorable first impression.

    By contrast, dated design and clutter triggers a flight instinct leading to high bounce rates.

    Prospects use the banner headline to see if the brand/product offers anything different than the one in the previous tab they visited. If not, they will scan and skip the page to build their own positioning.

    First impression - clear value proposition

    SOFI See slides 2-4

    What SOFI does
    SOFI presents simple navigation, which includes one clear call to action. The visual design is clean and uncluttered.
    The image and the positioning work together to quickly and clearly communicate the purpose of the page – a no-fee personal loan.

    2. Input Speed
    From extensive user research, I’ve learned that people prefer short screens, even if it more overall screens – it helps them feel they are making progress. But it’s not just the number of form fields – it’s how they are presented that matters.
    Input speed - financial app design
    Address lookups in mobile is a prime way to speed up inputs – esp. when apps don’t use mobile numeric keypads for zipcodes. See slides 13 -17
    3. Error handling
    How apps handle errors not only lower speed but also increase abandonment. In mobile, it’s easy to forget that the keyboard takes up half the screen. And people scroll quickly.
    Financial app design - error handling
    Prime example – I had scrolled past the error and clicking the Next button did not do anything. I thought the app had stopped working – when on a whim I scrolled up to see the error. Autopay has an even more egregious error on slide 18 – an optional field treated non-intuitively. Test your app on a real phone – while making deliberate errors to identify issues.
    4. Abandonment
    Not knowing ‘the right thing’ to fill in is the biggest reason for abandonment after errors. An example in auto loans is not knowing the exact trim of your car – and not getting help in figuring out how to answer that question.
    Abandonment - financial design best practices
    Here Capital one – I could chat quickly with someone CapitalOne. The right placement of Chat or a Phone number can improve conversion numbers and related KPIs.
    5. Interaction Design
    How apps handle numeric entry and dropdowns on mobile can make the difference in one app seem easier than another.
    Mobile design example - financial applications
    Carvana uses a simple pulldown which keeps the question up – but invites fat-finger selection of the wrong item. Autopay takes over the whole screen, but you lose the question and any associated help info. Check out the next slide as well for selecting inputs that are fast, but potentially not ADA compliant.

    Create an insanely persuasive user experience in 5 steps

    From vanilla to high-conversion – this guide will you get there without the mistakes your competitors make.

    Meet your guide

    A practicing UX pro from San Francisco

    I wrote this guide to help you crush it. I’ve spent 20+ years in the trenches, helping people like you separate trends from fads, one-off hacks from repeatable strategies with a single goal. Grow your product or service. Consistently. Isn’t it time you unlocked growth and moved to the next level of success? Using a simple approach that has delivered results from Startups to the Fortune 5. Let me show you how to transform your vanilla user experience to an insanely persuasive one so you can finally crush it.