North Star Credit Union

A community financial institution gets a new website

Project Overview

North Star Credit Union came to us looking to rehaul their website to reflect the quality of their finanical services and to be more successful in its Minnesota market. The new website helped them expand and open a new credit union branch and enhanced the brand loyalty of their existing members.

Features

  • Strategic Brand Direction
  • UX Architecture & UI Design
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Website Design
  • Copywriting
  • Responsive Theme Development
  • Accessibility & User Testing
  • Financial Calculators
  • Ongoing WordPress Support & Maintenance

Objective

Create new web presence for North Star Credit Union to educate the community on the opportunities and benefits this local financial institution can provide.

Process

Discover
  • Content Strategy
  • SEO Keyword Research
  • Wireframes
  • UX Design
Design
  • Copywriting
  • UI Design
  • Website Design
Develop
  • WordPress Custom Theme
  • SEO Optimization
  • Ongoing Website Support

Working with North Star Credit Union to create a site that better educates the community about their credit union and how they take advantage of its services was an immensely rewarding project. This long-term community institution is a pillar in the Northern Minnesota area, so helping community members understand how they can take advantage of the financial opportunities there helped the people in the community benefit.

The Challenge

North Star Credit Union (NSCU) is a financial institution with five branches in Minnesota. They offer an incredibly wide array of wonderful services, but their website struggled to communicate what these were. Customers would often call the credit union with questions, unable to navigate the site. There were also a lot of community outreach, events, promotions, and scholarships that NSCU provides — all of which were nowhere to be found on their website.

Our Approach

In order to make sure the website achieved its objective of communicating digestible information to community members as easily as possible, we needed to be clear on what was important to the target audience. The main points to consider were:

  • Communicate clearly the services of the credit union
  • Highlight how integrated this financial institution is in the community, along with its history
  • Allow for expansion and adding new branches
  • Organize the wealth of scholarships and other community offerings in a clear way
  • Ensure extremely fast loading times
  • Give existing members access to content quickly and easily
  • Create a site that would be easy for internal staff to update with new content
  • Make a site equally engaging to potential new members and existing members

With these points in mind, our team created a website design that would appeal to both potential members and existing ones, and be easy to use for all ages.

Well-planned Web Architecture

Intuitive, fabulous websites don’t just “happen” — especially when you’re jugging an enormous amount of content. They’re built on strategy and good architecture. We performed a careful audit of all the NSCU website content. This helped identify gaps for missing content. With user stories and careful planning, we organized everything into a logical architecture.

Our Content Strategy Phase Includes:
  • Audit of Existing Content
  • Creating New Content Outline
  • User Needs Analysis
  • User Story Personnas
  • Website Architecture
  • Website Wireframes
CONTENT STRATEGY
Creating Design Systems

After content strategy, we carefully worked on the UX design system to create a strong brand and reusable elements that would stand the test of time, look modern and fresh, and appeal to users.

UX Design
Custom Icon Design

To create a high-quality, impactful design, we kept the focus on modern and approachable sketch icons, with custom watercolor and hand-drawn elements. These custom icons draw attention to key points on the website and help reinforce a clear user flow direction.

SEO RESEARCH
SEO Planning for High-traffic Keywords

During our SEO planning phase, we studied the keywords and approaches North Star Credit Union used for bringing in organic traffic. We identified keywords that would be good for low-competition high-traffic searches and organized them into keyword lists. As the site was built, we named copywriting and imagery accordingly.

Wireframes and Layout

Once we have our design system in place, we turn our website architecture into low-fi website wireframes to communicate where content will apper throughout the website.

Local Photography Contest

To achieve the desired “local” tone for the website branding, we included photography from a local photo contest for nature scenes. The stunning images show off the natural beauty of the Minnesota lakes.

Website Design

We created a beautiful new custom website design based on our architecture, the design systems we built, and fresh copywriting. All mockups are reviewed with our clients in Figma as a live prototype. Once everything was approved by the credit union stakeholders in the prototype, we handed it over to our developer to code out. The end result is a fresh, clean, lightweight WordPress theme.

WEBSITE DESIGN
WORDPRESS DEVELOPMENT

Custom Theme Development

In addition to content strategy, SEO, and design for the new website, we built a custom WordPress theme unique to North Star Credit Union. The lightweight, fast-loading theme sets this business on the path to continued success.

Highlights:

  • Custom WordPress Development
  • Ongoing WordPress Support
  • Host migration
  • Financial Calculator Integrations

Great communication, very easy to work with, they designed a beautiful, intuitive website!

Wooster Creative was very responsive to the needs of our credit union and worked in partnership with us to create a new website identity that feels authentic to our members, is easy to use, and reflects our staff well. We appreciate their creative services and our new online visual presence!

Jennifer Stedt

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