Halifax

Creating a future vision for Halifax’s homepage

Exploring the art of the possible in best practice, user-centric, homepage design for one of the UK’s most popular banks.

The Vision

Halifax were losing 1 million users a month from their homepage resulting in lost revenue opportunities and poor customer satisfaction ratings. They asked Somo to research, validate and design a new future-proofed homepage concept that was user-centric for both new and existing customers and drove product engagement.

Industry Landscape

Over recent years, the banking industry has been disrupted by new digital challengers promising a superior UX alongside competitive financial products. This is one of the reasons behind the ‘old guard’ making digital transformation their biggest priority, with the aim of retaining existing customers as well attracting younger, digital native audiences, the customers of tomorrow.

With the growth in open source technology and challengers gaining banking licences, switching providers, products or channels is much easier now than it was a decade ago. Which means that mainstream banks must continue to optimise all areas of their customer experience, both digital and physical, to stay competitive.

Challenge

Halifax is one of many Lloyds Banking Group companies who share legacy systems and digital infrastructures. So, one of the key tasks was to strike a balance between following the north star vision whilst maintaining operational stability with other group sites. There were other organisational challenges too such as ensuring both brand and UX principles were equally addressed and agreeing homepage content hierarchy.

Approach

Working closely with Halifax’s progressive in-house product team, we ran a conception sprint which began with user research and data analysis and culminated in a clickable prototype, along with a series of hypothesis-led experiments.

Our approach was based on ‘inclusive design’ and creating real-time relevance based on browsing history. Giving users a personalised, evolving homepage experience at each visit and allowing them to find what they needed without always having to log in. This was achieved using the AI capabilities of Adobe Experience Manager and led to the creation of simple tools like a semantic search facility and dynamic content dashboard.

Business Outcomes

The results from user testing indicated that our homepage prototype added value in several ways: increased brand satisfaction, superior content management and a more efficient way to meet customer needs at first visit. Many of the recommendations we proposed have been taken forward in Halifax’s ongoing roadmap of improvements to its overall website experience.

What the client said

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"Somo’s work was integral to re-imagining the experience of our public website and how we deliver content. It has been key to informing our strategy for the next 18 months. During shaping, testing, design, and playback Somo were truly collaborative with our people; the final result was a beautifully designed North Star vision that facilitates taking stakeholders on a journey with us."

Adam Betts-Symonds
Senior Product Manager Websites & Content at Halifax