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The Emerging Trends in Designing Banking Websites

As the web continues to grow and age, there are constantly emerging trends that redefine and reshape web usage, styles and design. For those of us who remember browsing the internet in the 1990s, most websites consisted of just simple HTML, with hardly any CSS markup or images.

Once service providers began increasing speeds, bandwidth and transfer, website owners realized they could make their sites more and more functional. However, for a few years, design was still neglected, until finally WEB 2.0 came along, and there began to be a renewed focus on user experience and aesthetically pleasing design.

As the web continues forward, newer trends are emerging, such as the relatively recent advent of social networking, and the currently exploding trend of mobile browsing.

Some of the sites that people use the most frequently, aside from search engines and social networks, are financial institutions. Gone are the days of having to walk into your bank and requesting a balance printout. Now, you can check your balance, pay bills, receive payments and even get loans, all from the comfort of your home office.

Banking websites have a variety of unique requirements. Most notably, banking sites have to focus on security for their systems, as well as a high degree of user-friendliness and site uptime.

From a design perspective, however, banking sites have to present important customer information in a friendly format, and manage many different sections of functionality in an easy to use manner.

Friendlier Backrounds: Nature & Family Themed

From a design perspective, perhaps because of the relatively sour global economy, banks have focused recently on having upbeat and refreshing photo backgrounds for their sites, as you can see in the following examples:

Vibrant Colours: Purples, Blues & Yellows

One of the other emerging trends in banking websites is the shift from moderate or subdued colors, to highly contrasted and visually stunning colors, such as vibrant purples, blues or yellows.

You can see examples of that in the following sites:

Bold Statements

These sites all make a more aggressive statement about themselves, as opposed to the more traditional banking sites. Traditional style banking sites focus more on a clichéd format and layout, with classic financial colors such as blues and greens. The advantage in such design lay in the fact that this particular format and color scheme has been tried and tested, and is known to be user-friendly.

A few examples are included below:

Banking 2.0

Finally, one of the most interesting trends is that of the social and modern web app inspired web designs. These use prominent graphics, interesting color combinations and large call to action text.

Large Navigation Menus

Those are the major trends within design for bank websites as a whole, but it is certainly not the only way that bank or financial websites can be designed. Even beyond the overall design, there is also the ability to focus on design in a few other areas. One of the emerging popular trends is to use large navigation menus as a method of organizing a variety of information that can be easily accessed, but does not contribute to clutter on the main page.

Here’s a few examples of interesting menu and navigation design:

Because banks often serve a variety of needs ranging from personal banking to business banking, mortgages, investments and financial planning, using a drop down or tiered menu structure enables a bank to serve all these needs while also ensuring that clients only have their attention drawn to the specific section that applies to their needs.

By categorizing navigation menus by service, personal account holders can access the personal banking section without accidentally navigating to the business portion of the site. Features such as this, which guide user actions, are the cornerstone of user experience and user interface design.

Conclusion

As you have seen, there are many emerging trends, as well as established trends, in the banking industry with regards to web design. As the banking and financial market continues to grow and become more global and competitive, we can expect to see design and user experience play an ever increasing role in customer satisfaction and overall business success.

 

Bogdan

Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.

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