University Credit Union

Crafting a credit union site that delivers smarter financial solutions

As a purpose-driven financial cooperative since 1951, University Credit Union (UCU) hired ZAG Interactive to redesign its website and introduce its refreshed brand online to its membership base. Originally founded at UCLA, UCU now serves universities across the entire western United States. Exemplifying the credit union’s new tagline, “Bank with your brain,” the new site needed to clearly demonstrate how UCU gives its university communities a financial edge. To do so, the new site had to easily allow visitors to make informed financial choices through expanded financial education, robust resources, helpful products and customized content.  While presenting life stage guidance to end users, the redesigned site also had to promote UCU’s main banking and loan offerings.

Smart from the start

At the start of the project, ZAG conducted a strategic discovery session to do a deep dive into the credit union’s short and long-term goals for the website. Key decision makers from UCU and digital experts from ZAG worked together, uncovering all major criteria for the site - from brand positioning to ongoing marketing. From this collaboration, it became clear that UCU needed its new website to show how much its members will save during each step of the member journey through the site. Adhering to a mandate that the user should get to anywhere on the site within three clicks, ZAG detailed a practical and scalable website architecture.

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Design that delivers

Considering both desktop and mobile visitors from the onset, ZAG’s design team created a custom responsive design strategy using new brand standards from UCU, the new site architecture and digital design and usability best practices. ZAG presented distinctive design concepts that actualized UCU’s reinvigorated brand style, featuring bold graphical elements, signature imagery, and unique iconography. The designers connected with UCU and its branding agency to select from a mix of stock images and custom photography to showcase UCU’s key audiences throughout the site. The resulting look and feel captures the essence of UCU’s new branding, connecting with prospective and existing members with relatable photos and eye-catching visuals. To offer a seamless user experience for all visitors, including those with visual disabilities, the new UCU site conforms to current ADA website compliance guidelines.

Functionality at the forefront

To meet the functional, security and sophisticated marketing needs of the new site and ensure it was easy to manage for UCU administrators, ZAG developers built the new site on the Kentico CMS. UCU administrators can utilize the content management system to easily perform site updates, especially through custom locations management and rates management tools. To ensure better adoption of the redesigned website, ZAG also developed a site tour to highlight some of the new features.

Empowerment through education

To help its members make smarter financial decisions, UCU invested in various forms of educational content on the new site. Site visitors can seek guidance for major milestones, accessing tips, tools, videos and services aligned to their life stages. Offering financial wellness, literacy and counseling, the redesigned website also integrates with third-party content providers, while also leveraging ZAG’s own content library of educational articles. The new site balances contextual information at the page level with convenient repositories of resources, so users can easily access frequently asked questions, rates and calculators as needed. Furthermore, ZAG’s copywriters captured UCU’s new brand voice with engaging and descriptive copywriting, which also adheres to best practices for organic search engine optimization.

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Marketing in mind

While the end user is treated to a wealth of information, UCU’s site redesign also acts as an online hub for the credit union’s integrated social media marketing activities, which ZAG also assists with on an ongoing retainer basis. To capture leads, the new site offers many conversion opportunities, from custom forms to a dynamic landing page design. The new site also includes website personalization, serving up customized content to users based on their specific site activities. To measure against UCU’s established success metrics, ZAG implemented a custom analytics and event tracking strategy including custom reporting that includes statistics from the site and other channels.

Today, University Credit Union’s redesigned website passes the test as a sophisticated provider of financial education. Collaborating with ZAG, UCU serves members of its University Community with smarter financial solutions on its new site.

Before & After

Use the slider below to see the before and after design.
Before After