A+ Federal Credit Union
Started by a group of like-minded teachers in 1949, A+ Federal Credit Union's mission of providing financial education & guidance to Texans of all ages has helped it grow into one of the most acclaimed federal credit unions in Texas.
The A+ Federal Credit Union (A+FCU) experience and team had been through the wringer - several different agencies had been hired to build and refine the website over 5+ years. Unfortunately, blockers and pain points remained, creating a ton of extra effort to support and maintain the website on a daily basis. The Frankenstein-ed site had also become a liability to A+ as they were required to meet, but unable to achieve, certain web accessibility conformance and were spending a lot of money trying to find ways to improve the overall inclusivity.
A+FCU needed a fresh start - one that would help evolve the brand, improve site usability, provide greater inclusivity, and finally help empower the Marketing team with the right mix of sophisticated content management tools and unlimited design flexibility.
Priority Project Goals
- Secure Hosting & Support - Find a new, safe home for the site with scalability and 99.99% uptime, allowing the A+ Marketing team to sleep at night.
- WCAG AA Accessibility - Create a compelling & inclusive digital experience that can remedy current accessibility issues & legal exposure.
- Better User Experience (UX) - Reduce content, re-organize the content flow to better support the user journeys, and simplify the site navigation to reduce clicks and improve site exploration.
- Improve File Management - Better organize website files to remove redundant files, improve site organization, and reduce the time it takes to find & update images.
- Make Content Updates Easier - Save the A+ staff time by developing easy-to-use tools that streamline and automate the updating of time-sensitive content across the website.
- Improve SEO & Local Search - Improve the site's content, markup, and presence of branch-specific content to help attract new members.
- Too Many Cooks - The previous site was cobbled together by several different agencies over 4-5 years which resulted in a wide variety of inelegant, un-optimized, and bloated code.
- Too Many Plugins - Much of the site's functionality was powered by 3rd party plugins, which hurt overall site performance and made the site increasingly difficult to update, support, and manage.
- Accessibility Blockers - Based on how the site was coded, several accessibility issues could not be resolved which hurt the user experience and left the organization exposed.
- Large Content Lift - Lots of pages would require a comprehensive content & redirect strategy to re-map 1000's of old URLs and ensure that A+'s educational content & resources could still be easily found post launch.
The A+FCU Digital Evolution
The Digital Diagnostic
To help unpack project goals, understand the audiences & competition, and build the overall project requirements, Monkee-Boy worked with the A+FCU Marketing team to clearly articulate where A+ was, where they wanted to go, and findings & recommendations for how to reach their digital higher ground. As part of this process, formal project deliverables were created to solidify the project fundamentals, priorities & ideas were captured and prioritized, and the overall content lift & organization was assessed - specifically, developing a plan for over 500 pages of content. Once approved, both teams had a clear view of what templates, tools, content, and customer journeys needed to be developed during Monkee-Boy's Digital Strategy phase.
During the Digital Strategy phase, Monkee-Boy unpacked and explored how the new A+ experience would come to life. Through comprehensive and fully-responsive wireframes & design comps, the Monkee-Boy was able to deliver the fully accessible vision for the new A+ experience while also gathering and solidifying the requirements for all of the content tools & integrations the A+ team would need to easily manage the overall experience. In addition, Monkee-Boy's trusted content governance process was utilized to ensure both teams had full transparency into each page's content/URL structure, assets, ownership & status allowing both teams to stay highly organized as the extra-large content payload was collected, migrated, and loaded.
To expand the visual language, Monkee-Boy created a full set of curated icons to help evolve the brand and clarify the visual language across the different marketing channels. The new icon library was very robust and included 40+ animated and static icons in multiple colors & file formats.
Custom WordPress Theme Development
WordPress is extremely powerful and provided all the horsepower required to support the new A+ experience. During the website development process, the Monkee-Boy team carefully developed a custom theme and curated content tools for the A+ team. This approach drastically reduced the overall plugin payload, improved overall site performance, removed blockers to future growth, and ensured a consistent and fully accessible experience for A+'s growing memberships.
Dynamic Content Delivery & Automation
To help streamline site updates and content management, Monkee-Boy contextually built eight custom content tools allowing the A+ team to load content once and deliver it across the site to the right audiences at the right time. Additionally, a custom tool was built to easily automate the import and management of sitewide rates greatly simplifying one of the most cumbersome routine content management tasks.
Beautiful Content Pages
Optimized Blog Articles
Files organized & migrated
Increase in Mobile Performance
Increase in Desktop Performance
WCAG Accessibility Compliance
Ongoing Growth & Stability for A+
But wait, there's more... even when a website is launched, Monkee-Boy continues to provide value.
WordPress Security & Health Checks
A+FCU has built an award-winning reputation through its reliability, integrity, and consistent delivery of great service & products. To help A+ protect this reputation and reinforce the value it brings to the community, the Monkee-Boy serves as A+'s ongoing digital partner and proactively secures, protects, and safeguards A+'s digital experience each month.
Ongoing WordPress Optimization
In addition, to proactively securing and supporting the A+ website, the Monkee-Boy team also proactively monitors and measures the site, looking for opportunities to consistently improve the A+ experience. As part of a monthly website optimization program, the A+ team always has a running list of findings & recommendations that can be considered & prioritized to ensure they have the best digital experience online at all times.