In many instances, Diversified Financial websites must serve multiple masters. They must address audiences whose primary interests span a gamut of interests, including financial planning, investing, banking, insurance, and wealth management, just to name a few.

Given the broad range of audiences they must address — and the high-risk nature of most of their lines of business — it’s to be expected that these sites are straightforward and uncomplicated to use. This includes making content and features easy to find, providing resources and features that are easy to use, and ensuring that resources and features are useful for visitors.

To assess how well prominent sites in this industry achieve these objectives, the siteIQ team conducts Usability Index evaluations using the Diversified Financials version of the siteIQ Best Practices Usability benchmark. This benchmark includes 177 questions across four major categories and nine distinct sub-categories.

These questions measure the overall practicality, versatility, and convenience of any given website. A second review recategorizes the 177 questions into 16 unique Usability Dimensions that illustrate how sufficiently each website allows users to achieve everyday tasks, objectives, and goals.

The results of these evaluations allow the team to rank and rate each site based on category — and sub-category scores — and to determine the winner overall. This case study announces key findings for the Diversified Financials industry segment based on Website Usability and Website Usability by Dimension scores.

The websites evaluated in this segment include AJG.com, Ally.com, Ameriprise.com, BlackStone.com, FannieMae.com, FreddieMac.com, INTLFCStone.com, Jefferies.com, Synchrony.com, and Voya.com.

Industry Findings 

If nothing else, our inaugural Diversified Financials evaluations reveal one salient fact: That sites in this industry segment fall into two distinct groups.

The first group consists of Ally.com, Voya.com, Ameriprise.com, FreddieMac.com, and FannieMae.com, which all perform like a solid “B” student. Their grades are good enough to be recognized but fall shy of exemplary performance. This makes us wonder whether the teams managing these sites are trying to achieve excellence and haven’t yet reached it — or if they have decided that “good” is good enough.

Hopefully, the latter is not the case. There are several instances where just a little more effort would make a huge difference in the usability and effectiveness of these sites — and would go a long way in improving Sub-Category, Dimension, and Overall Usability scores.

The second group includes AJG.com, INTLFCStone.com, Synchrony.com, Blackstone.com, and Jefferies.com, which perform like a bunch of “C” students — with one “D” student thrown in. These sites consistently post Sub-Category and Usability by Dimension scores below 60% — and a daunting number falls well below that mark. What’s more, Jefferies.com is utterly void of content and features across three benchmark sub-categories, so it receives no score at all in these areas.

Of course, this poor performance means that sites in the second group have considerably more work to do to improve usability — let alone reach the Good Practice target. And, we recommend that they get to work on these issues soon since site effectiveness could be the make or break decision for potential customers in choosing one Diversified Financial provider over another.

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About the siteIQ Usability Index

siteIQ evaluated the thirty Financial Websites listed on the 2020 siteIQ Usability Index. These Websites are categorized into three industry-specific segments including:

  • Commercial Banks (53.com, BankofAmerica.com, BBT.com, BNYMellon.com, Citigroup.com, GoldmanSachs.com, JPMorganChase.com, Key.com, MorganStanley.com, NorthernTrust.com, Regions.com, StateStreet.com, SunTrust.com, USBank.com, WellsFargo.com)
  • Diversified Financials (AJG.com, Ally.com, Ameriprise.com, Blackstone.com, FannieMae.com, FreddieMac.com, INTLFCStone.com, Jefferies.com, Synchrony.com, Voya.com)
  • Securities (EdwardJones.com, FranklinResources.com, IntercontinentalExchange.com, KKR.com, Schwab.com)

These in-depth evaluations were conducted using the 2020 edition of the siteIQ Usability Index Best Practices Benchmark, which tracks results in 9 sub-categories and 16 Usability Dimensions.

The 2020 evaluations were performed during the first quarter of 2020.

Category: Index Rankings

Class: Website Reviews and Rankings

Websites Profiled: siteIQ Usability Index Websites – Finance Industry

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