Callahan Clients, please log in for direct access to:
Learn What You're Missing
Upgrade Your Subscription
Thank you for your interest in reading the fantastic content we have on CreditUnions.com! However, the page you are trying to access is for subscribers-only. To learn more, select an option below.
All users must now log in to read, research, browse, and have fun on CreditUnions.com. Yes, we still offer freebies. And, yes, it’s worth the extra effort.
Print or PDF this article today because you won't have access to it later. Or, click here to learn how to get 24/7 access.
In the first part of this series, we discussed the vital nature of online banking ‘usability' – the overall ease with which the user interfaces with your credit union online . Next, we're showcasing sound Web site design and content, without which credit unions cannot fully realize their potential to attract, retain and serve their membership via the online channel. Whether your credit union is launching a first-ever Web site, or redesigning an existing one – it's recommended that you do so every 3-5 years – read on to discover what sound Web site design and content can contribute to online your ROI.
Lay the Foundation
Information architecture (see Figure 1 below) provides the blue print for your Web site construction. Think about it in terms of building a house: all the rooms have to be laid out and conceived before breaking ground. Don't start building your Web site with out it.
No matter how visually appealing your Web site is, if the copy is not clear, concise and properly laid out, you will have failed. Consider the following 1 :
Bearing these facts in mind, you must follow these rules to create content that really counts:
Write in Chunks
Don't: The New York Times reviews the best-written hardback fiction novels today, which are typically crime related. The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connely is currently ranked first one week after publication. Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts is ranked second on its premier week…
Do:The New York Times Top 5 hardback fiction novels:1. The Lincoln Lawyer, by Michael Connelly2. Blue Smoke, by Nora Roberts.3. A Breath of Snow and Ashes, by Diana Gabaldon
With its brief heading, the “do” uses a list format, consistent layout and isn't unnecessarily complex: an excellent example of effective Web site content.
Create descriptive links
Don't: For more information on our student checking accounts, click here.
Do: We have additional information about our student checking accounts .
Avoid Marketing Speak: Even if you love the catchy name for your seniors' checking program, users may be unfamiliar with it. Only use marketing-speak if followed by its descriptor, i.e. STAR Senior Checking Program.
Be More Concise : Write no more than 50% of the text you would have used to cover the same material in a print publication.
Be Scan-Friendly : Avoid continuous blocks of text. Use short paragraphs, subheadings and bulleted lists stating the most relevant information first.
Follow Formatting Conventions:
Web Site Design : Consistency is King
While there are many important features necessary to create a user-friendly Web site, the most important one, by far, is consistency.
When a Web site offers consistent layouts (i.e. backgrounds of every page have a similar look and feel) and consistent navigation (i.e. navigation bars are fixed in same place on all pages), users 2 …
User friendly layouts include:
Navigation Know How
Limit global navigation – the main navigation bar – by grouping similar topics under each global navigation bar “button.” Employ utility navigation – the smaller print navigation located at the bottom and top of the page (i.e. contact us, site map, home, help) – effectively.
Web Site Maintenance
Regular Web site maintenance is imperative. Remember the information architecture – or the site's “blueprint”? Refer to it often to make sure your site's structure stays aligned. Other maintenance best practices include:
Most importantly, remember that you don't have to recreate the wheel. Hundreds of financial institutions have tested and retested what works online and you should benefit from their experience. Implement these best practices, and watch: as your Web site's usability and design improves, your membership satisfaction will grow, providing measurable return on your investment in the Web.
1 Design ing Web Usability , Jacob Nielson
2 Lynch and Horton's Web Style Guide, 2nd Edition
About Digital InsightDigital Insight® Corporation (www.digitalinsight.com) is the leading online banking provider for financial institutions. Through its comprehensive portfolio of Internet-based financial products and services built upon the company’s unique architecture, Digital Insight enables banks and credit unions to become the trusted transaction hub for their retail and commercial customers.
August 28, 2006
7/26/2012 04:05 PM
A very well written article. Holding true to the content of this article, it is concise and direct. I shared this with others in my office who are less aware of web design, information architecture and web copywriting. I look forward to further articles!
Submit your email address to receive daily industry updates and web-only features.
P: (800) 446-7453 | F: (800) 878-4712
1001 Connecticut Ave. NW Suite 1001
Washington, DC 20036