The Royal Bank delights in torturing me with mediocre customer service. Yet, because it’ll be such an enormous hassle to switch banks, I never do. The latest irritant is a change to their online banking user interface.
Here’s how it used to look when you logged in (anonymized to keep my money safe):
Here’s how it looks now:
I assume the Royal Bank did some user analysis and figured out that most users just want to transfer money from one place to another, or to pay a bill. So, they promoted that functionality to the ‘home page’. That’s sound thinking, and fair enough.
Of course, the bank makes money through transfers and bill payments, so it makes sense to make that feature as accessible as possible. The redesign also screws people like me, who want to go immediately to their business accounts. Those accounts are behind an item the list of links halfway down the page.
What’s more unacceptable, however, is how they’ve rearranged the page to add a bunch of advertising for their products and services. In each screenshot, I’ve highlighted the advertising zones in yellow. In the old version, the offers were buried in the right sidebar. Today, they’re all over the place, and occupying the very space that might display the old, very useful, summary of account balances.
The “Your Communications” section is actually quite a recent addition, and occupies very valuable screen real estate at the top of the page. Most of my “communications” are cross-promotions for new credit cards and the like.
They’ve taken a service I already pay for, made it less useful, and added way more advertising. I tell you, Vancity is looking more attractive with each passing day.