CommBank website gets a new mobile-friendly look

The bank wants to get personal

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is gearing up for the launch of its new CommBank.com.au website, which it hopes will provide users with a much more personal experience.

Drew Unsworth, CBA's general manager of online banking, noted that the site hadn't been revamped in over seven years.

"As you grow a website like this and bolt on things, you discover that it stops being useful for customers with just way too much content," he said.

"What we've tried to do is simplify it and just surface the content that's relevant to our customers - that's what the new CommBank site is about."

With different hubs for it's personal, business and corporate customers, along with NetBank logins, the new site's home page will feature tiles that when clicked, turn over to provide more information, allowing for a far more interactive experience.

Each hub will also provide a menu that is relevant to each type of customer, and there is also a utility menu with options for logging in to your personal account, saving pages in the "Things I Like" hub, currency rates, history and ATM and branch locations.

Designing for mobile outwards

Unsworth said that about 50 per cent of traffic to the CBA website is currently on a mobile device. With mobile devices playing such a huge role, CBA's new website has been completely rewritten and designed first for smartphones.

Being just the one build for all devices, unlike websites that have both a desktop build and a separate mobile build, CBA's new website page can then expand and rearrange itself for larger or rotated screens without the need for pinching to zoom on smaller screens.

"We've designed in such a way that it will work with any of those devices," Unsworth said.

Unsworth also realised that with the rise of tablets and smartphones, people are now more used to scrolling through sites, clicking on menus and "discovering" the relevant information.

This allowed him and his team to build a simpler and clearer design, making it easier to find relevant content by placing things in hubs rather than try to fit everything onto a single page or through a list of links.

Reorganising the content became a priority, and a new "Can" section was developed, which helps customers explore all the options and products for "life events", such as buying a car or planning for retirement.

Getting to know you

With a utility menu following you around the new site as you go to different pages or scroll, and the ability to save pages to get to later in the "Stuff I Like" hub, the new website is putting an emphasis on delivering a much more personal and relevant experience to customers.

"If you look at our old website, we don't know who you are, whether you're a personal or business customer... we'll just give everybody all the same content," Unsworth said.

"What we're trying to do is make it relevant."

The website also uses social integration, on-site behaviour and history to deliver more relevant special offers and information.

The CommBank community

Starting from July, CBA will also be launching "Support Community", which will be a forum backed by social crowdsourcing platform Lithium.

Unsworth said that he hopes the forum will allow customers to search and ask questions online, which other community members can answer.

It will be monitored by employees who will also be able to answer posted questions, allowing customers another avenue to engage with the bank.

Into the future

Unsworth said that the new build of the website is just the beginning for CBA.

One of its long term visions is the ability to synchronise "Stuff I Like" hubs and histories across devices and between its app and website.

"There's so much more we can do," Unsworth said. "That's what I think is most exciting about this, is having rebuilt the site from the ground up with the vision of those sorts of things in mind, then how do we actually start executing those things to give customers a more personal experience."

The new website will be launching in the next few weeks, the Support Community forum will be launching in July.