In today's world, every bank needs an accompanying mobile application. It just makes sense. It's almost shocking to see an actual line forming at a bank nowadays, because of what you can do with just your phone. There's no reason for you to go to the bank to check your balance, send/cash a check or open a new savings/checking account. You can do all that on your way to work with a few dozen taps with your smartphone. Banks are adopting technology nicely, but something they all seem to lack (sans Simple) is an appealing, friendly design.
I've used the Chase app since I opened my Chase checking account. I can't remember the last time I actually went to a Chase branch to manage my money. They have online banking, for desktop users (which was recently updated), but that thing worse than PayPal's offerings. Couple that with slow load times, I primarily use my phone when it comes to banking. Unfortunately for me, and thousands of other Chase customers, their mobile app isn't pretty; nor is it user-friendly.
A New Chase Mobile
With some extra time, I decided to rethink and redesign parts of the Chase application that I thought needed some love. With no disrespect to those responsible for it's current design, the application is this confusing cluster of confusing navigation, wasted space and blue. Lots and lots of various shades of blue. Above-all, nothing really fits. Not the colors, the layout and certainly not the icon (although, to be fair, I remember it being worse).
Pictures are better than words, so let me show you how I would do Chase Mobile:
Mobile banking updated for today's world. Upbeat branding with modern spin on a prominent-but-dated logo, thick type and COLOR. I'd like to go through each of the screens I've designed, and compare it to Chase's current solution.
Opening the App
So first thing's first; starting the application.
So, right off the bat, I'm making a fundamental change; merging two screens (the one on the left, and a login screen) into one. 99% of the time, I want to log in to my account and check my balance. Though one extra tap is hardly an inconvenience, streamlining this just makes sense. Keeping a user logged in stirs up some security concerns (personally, I think you should enter a PIN, rather than your password each time), so I'm going to keep my non existant security skills out of this.
Another thing I'd like to point out is the colors. The current apps palette is dreary, and though some may argue that it comes off more serious, I believe above-all, apps should be welcoming. I don't see the vibrance of an application sabotaging the "serious" image of a company.
After logging in to your Chase account, you are brought to your activity page - not your accounts. I have no data on how many accounts people have associated with their bank, but I am willing to bet people manage money day-to-day using just one. Therefor, here you can set a default account. You will be brought to it's activity page when logging in, but you can always tap "accounts" to see all your accounts and their respective balances.
Get some more information about items in your activity by tapping on them. There's tons of room to expand on this, such as a button for disputing a charge, categorizing your purchases to keep track of your finances, maybe even a map-view of where we made said purchase. We should be able to know more about the transactions we make, and this provides a way to display that information.
Here's another instance where I think streamlining would make sense. When paying bills, I care about two things when it comes to the mobile interface; making a new payment, and seeing what payments I have coming up. With QuickPay (which is actually pretty cool, if only just a little clunky), I just want to send, request and see what's going on with whatever activity is already going on with QuickPay. To Do List isn't necessary, I can do that from my phone.
I want to be notified via the app when someone sends me money, or requests money via QuickPay. That's what the red badge is for. If I am not enrolled in QuickPay, I would like to do so with only a few taps, which I touch on in the item under "Wire Transfers."
This one is pretty straightforward. I toyed with the idea of having the camera open right as you tap on the "Deposit" icon in the tab bar, but it'd flip right into landscape and just be too clunky, I think. So I like how Chase does it now; two taps to get to the camera. However, I think it would be much better to have one button, rather than two inputs for both back and front images. After reviewing the front photo, the app would keep the camera open and prompt you to take a photo of the back.
Is my solution perfect? Probably not, and I expect to revisit this in a few months and see what else I can come up with. However, I do think it's a large step in the right direction. Though these are mostly aesthetic changes to make the app more friendly, the application can benefit from some of the menu and interface changes.
I had some fun with their logo as well. The first is my version of the logo, folded into a "C." The second is given some (too much) treatment, but is nice for display. It's also rounded, unlike the others. The third is just a white variation of the folds.