iDiz Labs: what we’re working on next for CU websites
At iDiz, we try to push the state of the art forward with every credit union website we build. So we thought you might like a glimpse behind the curtain of a few features and concepts we’ve been working on for new and existing CU sites.
The mobile revolution is old news, but now all those mobile users are starting to use their voices to search and navigate websites. It’s a good thing that voice recognition technology has been improving by leaps and bounds. Predictions vary wildly, but some are already talking about the demise of the keyboard.
We’re still working out a few kinks, but we’re working on making voice-enabled internal search available to our clients soon. Here’s a voice search demonstration that works in Chrome and Android browsers.
Internal search as navigation
More and more people, especially heavy mobile users and young people, are increasingly ignoring website navigation and using the search engine built into the site to find what they need. (Keep in mind that we’re talking about the search bar that’s part of your site, not Google.)
Why are they using internal search? The majority of users only need the same five or six things, and they don’t want to wade through the usual CU web navigation with a huge amount of content. Or, if people are unused to financial terms, they may not understand the categories or recognize what they’re looking for.
How do you make sure members can find what they need, yet stay out of the way of most people who are just here to log in or locate a branch?
Solutions to this problem can affect your site’s structure and design. It can be as simple as moving the search box up so it’s easily findable and usable, and simplifying content and improving navigation. And you have to make sure your internal search is smarter and more useful.
Relevance-based internal search
It’s also important to make improvements behind the scenes – we’ve been installing a relevance-based search upgrade on credit union websites that does a better job of indexing and understanding content and search terms, which terms are synonyms, etc. It also gives the credit union much greater control over the results; which kinds of content appear first, etc.
Another way to help people navigate your site is through a chatbot. By leading them through a series of automated questions and responses, you can provide answers or info without the security risks of open fields for members to type account numbers.
Financial calculators are a great way to make your site more useful to your members, and we always include a basic set when we build a website. But you can make calculators even more useful with custom programming to work with your CU’s product or rate structure.
- This credit union needed a basic Loan to Value (LTV) calculator that took into account their particular Home Equity lending policies and limits.
- This custom car loan savings calculator is a little more complex — it has several tiers of responses and offers depending on the level of savings you might get from refinancing, and even takes into account the cash back offer if the existing rate is close to the CU’s rate.
User-driven custom experience
If you’re a deposit-rate-watcher, do you really need the latest vacation loan rates? Or what if you’re a busy, no-nonsense, just-get-me-the-login-fast type of member? What if you’re just-thinking-about-joining (move the login out of the way, and show me why I should join), or really-in-the-new-car-mood type of person?
Web-savvy users are accustomed to the idea of customizing their online environments. They appreciate being the one in charge. And it’s a great opportunity for the CU to target different personas with the tools and information they need at that moment. We’re developing a feature based on this idea, where credit union members can choose the kind of website interface they want to see and that’s most useful for their needs.
Watch this space over the next few months for more…
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