in Tech Writing Users Apps ~ read.

UBank Has NFC About Correct User Feedback

I’ve got a Google Nexus 6p which has all the things a current-gen handset should have. NFC is standard as it was on my Nexus 5 two years earlier, and the operating system is Android 7.1.1 (currently in Beta).

I’ve wanted to try out contactless payments through my phone for a while now, and noticed that UBank offered this function through their app.

What I discovered when trying to set this feature up made me question the ability of UBank to understand a typical user of their banking app for anything other than transferring money around.

1. The Problem

The information shown when the app was unable to set up Mobile Payments was too technical for the audience. The real issue is that the information was just plain wrong.

UBank NFC Nope.png

When I loaded the Mobile Payments menu in the app, I saw a poor implementation of reading the device’s build.prop and other common system files to determine device state and hardware capabilities.

Let’s break it down per message.

1.1. Device Incompatible

UBank NFC Device.png
Figure 1. Device Incompatible

The incompatibility detected was that the operating system was not greater than "Android 4.4 (KIt Kat)".

I’m running Android 7.1.1, which is well above this requirement.

From a user’s perspective, this makes the app look erroneous, which is not good for a banking app.

Not only is there a typo in KIt Kat, the app can’t even get my Android version? Really?

1.2. Not Supported

UBank NFC Not supported.png
Figure 2. Not Supported

This is already iterated above in [Figure 1]. I don’t need to see this again. I’m already frustrated enough as it is.

1.3. OS Compatibility

UBank NFC OS Compat.png
Figure 3. OS: compatibility

Failure to detect the correct Android version appears to be the issue here again.

It may be the fact I’m participating in the Android Beta Channel program, but that is not clear from this message. All I feel as a user is "UBank is wrong".

1.4. CPU

UBank NFC CPU.png
Figure 4. CPU

So you need an ARM-based CPU to use payments?

You mean, the Snapdragon ARM Cortex-A57 CPUs that are actually used in my device?

You can imagine what I’m thinking as a user at this point. The message actually suggests that I go off to the internet and try hunting for the type of processor my phone uses, just so I can try and troubleshoot this issue?

1.5. NFC

UBank NFC NFC.png
Figure 5. NFC

You effing what?

Not only is my device equipped with an NFC element, it is turned on. Right now.

"WHY CAN’T YOU SEE IT?", I yelled at my screen, hoping the developers of the banking app would get a burning sensation on the back of their necks.

1.6. Rooted

UBank NFC Rooted.png
Figure 6. Rooted

Yes. Yes! This part of your app truly is Rooted.

However my phone is not.

The Bootloader is unlocked, but I do not have any superuser binary installed on this hardware.

So, wrong. Again!

2. Summary

I can attempt to summarise this issue as follows:

  • the app doesn’t know about Android 7.1.1 because it isn’t an officially supported Android release. Yet.

  • because there is no record of this Android version in the app’s database, it can’t verify the release

  • It takes a best guess about what might be going on, and gets it horribly wrong.

2.1. Product Owner

From a Product Owner’s perspective:

  • it doesn’t match the tone of the rest of the app in the information it provides.

  • when a device is analysed and determined not to be compatible, there is too much information for the average Android user to parse.

  • this screen will probably result in a Help Desk call if users encounter the "Nope" screen like this.

2.2. Technical Writer

From a Technical Writer’s perspective:

  • the copy needs to be reviewed from a spelling and consistency perspective.

  • the information needs to be terse, and correct for the audience.

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