Personal Finance Web Site User Experience 2014

When people experience the web, they draw their expectations from similar sites and sites they look at all the time. The only way to get a true picture of that experience is to observe what people do when they use these sites and understand how they perceive it. By measuring that experience, we can identify successes and opportunities.

Competition for consumers of personal finance advice is wide-open. People are looking online for financial resources and advice but there are so many options it’s hard to know where to begin and who to trust. In February 2014, Change Sciences asked consumers to use bank financial education sites and personal finance news sites to learn about how people experience financial education content.

While more than half of participants describe the sites in the personal finance set to be worthwhile, many had difficulty finding the specific content to suit their interest or need. According to one participant, “The thing I liked best, the large amount of information, is also the thing I liked the least. It can be a bit overwhelming to take in so much information at once.”

CNN Money is the worst performing site overall and had the worst success rate, falling 39% below the most successful site, PNC. Usability was a key differentiator in this set, which is consistent with other financial services datasets.


The above chart compares personal finance sites (shown as light blue circles) for usability, engagement and conversion in the context of a sample of datasets in other verticals (shown as gray circles).

Despite usability problems, participants rated these sites, which focus on personal finance advice, as 13% more trustworthy than start-ups that focus on personal finance tools. So the opportunity is there for established financial brands to capitalize on their reputations. Learn more about what these sites do well and where they fall short, and what it means for crafting a better user experience, in the full report.


Change Sciences research maps user experience to metrics for usability, engagement, and conversion. We combine objective metrics, or what people actually did, with subjective metrics, or what people said, in each of the three categories. Studies are remote and unmoderated, using the Change Sciences app to capture interactions, video of the sessions, and answers to questions about that experience.

Get the Research

Purchase the report to be included in the research. Get usability, engagement, and conversion scores for your site as well as a detailed custom report with illustrated best practices, common problems, and key drivers of a good online experience. 

Cost: $4,999

Download Purchase Agreement

Not ready to buy? Get in touch to set up some time to talk more about this research.

Explore: Banking and Money

Book some time to learn about our latest research or talk about your project.