The Task-Based UX Benchmark Study

UserZoom ran a quick competitive UX benchmark study between Wells Fargo and Kabbage, two financial service providers, to see how users experienced navigational and core tasks, as well as how they rate their overall experience on these websites.

  • We ran an unmoderated remote task-based benchmark study with 50 in-the-wild users on their own devices over the course of a single day
  • Participants were equally divided between the sites so that 25 went to each
  • They completed several tasks while on the site: a screenshot click test and a task-based test where we asked them to find and use a small business loan calculator to calculate total payment on a loan over 12 months
  • We also measured their brand perception and how they rated their overall experience

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First impressions are lasting impressions

We wanted to know what users’ first impressions were on both of the sites. We showed all participants Wells Fargo’s and Kabbage’s homepage and asked them to choose which site they associated with several UX attributes.

Participants felt that Wells Fargo was more trustworthy and informational, but also overwhelming. Kabbage was seen as being easier. Both brands polled closely in regards to being helpful, welcoming and organized.

Screenshot Click Test

To understand if visitors were able to easily find important information, we split participants evenly and asked them to complete a simple task while looking at a static image of a homepage: “Where would you click to find helpful resources for your small business?”

Wells Fargo

You can see that the page has a spread of heat with the largest grouping of clicks on Resources For Small Business in the header. The rest were spread fairly evenly amongst Small Business options as well as a secondary link to an online resource center near the footer.


Kabbage had a more dense grouping of clicks with the vast majority of users clicking on Resources in the header.

Online Task-Based Test

Small business owners often need a helping hand in order to get their fledgling business off the ground. This is why many financial service providers offer loans and lines of credit to entrepreneurs. Not all loans are created equally, however, which is why we tasked participants with finding out what the total cost of repaying a small business loan of $35,000 over 12 months would be.

To evaluate the success of the task we used validation through a questionnaire: what would be the total cost to repay the $35,000 loan over 12 months? Users who selected the correct amount were marked as Success.

A Non-Success result meant that the participant decided to either abandon the task, which was marked as an Abandon, or they selected the wrong amount on the validation questionnaire, which was marked as an Error.

So, how did the two challengers do?


Kabbage’s users were 16% more successful at the task overall than Wells Fargo’s participants. Let’s take a look at the breakdown in efficiency.

On average, Kabbage’s successful participants were completing the task in roughly half the time, pageviews, and clicks than Wells Fargo’s successful participants.

Non Success

Wells Fargo’s non successful participants were almost split down in the middle in terms of erring or abandoning. After watching the user videos, we noticed that participants weren’t sure where to go on the loans page and many ended up abandoning after unsuccessfully searching for a payment calculator. A majority of the participants who erred did so after finding a credit repayment calculator that required them to know the amount of debt as well as the interest rate and desired monthly fees.

Kabbage’s non successful participants mostly erred. After watching their sessions it was clear that they were getting to the correct page but weren’t changing the repayment slider for months from 6 months to 12, and thus were getting a different amount. The participant that abandoned did so after trying to apply for a loan, and realizing they were down the wrong path, gave up.

User videos

Wells Fargo user session
Kabbage user session

Ease of Use

After the tasks we asked all the users to rate how easy or difficult it was to accomplish, with 1 = Very Difficult, 4 = Neutral and 7 = Very Easy.

Problems & Frustrations

We asked the users which, if any, of the following problems or frustrations they encountered while on the site.

Wells Fargo

Respondents that chose “Other” were given an open ended comments box. These were their responses:

  • I found a calculator and tried to calculate it out, but apparently it was the wrong thing…
  • I didn’t know the interest rate, or if I needed an interest rate, or if the interest rate would have been told to me. Very confusing
  • Felt very difficult to get the info I was after

Brand Perception

We asked participants to rate their perception of the brand before and after their experience with the site.

For the rating scale: 1 = Very Negative, 4 = Neutral, and 7 = Very Positive. We also included the option for participants to say they weren’t familiar with the brand before the task.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

After participants interacted with the sites we asked them to rate how likely it was they would recommend them to friends, family or colleagues.

This week’s group of participants were more likely to recommend Kabbage’s site to friends, family and colleagues than Wells Fargo’s.


This week’s UX benchmark battle between small business loan providers proves that regardless of business size, a great experience is a must. And while both brands performed well, there can only be one winner. The winner this week is Kabbage! Kabbage swept a majority of the categories this round, including success ratios, user efficiency, ease of use, fewest problems reported and a higher NPS.

Most importantly, for all the small business owners out there remember that it’s not the size of the loan that counts, it’s how you use it.

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