October 2018 – We Know the Way: Private Site Navigation

In Corporate Insight’s recent survey of online banking users, 82% indicated website design and ease of use as either very or extremely important. Intuitive and efficient private site navigation structures ensure customers can move through the web platforms quickly and can easily conduct their online banking business. Ideally, desktop sites employ universal horizontal menus with hover-expanding flyouts and essential static links for ubiquitous access to most private site pages. Each site should also follow a predictably layered navigation strategy that reflects site architecture; hierarchy—not content—ought to dictate how sections employ secondary horizontal and vertical menus. Meanwhile, quick links and account-specific menus should facilitate navigation to popular or related functions. It is also important that sites present links clearly and consistently to avoid any affordance issues, while dedicated site search can improve findability for inexperienced users.

This report examines primary and secondary site navigation methods for the 18 firms in the Bank Monitor coverage group. Of these, 15 firms (83%) employ a horizontal main navigation structure, and 14 (78%) offer flyout menus somewhere in the site header. Main navigation tends to be universally accessible, with direct links to private site pages, as with 72% of firms; linking to overview pages is employed by 56%. Only eight firms (44%) consistently implement secondary navigation based on site architecture and hierarchy, with most tailoring menus to the content of pages. None of the secondary navigation methods identified in this report are universal, though each of the four options—vertical, horizontal, account-specific and quick link menus—occurs on at least 10 sites (56%). Only seven firms (39%) avoid link presentation and affordance issues on their sites, while just six (33%) include private site search to enhance findability.

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