Tips for Improving Participant App Home Screens

by on Jul 12, 2017

As consumers continue to turn to their mobile devices to monitor and manage their financial lives, their expectations for app design and functionality are being set by leading institutions both inside and outside of the financial services industry. Usage statistics show a significant percentage of users typically do not advance beyond plan homepages when accessing account information digitally, and this holds true regardless of the device from which participants are accessing their account information. Therefore, firms must provide well-balanced, attractive plan home screens on their phone apps that present critical account data, resources and links to key app functionality.

In our recent report on app home screen best practices, we analyzed the digital user experience of leading retirement plan providers, assessing the competitive landscape through our Retirement Plan Monitor product. Here are our top tips for improving a participant retirement plan app home screen:

1. Prioritize key account information and supplement data with charts and graphs. In general, a strong selection of plan data is the cornerstone of an effective retirement plan home screen. While it is not necessarily appropriate to load a mobile home screen with the same quantity of information found on a desktop site, mobile home screens should prioritize the most important and informative data and communicate those figures clearly and concisely. However, the benefits of providing a variety of plan data dissipate if the screen is difficult to read and made to appear cluttered and overwhelming. Providing visual representations of data can help firms maximize mobile devices’ limited screen space, particularly when one chart or graph serves multiple functions.

Fidelity Mobile Home Screen Account Data Sections

2. Position key resources directly on the home screen. A mobile app home screen should provide key resources that make participants aware of any aspects of their plans that require attention, and it should then make it easy for them to take the related recommended action. Firms can accomplish this by providing personalized advice messaging and participant messages or alerts on the home screen. Firms should consider including salary deferral change transactions on mobile app home screens because providing immediate access to this transaction may encourage participants to make positive changes.

Principal Mobile Home Screen Resources

3. Facilitate navigation with quick links. Home screen quick links are important not only because they expedite navigation but also because they can encourage users to visit other areas of apps. A well-rounded selection of quick links provides access to plan data and transactional screens, educational content and plan documents and participant profile screens. Firms should consider incorporating both contextually placed quick links as well as dedicated quick link menus on home screens.

4. Incorporate organizational features to improve page design. Organizational features are an effective way for firms to provide more content on home screens without overwhelming users with cluttered or overly long screens, a concern given mobile devices’ limited screen space. Providing these features on home screens ensures that participants looking to get overviews of their plans can do so quickly and efficiently while participants searching for more detailed information can still access it directly from the home screen.

Lincoln Financial Group Mobile Home Screen Expandable Contribution Section

For more information on mobile home screen best practices, please see the Retirement Plan Monitor reports on phone and tablet home screen design.