I've been working with North Shore Credit Union (NSCU) for a couple of years now, designing the current site and continuously refining the navigation and key pages. As a client, they're great to work with because they believe in the power of usability testing and they're fanatical about analytics. The NSCU site is built on Credit Union Central of British Columbia's MemberDirect Integrated product, which provides credit unions with a complete banking platform that they can customize or use out-of-the-box.
One of the most significant pages (other than the homepage) that we spent quite a bit of time refining was the product landing page (see Figure 1). When the site launched, each product page contained the standard header, footer, right-hand navigation, and a content well that listed products with associated text to help support the main links. This page was less than visually stunning. The right-hand navigation was essentially a duplication of the content well, and most importantly the page lacked some of the main trigger words that site visitors were looking for.
We made several changes to the product landing page (see Figure 2, our revamped page) to improve its effectiveness:
- Eliminated the redundant navigation – We decided that if we did a good job describing the products and guiding users, the right-hand navigation was unnecessary. We retooled this area to include contact information for users who research on the Web but prefer contacting an agent over the phone when applying for products.
- Rearranged the order of displayed products – We moved the most important or popular products to the top.
- Added images – This gave the page more balance and visual interest.
- Incorporated arrows and actionable trigger links – We used arrows to indicate clickable titles and under each description we were careful to choose appropriate, actionable trigger links, such as "Order cheques", "Download now", "View rates", and "Apply", instead using terms such as "Learn more".
- Added flexibility – We ensured the new design was flexible enough to accommodate two to four product descriptions to the right of the main image. We also ensured the grey bar beneath the image could accommodate products that have lengthier descriptions and many action items.
- Grouped other pages – At the very bottom the design provides an area to group other pages that are important but do not warrant a separate description.
We reused this new page template for each of the main sections within the personal and business tabs and the results are in: These pages tested very well during usability testing, and according to website analytics, have proven very effective. Users can now quickly find what they're looking for without having to search or dig deeper into the site. Specifically on the Banking sectional page, the reject rate dropped from 27.45% down to 8.14%. Check it out for yourself at www.nscu.com!