User Research for Financial Services

We are a small user research agency that specializes in ongoing research programs for product and UX teams. We have deep experience in financial services, in particular banking/insurance software, applications, and websites.

Over the past 10 years, we’ve worked with teams at a wide range of banks, insurers, credit unions, and finance NGOs. Our research helps financial firms make their designs, flows, and content more useful and usable for their customers. See why teams at GEICO, IMF, Union Bank, and PenFed trust Marketade to lead research on complex digital products.

Ongoing Research Programs in Financial Services

Marketade’s core service is building and running user research programs for enterprise and mid-size companies.

Within these custom programs, we lead discovery research and iterative UX testing to help teams build better digital products. While we’ve managed multi-year programs in many industries, our deepest experience is in financial services.

Featured Case Study:

Scaling User Research at GEICO

10 Years of Research

For 10 years, Marketade has partnered with GEICO’s digital experience team on 300+ user research projects spanning many products, teams, and methods.

5 Recurring Programs

We designed, launched, and managed 5 ongoing research programs — for call center applications, content strategy, and in-person testing with consumers.

100+ Workshops

We facilitated over 100 research-based analysis and ideation workshops, bringing in-depth user exposure and design thinking to hundreds of employees.

One-Time Research Studies in Financial Services

In addition to ongoing programs, we lead a small number of standalone user research studies in financial services. These are typically complex studies that require multiple rounds of qualitative research and/or a mix of methods.

Our toolkit includes discovery research methods (user interviews, personas, journey maps, concept/MVP testing) and UX research methods (usability testing, content testing, card sorts).

Case Study:

How UX Testing Helped BankFinancial Catch Problems Before Launch


The marketing team at NASDAQ-traded BankFinancial was ready to launch a new version of its public-facing website, and wanted to ensure a smooth launch for existing and prospective customers.


BankFinancial partnered with Marketade to lead a 5-week website usability testing project. The cornerstone of the project was a UX research and ideation workshop at the bank’s offices outside Chicago.


The 1-day workshop enabled a diverse stakeholder team to quickly reach alignment on critical UX problems and potential solutions — while learning new design thinking and collaboration tools.

“We found out what customers are looking for in a bank website … and gained insight on what needs to be improved.”

Lisa Stephens

VP of Customer Service, BankFinancial

More Work in Financial Services

Here are other examples and case studies of recent projects we’ve led for teams in financial services.

Buyer Journey Research for PenFed

In-depth interviews with 10 recent home buyers about their journeys. Defined 11 key home-buying steps and identified pain points and highlights. Learn more: Home Buyer Journey Research for PenFed.

Custom Research for a UN Financial Agency

Multiple discovery and UX research projects for a major financial agency of the United Nations. Interviews with economists and statisticians. Learn more: Strategic User Research for 3 UN Data Platforms.

Prototype Testing for an Online Bank

Moderated usability testing with 9 users on the online account opening flow for a leading national bank. Supplemented with unmoderated testing with 100 users. Learn more: Usability Testing Unlocks Problems in Bank Account Onboarding.

Iterative UX Testing for a Major Retail Bank

Back-to-back usability testing workshops, testing with 5 users each day. On the night of Day 1, designers made iterative changes to the prototype. We tested the revised version on Day 2. Learn more: Rapid Testing & Overnight Iteration Yield Quick Fixes for a Top Bank.

Design Sprints & Training for a Credit Union

Two 5-day design sprints for a 2-million-member credit union. Taught design thinking skills while tackling major business challenges. Learn more: How a Credit Union Used Sprints to Tackle Critical Business Challenges.

Case Study:

Improving a Financial Site’s Findability by 75%


The marketing team at a Fortune 500 financial firm was launching a high-profile microsite. Their proposed site architecture was based largely on intuition.


We worked with the team to conduct a card sort with 55 users organizing 75 pieces of content. We ran both moderated and unmoderated sessions.


The analysis allowed us to generate a new IA that outperformed the original IA by 75% in quantitative tree testing with 900 participants and 18 tasks.

“Working with Marketade has been an amazing experience. I highly recommended them to anyone!”

Hung Ngo

Senior UX Designer, PenFed Credit Union