Why you should prioritize inclusivity in your fintech app’s UX
Unless your app specifically targets users with a particular disability, you may not have considered the full breadth of users who are interacting with your user interface. This is particularly true of fintech apps, which often face an arduous journey toward agile change due to the slow pace of highly regulated industries.
However, impaired users make up a large portion of the population. 1 in 4 American adults has a disability. Each of these individuals is on a spectrum of a hearing, intellectual, visual, or physical impairment, or a combination of one or more of these disabilities. The value of making your app accessible should not be underestimated.
The critical value of app accessibility
As technology has advanced, so has the accessibility of smartphones. Screen readers like VoiceOver on iPhone and TalkBack on Android help the visually impaired navigate a non-tactile touchscreen. Text size and weight settings, haptic touch, control over contrast and color, and voice controls allow users to reap the benefits of smartphones within the limits of their impairment. In fact, iOS 15 even introduced a new feature that allowed users to change accessibility settings for each app individually.
Unfortunately, many apps are not developed with responsive design in mind. Imagine the disruption to a user’s experience when they open an app that does not align with their phone’s accessibility settings. Here’s an example of how that can impact the look of your app, and the resulting user experience:
As you can see, some text has changed size, but most has not. This is even inconsistent across sections of the app; one of two “Stays” has updated, and only two-thirds of the text is magnified; in recent payments, only one name has increased in size, along with the call-to-action.
Unfortunately, a large number of fintech companies are not currently developing their apps with responsiveness in mind. Disabled users consequently experience a much higher level of difficulty while using these apps. Making life easier for your customers is a no-brainer.
Luckily, there are some simple changes you can make to steer clear of an unfortunate (in)accessibility experience.
Six inclusivity essentials for fintech apps
So what changes can you implement to start this process of change?
Above all else, the best action you can take to make your app more accessible is to talk to a wide variety of disabled users. Have them test your app and tell you firsthand what makes the experience difficult and what would be helpful for them. Plus, they can provide useful insight into what other companies are doing that makes their customer journey more seamless.
Until you’re able to gather that information, here are a few steps you can take to get started and cover the basics. You’ll already have a huge step over your competitors just by getting the fundamentals right.
1. Support responsive font sizing
Make your app easy for users who already have their settings adjusted to suit their needs. To make sure your app’s text will correctly size up or down, support Dynamic Type on iOS and varying pixel densities on Android.
You’ll also want to consider how features such as buttons and content containers scale alongside text. In the example above we saw a static button with an ellipses when scaled; the alternative is to scale both text and button size. Content containers should be scrollable when needed.
When including images with text, keep in mind that these pieces of copy will not scale with text-based accessibility settings, so should not contain key information.
2. Consider screen readers
If a user is relying on a screen reader, they will be navigating through your app differently than other users. Become familiar with how VoiceOver works on iOS and TalkBack works on Android so you understand the touchscreen gestures customers use.
For example, when your navigation relies on a swipe function, include a static button. Swiping is a primary form of interaction with the screen reader overlay, so users will need an alternative forward or backward button.
Also make sure that all images and fields have thorough alt descriptions.
3. Provide customization settings
As mentioned above, disability is a spectrum. Accessibility features will not be a one size fits all. The easiest way to cater to every customer is to let them cater to themselves. Here are a few settings you can allow users to adjust:
- Text size
- Font: If your app uses a serif font, provide a sans-serif font choice for those with Dyslexia. Or, better yet, a font designed specifically for dyslexia like OpenDyslexic!
- Contrast, including invert
- Color, including filters and grayscale
Depending on your current user journey, you may also need to delay your onboarding trigger. Many fintech apps launch with an immediate sign-in or survey (i.e. financial health status, investment, product interest, etc.). Allow your users to adjust their settings as needed before they jump into anything else.
4. Pay attention to color
Color impacts those with dyslexia as well as users who are color blind. Your color contrast should not be too stark (100% black text against a 100% white background), but it also shouldn’t be too subtle. For smaller text contrast should be at least 4.5:1. For larger text, it should be 3.0:1.
Stay away from pure red, green, or blue, which color blind users cannot fully see. Make use of the tons of tools available online to check how your app looks for different users.
5. Add voice-assist commands
Consider which actions your users might find easier with Siri or Google Assistant. Barclays, for example, allows their banking customers in the U.K. to make payments using Siri. Voice commands could, for example, help visually impaired users discover the value of their stocks, performance of their investment, savings in their pension, check their bank balance, or top up a product.
Executing accessibility changes will, of course, give your users a better experience. At the end of the day, it will also help your bottom line. A better user experience means less churn, higher retention, and better brand loyalty.
But don’t just take it from us; let the numbers do the talking. Watch your KPIs improve with the addition of each accessibility feature. Get insights at your fingertips with Adjust’s Datascape.
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