Web Design

Ongoing redesign of Wells Fargo's public site checking pages

I lead the XD (Wells Fargo term for UX) effort to re-think, redesign, and update the Checking pages for Wells Fargo bank.


UPDATE: November 2023, we released a fundamental redesign of the Checking and Savings hub pages. This is the culmination of 3 years of work updating and clarifying the experience for humans. In that time, SEO value has climbed from zero, to where if you google "Checking," you find our pages at the top of the SERP

  • What to see and notice
    • This design removes the previous marquee for 'most popular account,' and it's now the first tab you see
    • We took the tested and working 'demographic' buttons above the product compare... and turned them into the product compare options
    • Page scroll is cut by ~60%
    • Sticky CTAs let you make a decision as soon as you see the service fee (a legal requirement)
  • In 2023 we also...
    • Updated the "Pew doc" (simple display of fees all banks must show) from a PDF to phone-friendly HTML. 
    • Updated the rates tables to be attractive, phone-friendly, and highlight the CDs with the highest rates
    • Redesigned and re-logicked the Product Selector to include Savings options in the quiz, and to look good doing it




Fix the pain points

Our whole checking ecosystem push, and especially the Checking Compare page was to fix two major customer pain points. "I can't tell the accounts apart," and "I don't know what it will cost." 

User testing!

I designed multiple rounds of moderated tests to answer design and content questions, building on what we learned. We could often say, "We had the same question! We tested it, and this was the result." 

A/B testing

We try out design variations on the live site, and also back-test replaced designs to make sure we're doing no harm. Application submit rates are key, but we also look at nuances like "do people apply for the correct account?" 

Customers love the giant fee table

We found that prospective customers needed to see all the fees, and were happy to scroll past fees that didn't apply to them. I can't overstate how shocking this was to the WF design community. "It's ugly!" Well... turns out it's useful, if you're choosing a bank. 

People are afraid of surprise fees, and say so. With the table, one subject said, "Oh, these are all the fees. That builds trust." We also saw the sales value of the table, as different  people keyed into different fees: wealthier prospects talked about the waived Wire Transfer fees, and poorer people keyed right into avoiding Overdraft fees. 

SEO improvements

I take SEO seriously, not to increase page rank, but to understand my customers. When we build for the visitor, the page rank comes. We put valuable information into tables that can scraped by Google and appear in a Quick-Answer right on the SERP. Our pages moved up to #2 result for the keyword "checking account." 


Fewer pain points

In building our ecosystem, we found that there were customer pain points around opening a teen account. Teens need to open in a branch (not online), and they need to bring a parent and a birth certificate. We added the right info at the right place, and those complaints went away. 

Better usability

In testing, I saw subjects come up against a popup asking for their Zip Code. They would close the popup and get redirected to the Wells Fargo homepage! I raised this as an issue, an socialized the problem, and got the popup restricted to only pages with interest rates that depend on the zip code. 

Iterative releases

We did multiple A/B tests to validate our design contenders, and moved to make the Checking Compare experience accessible a static page, directly accessible from a Google search.  

We changed Compare page marketing bullets to actual fee tables, and updated existing product page content with SEO insights about how people thought about the concepts, then rebuild them from scratch with new layouts, imagery, and fresh content.


All SEO "moonshot" projections were surpassed: important keywords moved up the SERP results, and we picked up new banking keywords we'd never ranked for. 

Visitors made almost 3 times as many applications due to our ecosystem improvements. More people applied directly for accounts that best fit their needs. Getting the right information in front of the right people clearly led to more successful applications. 

Prettier pages

By simplifying content, clarifying the hierarchy, and carefully choosing imagery to reflect a warm tone a wide set of people, we made the whole ecosystem feel much more inviting, but also communicate more clearly. 

  • Checking hub:
    • Products compared in-page using a mini-table for ease of scanning
    • App promo (4.8 stars) to replace a generic 'banking' component
    • FAQs - more structured data for Google
  • Compare Checking Accounts ("supercompare")
    • Page is directly accessible from the internet (no choosing what to compare)
    • All fees are visible and compared (no more opening 3 PDFs)
  • Clear Access Banking - a lower cost account
  • Everyday Checking - mass market account
  • Student Checking - contrasts CAB and EVD for students