iGoogle is Dead. Are Online and Tablet Banking Dashboards Next?
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5 July 2012Jacob Jegher
Google has announced that it's going to deep six iGoogle, its dashboard portal to the web. Google is shutting it down because it claims that iGoogle, "had become less relevant in the age of the mobile Internet." There are likely numerous reasons for this shutdown - Google's "spring cleaning effort," politics, centralization of web apps in Chrome, etc. I've personally always liked iGoogle and the concept behind iGoogle (although I have to admit I don't use it much). In fact, the launch of portals like My Yahoo and iGoogle supported my thinking and research on the creation of online banking dashboards. This dashboard concept is something I have been writing about for years now, and banks and software vendors have been somewhat slow to catch on. This has however started to change, especially as tablets enter the picture - the perfect use case for a rich and interactive dashboard. Does the death of iGoogle mean that banks should abandon all plans for an online banking dashboard? Should software vendors be fearful that their investment in dashboard creation has been in vain? Absolutely not. In my opinion, iGoogle was axed because it becomes secondary to the Google experience. The web is boundless. In other words, when users go to Google they can launch into literally anything, based on their search. iGoogle attempted to box in the web. Online banking has boundaries, it's limited to select functionality and activities. It works to have key areas grouped onto a rich dashboard - these groups are the home of widgets that can be informational, transactional, managerial, service related etc. There is a case to be made for bringing as much of that functionality to the forefront of the online banking experience - it improves user efficiency and experience, it can showcase other bank products. I can go on and on here. Unlike iGoogle, we have just touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to online banking dashboards. The tablet will influence much of this experience (you can read about this concept here). This type of environment is starting to take on a prominent position, as banks catch up to the design of an offering that Google launched in 2005!