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How Sainsbury's Bank improved user experience

How Sainsbury's Bank improved user experience

Best Practice from User Vision


Sainsbury's understands that if a customer has a bad experience online, they will not expect to have a good relationship with the provider.  It is hard for banks to differentiate their products online and usability and a good customer experience is a powerful differentiator in the fiercely competitive market of online banking.

User Vision, one of Europe's leading usability companies, has worked with Sainsbury's Bank for several years to ensure it maintains a consistently strong and positive customer experience. User Vision's work in testing propositions has helped influence business decisions and avoid costly mistakes.

Critically, User Vision has helped Sainsbury's to increase conversion rates.

Karen Horsburgh, Sainsbury's Online Operations Manager comments: "User Vision is like an extension of our team.  We can call on them at any time and they never say no.  We really enjoy working with them, they are great fun, while being very focused and professional."


Back in 2005 when User Vision first started working with Sainsbury's, the team knew it could improve its conversion rates.  To do this it knew it had to tackle usability issues on the site.

Sainsbury's Bank works in product cycles so there are regular changes to products and it is vital that a positive user experience is maintained throughout, that no new issues are introduced during development and that usability is balanced with the business objectives.

In 2007 a closer integration between all channels began - with new designs to integrate the bank's offering within the main JSainsbury's website. User Vision was closely involved in the iterative testing required to ensure an effective and cohesive user experience.

A large number of projects have been undertaken over the three years to help deliver a positive user experience every time.

User Vision's work has included usability and accessibility testing and audits, eye tracking, expert evaluations, focus groups, copywriting, wireframe creation and testing, process re-engineering, email marketing and competitive evaluations.

Introducing strong calls to action and benefit-led content style helped to increase conversion rates by clearly outlining the benefits of going to Sainsbury's, drawing site visitors through brochureware content.

Standardising third party providers and brand processes to the Sainsbury's brand meant a more consistent user experience.  User Vision helped influence third party vendors to change and improve quote processes.

When the bank redesigned its website, User Vision was involved from the start of the design process, ensuring that the site had usability built into its core.


User Vision's principle aim has been to increase conversion rates through the creation of a highly effective user experience.  Usability has helped increase conversion rates across the board.

Analysis by User Vision revealed a problem with error messaging on home insurance, which was causing users to drop off and abandon the application process.  By fixing that problem User Vision reduced the drop off rate by 25%.

User Vision identified that simply changing payment protection insurance from ‘opt out' to ‘opt in' created a more positive user experience. This, combined with a tailored approach to cover options and highlighting the daily cost to the user, massively increased conversion rates 8 fold.

User Vision was involved at an early stage in the re-design of the theme page.  By working closely with the designers and introducing the key principles of usability at the start of the design process, the efficiency of the page increased with the number of people moving on from that page rising from 70-95% and referrers from JSainsbury's doubling.

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