Wednesday, October 2, 2013

GoBank Introduces One of First iOS7 Mobile Banking Apps

If you are an Apple iPhone devotee and have downloaded the new iOS7, you probably have a strong opinion about the new design. Maybe you love it. Maybe you hate it. Maybe you are like me and are still getting used to the new look, feel and functionality. 

Upon introduction, many apps immediately took on the new 'flatter' iOS7 look. That is, except for your mobile banking apps. In an industry desperately trying to keep up with customer demand for basic functionality, most didn't have time to change the look of their apps . . . except for GoBank.

In line with the GoBank brand, the relatively new mobile-first banking brand considered the introduction of a new design in late September an important differentiator for GoBank. "Being first to introduce a new design that leverages the iOS7 look shows that we're not just a bank, but also a technology company … right on the pulse of what's new and next," stated Sharon Pope, chief marketing officer of GoBank in an online interview with Bank Marketing Strategy.

According to Pope, GoBank's iPhone team worked carefully to incorporate Apple's new vision for the iPhone aesthetic so that the app would feel right at home on customers' recently updated devices. "You can see a lot of the elements of Apple's vision throughout the design. And a great indicator how beautifully we applied Apple's guidance is that Apple has featured GoBank as one of the "Best New Apps" for the iPhone."

Hoping to design in line with Apple's iOS7 'human interface guidelines' as outlined in their developer user interface design resource guide. According to Apple, an iOS7 design should embody the following themes:
      • Deference: The UI helps users understand and interact with the content, but never competes with it.
      • Clarity: Test is legible at every size, icons are precise and lucid, adornments are subtle and appropriate and a sharpened focus on functionality motivates the design.
      • Depth: Visual layers and realistic motion impart vitality and heighten users' delight and understanding.

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New GoBank User Experience

Immediately upon login, it is clear that GoBank was following the lead of Apple, especially with the design of buttons, eliminating the previous hard-edged buttons, arrows, etc. and replacing them with the borderless buttons that are key to the new iOS7 design. While the use of 3D button icons were used by Apple initially to replicate the Blackberry experience that so many early smartphone users were familiar with, consumers no longer needed the transitional visual element.

In addition, the initiation of the GoBank app follows Apple's start-up standards by avoiding splash screens and other elements that inhibit the ability to open the app immediately. This has always been a strong point for GoBank, with key activities shown at start-up. "We have never wanted the user to click through 4-5 screens to get to their main reason for visiting the site," stated Pope.

It should be mentioned that of all of the mobile-first banking firms (Moven, Simple, Bluebird), GoBank had one of the most streamlined applications in it's pre-iOS7 iteration. I have written on my admiration of GoBank in the past (Seven Reasons I Love GoBank) because the UI has always been intuitive, crisp and fluid, with all primary mobile banking functions being easy to access. 

The application and communication from the bank also is informal and accessible from their Facebook page to their new iOS7 Fortune Teller application that informs users if a proposed purchase could cause a potential financial challenge.

Another iOS7 designer guideline was to let translucent UI elements hint at the content behind them. For GoBank, this can be found in the pre-login experience (what someone would see when they download the app for the first time, which overviews some of the key features).

Project Runway Update

According to Sharon Pope from GoBank, the sponsorship and product placement on Project Runway has yielded a marked increase in awareness of GoBank throughout the fashion community and their overarching target audience. "It's a great target for us, because that community is always looking to find that look for less. Our budget tool, and Fortune Teller, are great for them. We think it's the perfect accessory to any fashion-loving person on a budget. And we've received a lot of praise from early users in this area," says Pope.

The engagement with Project Runway is also highly promoted through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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