North Shore Credit Union (NSCU) launched its revised website on June 27, 2007 with an updated information architecture and design created by Habanero Consulting Group. The site is part of NSCU's commitment to continuous improvement and meeting the needs of its members.
Some of the exciting features of the redesigned site include a home-page content switcher that allows NSCU to deliver multiple messages efficiently; a compressed information architecture, which eliminates one level of navigation and reduces duplication of content; improved, task-oriented tools and navigation, so users can more easily accomplish tasks; improved section-page layouts to better balance usability, readability, relevance, and search engine optimization; and a wider 1024x768 pixel page layout, which allows for a larger viewable content area.
A user experience leader, Habanero followed established best practices by testing concepts in focus groups and conducting two rounds of usability testing. Incorporating user feedback, the team was able to provide a means for users to accomplish expected tasks, test the new functionality, and ensure an intuitive navigation structure. Habanero also leveraged existing design features and updated the existing colour palette.
Scott Baldwin, Manager, Web Services, NSCU, believes that Habanero's expertise helped NSCU achieve its two main project objectives: strengthening the message that NSCU is dedicated to providing sound financial advice throughout the various stages of its members' lives and eliminating duplicate content in the personal and business sections in order to improve search engine optimization. Thus far, the changes have resulted in a decrease in the overall site bounce rate of over 7% and a 14% improvement in site conversion.
As Baldwin states, "Habanero delivered a more streamlined and easy-to-use IA and design for our ever-evolving website. Habanero met our tight project schedule and produced an outstanding product on-time and on-budget."
Mallory O'Connor, Habanero Senior Information Architect, agrees that Habanero's long-term working relationship with NSCU contributed to the success of the project and the quality of the final product. "We worked closely with NSCU's development team at Credit Union Central of British Columbia to ensure they could easily implement our design," says O'Connor. "Our understanding of both the financial services industry and NSCU's business allowed us to develop an exceptional experience for site visitors."
Visit the NSCU site.