Banking sites are notoriously dry and difficult to navigate. They also tend to be filled with fluffy copy, stock images of smiling people who apparently love to balance their checkbooks, and a swarm of mysterious branded services (think "Executive Platinum Plus Checking").
With the redesign of the Baxter Credit Union site, we set out to eliminate as much of the nonsense as possible, making it as easy as possible to shop and apply for new services. From a brand perspective, BCU, like most credit unions, emphasizes a sense of community and helpfulness. Beyond that, we also needed to create an easily customized system, as BCU also white labels it's services for a variety of corporate clients, like Target. Not surprisingly, the site also needed to adapt seamlessly to mobile, a platform critical for any financial institution.
These are the conceptual sketches presented to (and adored by) the client. Beyond the obvious simplicity and "non-financial" look of the site, there are a number of interesting design features worth noting. For instance, the full-bleed background, not only looks nice, it has specific brand and experience goals in mind. Members are encouraged to submit photos (with a caption) to appear on the homepage, and, if selected, have $50 added to their accounts. Not only does this help make the site feel for human and community-oriented, it creates a growing image library for BCU. Our goal was to have the image change as frequently as possible, and ideally reflect the season, making the site feel current and dynamic.
Another unusual feature is the vertical navigation/content band. Taking a "mobile first" approach to design, this band is almost exactly what one would see browsing the site on a smartphone, helping tie the two experiences together visually.
Unfortunately, the project quickly got bogged down in internal machinations and politics. Last we heard, the project had been delayed so long, the players changed and they are starting over again. Alas. So it goes sometimes. But who knows, maybe we'll get to implement it for another client!
Lead Designer: Mande Calhoun