Banking Mobile & Online UX

USAA UX fail – non-clickable links

USAA UX fail – non-clickable links. Main image: Billion Photos,
Written by Jim Bruene

Jim Bruene notes navigation design flaws on the USAA website that could hinder customer onboarding.

I have long been inspired by USAA’s innovation, mission and execution, and haven’t written a negative word about them in 20+ years of covering the digital banking space. But like all streaks, it had to end sometime, and today was that day.

USAA UX fail. Screenshot by Jim Bruene

This morning, I typed ‘USAA’ into my browser to take a quick visit, looking for more inspiration, and noticed the surprising user experience faux pas. The site is currently using a bold, simple and copy-light design that I highly support, but a crucial step for user engagement is ‘mis-designed’.

The four product names listed above the main graphic – Insurance | Banking | Investments | Retirement – are not clickable despite using a different font treatment indicating they are links (see screenshot above). On 99% of websites, these items would be clickable. Instead, the bank expects users to click on the less visible primary navigation at the top, or scroll down the page.

USAA mobile UX fail. Screenshot by Jim BrueneBut that leads to another minor design flaw: because the page directly below the fold leads with pure white space, it’s not obvious to users with smaller laptops that there’s more content below the fold.

The responsive-designed page has an even worse UX on a smartphone (iOS). The top navigation disappears and users must scroll down six or seven screens before there are clickable navigation links (see inset). It definitely needs an overhaul.

The bottom line: most motivated visitors will have little problem finding the clickable buttons. Yet, if they’re like me, they will first click several times on the non-clickable line thinking something is broken. This isn’t a good first impression.

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– This article is reproduced with kind permission. Some minor changes have been made to reflect BankNXT style considerations. Read more here. Main image: Billion Photos,

About the author

Jim Bruene

After developing the first major PFM-based online banking program at US Bancorp in the early 1990s, Jim Bruene went on to found two companies in the space: Online Banking Report and the Finovate conference series. He has been writing and geeking out on digital financial services nearly every day for more than 20 years and is currently Principal of BUX Advisors, a fintech UX/UI consultancy, as well as continuing to help guide content at Finovate events.

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