This Credit Union wanted to update its website by improving the navigation and structure and incorporating the new brand messaging. For this project, we worked with personas, created a new information architecture, and ran usability testing. This post describes the information architecture work.

Related: Usability Testing for a Credit Union

Process

For this project, I provided the information architecture viewpoint on credit union’s website redesign. Working within the user experience team, I facilitated stakeholder workshops, gathered requirements, refined their personas, and hosted online card sorting. Then, I created a new site map, content priorities, and wireframes. Since stakeholder buy-in was important, I worked with the project manager to present the findings to and engage the stakeholders. The general consensus among the stakeholders was that the old website was out of date, didn’t reflect their brand, and didn’t reflect their messaging. The old website structure didn’t allow for more modular content.

For a socially aware company, it was difficult to balance all the brand messaging with the credit union members’ interests for products and services. Instead of making the messaging blatant, we tried to integrate the messaging throughout the site. While a member is reading about chequing accounts, she can see information about how the chequing account helps the community.

Another challenge included mapping the old site structure to the new site structure. While I worked on the project there wasn’t a writer or content strategist to take over the content migration, so I worked with the PM to make sure that everything “in our heads” was written down in content migration documentation.

Outcome

Working with this credit union was a great experience and had a great outcome. I was able to deliver a site map and wireframes that the project team used to develop the new site. The site is now live and the brand and its messaging are well integrated into the site.

An area where the IA work made a big difference was in the “About” section. This section had about 400 pages of content and, according to the analytics, it wasn’t accessed by many people. We were able to scale back this content and request that it focus more on what the members wanted to know about. While the credit union is still required to have some content there, the whole section is more streamlined and highlights content of interest to members.

During the project, I developed detailed and interactive wireframes which we were able to use in usability testing. This gave us great insight into the navigation structure and the content quality.

Theresa helped us with our website redesign. Having known Theresa for a number of years from the UX community, it was great to finally work with her. She was able to help us with the information architecture and usability testing of our new site. Theresa easily fit into the project team, met our tight timelines within budget, and managed to save a few hours to review work further along in development. I welcome the opportunity to work with her again.
Wendy Muir, User Experience Manager, Vancity