Financial experience design agency Dock9, whose clients include some of the 19 high street, intermediary and specialist lenders badged Tesco’s website ‘simple, [and] beautiful’ with modern user experience’ patterns. Vida and TSB emerged well in second and third places.
The lenders which scored poorly include Magellan in last place, with The Dudley and Aldermore next.
The report said: “Magellan’s site needs some work. The information architecture is not the most intuitive. The visual design uses outdated trends. Headings have two colours and one of them is the same as the link, even though it’s not clickable. Finally, it seems like there’s little design work involved since most pages are a list of links.”
However, the analysis showed the big high street brands – Lloyds, Halifax, Nationwide, Santander, NatWest, HSBC and First Direct – led the way in user experience. Only high-street lenders provided brokers with self-service Agreements in Principle and Decisions in Principle.
Complex and congested
Mark Lusted, MD at Dock9, said: “The mortgage space is a complex and congested beast. However, lenders can stand out through low costs and easy online intermediary experiences. For instance, ensuring their websites are straightforward to navigate around and accessible – whatever method brokers and customers chose to browse on.”
He added that the rising tide of digital innovation in advice firms will drive lender investment in technology. However, many of the high street lenders consumer-facing online experiences were rubbished by the London-based agency.
It found of all the lenders with customer online experience over half are ignoring mobile and tablet users by failing to design websites which fully work on these devices. Additionally, 65% are only partially or not responsive at all giving customers a longer journey, where touch optimised websites offer a real time saving.
Lusted said: “It’s no secret the UK is a ‘mobile society’ and tablet and mobile usage will only increase. Although the majority of mortgage deals are done via brokers through an intermediary site, the customer experience for the end-user is still a key differentiator that can help set lenders apart from one another – especially for younger customers – and another key revenue stream.”
On the consumer side, Barclays, Lloyds and TSB snatched the top spots for online customer high street lending experience overall, whereas Santander, Nationwide and NatWest emerged in the bottom three for online customer high street lending experience .
Craig Calder, director of Barclays Mortgages, said: “We’re really proud to see that the online access and experience for our mortgage customers has been highly rated. We understand that buying and selling a home is not always straightforward, however, we want the mortgage experience to be a stress-free process. We continually invest in technology that helps to make the customer journey easier.”
Jason McCarthy, lead user experience designer at Dock 9 predicted that by 2018, 30% of all our interactions with technology will involve smart machines. These include chatbots, virtual assistants and invisible apps, like Google Now which predicts what you need, for example, directions or suggestions for nearby choices, while updating continuously in the background.
For the report, the mortgage firms reviewed include Aldermore, Barclays, Bluestone, Dudley, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Kent Reliance, Lloyds Bank, Magellan, Nationwide, NatWest, Pargon Mortgages, Pepper, Precise Mortgages, Santander, Tesco, TSB and Vida Homeloans.
Dock9 used videoed user testing and the lender websites were scored in 52 different categories.
Dock9 lists its past clients as Vida Homeloans for its website, Kensington and Northview Group, Castle Trust, Private Finance and Acenden.