Without question, Securities websites have the most precarious charter than sites in any other segment we track: To invest and manage the assets of individuals and small businesses in an ever-changing economic environment that is often uncertain and volatile.

Thus, it’s to be expected that these sites immediately convey knowledge, expertise, and experience while simultaneously communicating proven long-term success.  At the same time, these sites must include content that fosters a strong sense of trust with users and potential investors. And, they must accomplish all of this without seeming overly pretentious or braggadocious.

To assess how well prominent Securities sites achieve these objectives, the siteIQ team conducts Usability Index evaluations using the Securities 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 common 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 Securities industry segment based on Website Usability and Website Usability by Dimension scores.

The websites evaluated in this segment include EdwardJones.com, FranklinResources.com, IntercontinentalExchange.com, KKR.com, and Schwab.com.

Industry Findings 

When we first saw the results of our inaugural Securities evaluations, you could have bowled us over with a feather. This is primarily because sites in this segment perform relatively poorly based on every metric we use to assess website usability and effectiveness.

Their usability by sub-category scores range from minimal to modest, as does their performance based on Usability by Dimension. Most surprising, though, is that the Overall Website Usability scores these sites register don’t even break 55%.

As disappointing, EdwardJones.com and Schwab.com — which we were sure would land in positions of leadership — wind up in the middle of the Overall Website Usability and Usability by Dimension rankings. More confounding, however, FranklinResources.com, which we all thought was kind of dull and unoriginal, ranks first among tracked Securities sites.

But it’s hardly time for the folks who manage this site to plan a victory celebration. IntercontinentalExchange.com ranks second by a margin of less than 1%, so one minor improvement could give it enough momentum to knock FranklinResources.com off the winner’s podium.

That said, any of the tracked Securities sites could make significant scoring advances if some of the most glaring usability issues were addressed. Of course, rectifying these issues would also significantly improve the usability and effectiveness of these sites for users and potential customers, which given their current state, should be Job One.

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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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