Axis Bank & Axis Direct Sites – Poor User Interface

We often see award ceremonies for best Banks from ET / Business Standard / Business India etc. Happy CEO’s gloating over their trophies ( which in most cases is linked to the ad spends you have made with that media group). I wish there would be an award for Online Bank Sites on ease of User Design / interface. I am confident that if there were one such award the bank that would win the LAST price for being the worst designed site would be Axis Bank & Axis Direct. 


Online Interface design for financial institutions have been happening for over 15 years. I remember how easy it was to use Datek Online in the US in 1999. Wellsfargo, Washinton Mutual in US and even Citibank and Stanchart in India have excellent intuitive UI design.

In addition to color, layout, font and clutter the two basic rules for website design are

1. How many clicks to get your job done

2. How prominent is my Call to Action

If I evaluate the Axis Bank and Axis Direct sites on these two parameters they fare very poorly.

Lets take the simple job of logging into – you want to see your balance. In most global banks that would be one click. the login page would be visible on the home page. In Axis bank its 5 Clicks.

1. – 2. Click on Login in a  cluttered home page where the CTA of Login is barely visible – 3. You land at a page that says imp information and has the login button again saying continue to login – 4. You land at help and support and how Axis is now available for Mac users & Continue to Login – 5. Finally you come to the secure login page where you can enter your login credentials

Painful? But thats Axis Bank and its incredibly poor UI design. I wonder who designed this website. But your problem doesn’t end there. In most sites including banks you can customise your login credentials. In Axis Bank its your Cust ID thats a 9 digit number which is difficult to remember. Most people would have their logins to all their favourite sites common – its easy to remember. Trying to remember the cust ID for Axis Bank is a pain – so every time you need to log in you need to check back on a file / folder where you may have written this number.

There are many transaction – which requires you to enter your Cust ID even if you have logged in with it. You have a Transaction password but in most cases you need to do the Transaction Password and the OTP that comes by phone. Overall very messy – the folks in the bank say its RBI regulation – but I am surprised that Citibank , Stanchart and most MNC banks operating in India under RBI guidelines don’t have this level of mess.

I am stopping here on Axis bank – but there is lots more to talk about. The site is begging for an average UI designer to take it up and clean it – I hope someone from Axis Bank management sees this blog and gets on the the job fast.

Lets move on top Axis Direct the trading site which even beats the Axis bank site. The home page is a clutter with no clear CTA, but if we can live with that lets see the effort to do some basic tasks.

View your Portfolio – thats the basic you want to do and see whats the gain / loss in your portfolio. Its 6 steps to get there after crossing many Ads

1. – 2. login – 3. My Portfolio – 4. Equity – 5. Detailed View – 6. Instrument Equity . And once you finally land on the equity page there is no way for you to buy or sell the stocks that you see listed there. Normally there would be a simple button next to the equity in the Portfolio page saying Trade. But that common sense does not exist with Axis Direct.

Lets look at a few other examples and how difficulties to get to something as basic as seeing your Profit & Loss or your Trade book history. All of which is needed to determine your Tax Liability. The list below may look simple now – but the site is so poor on intuition that it took me hrs and multiple trials before I was able to figure this out

To check Derivatives Profit and loss: My portfolio>> Derivatives>> Portfolio analysis>> Tax Implications on my Derivative Portfolio.

To check Equity Profit and loss: My portfolio >> Equity>> Portfolio analysis>> Tax Implications on my Equity Portfolio.

To check Derivatives Profit and loss: My portfolio>> Derivatives>> Portfolio analysis>> Tax Implications on my Derivative Portfolio.

For Mutual fund Profit and loss: My portfolio >> MF >> Portfolio analysis>> Tax Implication for my Mutual fund portfolio.

Getting to Your Trade Book : Step 1: Login 
> Step 2: Click on Trading >> History >> Trade book.

 Step 3: Select Equity trade book.

 Step 4: Select date ‘From and To’.
 Step 5: Click on ‘view report’.

India is known for its software design expertise. But examples like this clearly show why we are an outsourcing hub and not a design centre for products. User Interface, aesthetics, testing are all areas that are way down on our priority list. We just want to get the job done and say – we also have a website, so what if its the worst website in the country – who cares.

If Axis bank has a SEO / SEM web Marketing department – I am sure someone will pick this up and forward it to their MD. I hope very soon I can see a better site with better UI capability.

Spread A Few Good Things

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