Digital business solutions agency Dock9 has found that almost 50% of the 50 mortgage businesses surveyed, including lenders, brokers and service providers, have never tested their websites with end users.

Only a minority (20%) of those surveyed said they had conducted a usability test within the last month.

Around 50% of businesses believed that the digital experience they provide is either good or excellent, however nearly 50% said they feel it is only fair, with 15% believing it is poor.

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Respondents were also asked about the barriers to implementing digital change; those that came to the forefront were resources (31%) and business prioritisation (23%), with cost only being a barrier for 11%.

Mark Lusted (pictured), managing director of Dock9, said: “For 12 years, we have been encouraging the financial services sector to involve users more in continuous testing programmes that enable businesses to constantly adapt and improve their digital experience according to customer preferences and needs, so these results make slightly disappointing reading.

“However, these findings clearly illustrate how the improvement of your customers’ digital experience can be a differentiator between you and your competitors, as many of them will not be undertaking any form of usability testing.

“The importance of digital channels has never been clearer, especially with the experiences and knock-on effects during the pandemic likely to shape how we all work and interact digitally going forward.

“We’re seeing many companies now moving forward with plans to seriously digitise previously manual processes as a first step, with a longer-term goal of moving from selling commodity products to delivering truly digitally enabled intelligent services.

“The most successful companies have embedded regular usability testing as part of the design and development process – if yours hasn’t already, now is the time to start.”