Essay On Website: Look And Feel

1871 words - 8 pages

Website: Look and FeelThe Banking and Investment business is one of the more competitive type organizations in today's marketplace. To decrease cost and increase profit the banking industry is moving toward the virtual storefront and away from its grass-roots of the "bricks and mortar" business design. Like any business-to-consumer e-business venture, the primary focus would be to develop, operate, and manage the e-business website to increase membership of the organization's online customer base along with using the internet as an addition tool and benefit for other more traditional banking customers. Based on Netstore (2007, para. 4), "if your customer cannot find what they want and buy it securely, quickly, and easily they will just go elsewhere."Before a bank or investment firm can launch an e-business website, the company must build an e-commerce website. Team D will review and describe the "look and feel" of three banking and investment websites and how they differ from each other. Team D will also evaluate each website on ease of navigation and functionality.Snap shot of each website's home pageEvaluation of WebsitesEach site was very easy to navigate. I was able to get from one part of the site to another with just the one click of the mouse. There were options available to acquire more information if needed, but most of the subsection found on the home page gave adequate detail to locate and identify each link or service available to the consumer. Each site offers the option to register on line; however, there were membership requirement that had to be met before enrollment. With USAA, the member had to have some relationship to the Arm Services. Even with some limitations due to membership requirements, non-members or non-registries could navigate the site to as his or her leisure.The website design for USAA (2007) and Bankofamerica (2007) both have simple colors for pages that are easy to read. However, Sharebuilder's website (2007) colors are a bit bolder. Even with the difference, they are all easy to read and understand. The graphics on each site were fast-loading; only one site ( activated a popup blocker notice.The sites are similar in functionality. However, USAA doesn't have its own search engine-at least not on its now member home web page. Each offers a full range of services. USAA Financial is a full service and fully integrated financial services company in America (, 2007). (better known as ING Direct) at least from the Television commercials, lists its services on the home page. They are all similar and secure site. Easy to navigate, with all tools needed to research the company and its products and services available to the customer.USAAThe web site for USAA has a very appealing and easy to maneuver design. The site offers many different arenas to navigate through to learn about their many features. I first noticed the login and password section and thought I would not be able to find out much information without going through a long process to acquire a login and password to the site, but to my surprise there is plenty of information to access without requiring logging in.Looking for banking and investment options I found that USAA offers a variety of checking, savings, money-market and CD accounts. The main office is in San Antonio Texas but all business can be conducted online. The bank mails to its customers a packet of information on the use of the internet and other features of the accounts offered. The packet includes postage paid envelopes for mailing in deposits, plenty of deposit slips, a pamphlet on making online deposits using a scanner and the internet and an explanation of fees. The accounts have ATM or debit cards that can be used just about any ATM and the debit card is through MasterCard. The fees accrued by using ATM's are credited back into the account to up to 10 a month.USAA banking also has free bill pay. The customer is able to set up the payees to the bills and either pay the same amount each month at the same time, or set it up to be adjusted with each payment. The site also provides email notification for many services. The customer can have email reminders sent when bills are due, when deposits go in, or when the balance gets to a certain amount.USAA offers banking, investing, credit cards, loans, insurance and advice to its customers. USAA was founded by the military to serve the military. There are many services aimed toward military members that other financial institutions either do not provide or are unaware of the needs. If the member purchases a vehicle financed through USAA there are no issues with shipping the vehicle overseas as a result of a change of tour. Many lien holders will not allow this which forces the service member to leave the car in the U.S. or sell the car quickly while preparing to go overseas. The investment services work with and understand the military savings plans that are available to service members. There are also financial counselors available to help military families prepare of deployments and other military adjustments that affect the finances of the families involved.The two downfalls to USAA are that they cater to only to military and their families and there is no local branch available except in San Antonio Texas. A benefit to USAA is the many services that are offered which are designed for all ranges of income levels and investment capabilities. The employees are very familiar with military rank and issues giving the member a sense of comfort and avoiding frustrating conversations where the financial institution does not understand the idiosyncrasies of military is an online brokerage website for all types of investors. They make it easy and affordable for even the smallest investor, but it is also a good brokerage for experienced investors as well. The goal of course is to allow people to create and build wealth over time. They have an automatic investing plan that lets you decide how much to invest on a regular basis as well as allow you to purchase partial shares.Their website is very easy to navigate and has a smooth flow to it. At the top of the website you can see the homepage, accounts, trade, research, education and banking. Each topic has subtopics to help you further understand just what they offer. One thing in particular they offer which is very good is education including free investment guidance. For those who have never invested before need this information and sharebuilder makes it easy to locate on their website.Under the accounts tab sharebuilder offers Individual and Joint accounts, traditional and Roth IRAs and Custodial and Educational Savings Accounts. They also promote the fact that there is no minimum amount of money required in order to open an account, as well as no inactivity fees. Other comparable brokerages usually require a minimum deposit before you can open an account.The website is very easy to navigate, has a bright look to it and is not confusing at all. You can find whatever you are looking for with just a click or two of your mouse. This makes it a great website because too much clutter on a webpage will turn people away from that site. Sharebuilder provides a real time ticker so you can see what is going on with the Dow Jones Industrial, NASDAQ and S&P 500. This is important because investors want to know what is going on with the market on any given day.Their research tools offered on the site are very useful. It allows the investor to use their stock finder to help decide which stocks to invest in, investment advice and also a calculator that shows where your portfolio would be if you had invested in a particular stock. The overall quality of the sharebuilder website is among the top tier. It has all the functionality it should have based on their business and is easy to use. It is appealing and not intimidating which is a definite plus for attracting new investors.Bank of AmericaBank of America is full a service Bank and Financial Services Institution. The e-business feature is just an extension of the other banking options offered by the company. As I reviewed the site, I found it to be quite easy to navigate. The websites functions and banking features are found on the home page. The design is consistent throughout the website. This made it easy to browse and find my way from one option to another. Each option was just one no more than two mouse clicks away. Most of the colors--such as the blue--were appealing. I thought the red was a bit too bold, but it did get ones attention…The advertisement stating that the investment services offered zero online trading, now that caught my attention (BankofAmerica, 2007). I am currently a member of Bank of America and I never noticed the advertisement. I normally just enter my information to log-on to the system to complete banking transactions. Due to this need to review the site, I have learned something new about the bank that I have done business with for at least ten years. It was right in front of me, but I just had not looked at it with the eyes of a new customer.ConclusionBusinesses are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to increase sales and decrease cost. E-commerce is just another opportunity to reach the consumer and continue to streamline business transactions with its business partners. No matter the industry-banking included-- all websites, which is the virtual doorway for organizations doing business on the Internet, must provide the right tools at the right time. The website must be easy to navigate, offer attractive products or services of great customer value, and provide security. The sites that Team D visited to assess the "look and feel" appears to have met these goals. The websites were easy to navigate and offered a number of banking products and services that could build customer satisfaction, loyalty, so customers would perhaps take the next step and become a loyal member of the (2007). Online banking. Retrieved December 21, 2007, from, G.R. (2004). Electronic commerce: The second wave. (University of Phoenix, 5th e). Boston: Thomson Course (2007). ING Direct. Retrieved December 21, 2007, from (2007). Advice and Planning/Advice Center. Retrieved December 21, 2007, from


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