December 2015: Responsive Site Design

This report analyzes 15 banks that include some element of responsive design on their websites. While it is helpful that many include it, firms often miss the mark by presenting sites that are not necessarily comprehensive, legible and navigable across all sections. Responsive design should highlight an account’s primary features, related links and applications. In terms of account overviews and product pages, only eight firms provide versions that maintain the integrity and functionality of the full desktop version within a smaller browser window.

As responsive design is an exercise in rearranging page elements to fit in a smaller space, large, horizontal navigation menus pose a challenge. Some firms handle this by replacing the horizontal main menu with a top or left sidebar menu. Generally, responsive versions of sites collapse static elements of the page into a vertical scrolling display that preserves the order of menus and links.

Only two firms in this report offer responsive private site designs that include full navigation and features. While a public-facing site is important to maintain, firms should pay equal attention to existing account holders, who spend most of their time in the private section of the site. Private sites should grant account holders full access to transfers, bill payments and account services.

The most notable aspect of the sites considered in this report is their lack of consistency across responsive elements. While approximately half of firms include responsive product pages, some do not include responsive applications or homepages, complicating use across devices and smaller versions of the site.

This topic was first covered by Credit Card Monitor in October 2014.