Credit Union Improves Member Experience with a Responsive Website

Business Situation

CFCU's existing website, only the second iteration in the organization’s history, was based on a proprietary and outdated CMS with limited functionality and support. The website’s aesthetic design and lack of mobile responsiveness misrepresented the organization’s relevancy and technological capabilities. The business goals were to create a modern website presence that reflected their high-touch service promise, provided the responsive, adaptive experience expected by members and prospective members and delivered intuitive navigation in a clean and attractive design.

"With Core's support, we can continue to enhance the member experience, improve our digital interactions, curate and create meaningful content and continuously move the site forward for the benefit of all of our member-owners."

Steve Zich | VP of Digital Marketing | Community First Credit Union

Our Solution

Core and CFCU partnered on the design and user experience for the new site mapping user journeys, defining personas, exploring sites the team admired and creating mood boards. Early wireframes were tested with users without guidance to validate the intuitiveness of the design and architecture among employees and members.

An agile methodology was implemented initially in the project. Along the way, the process was adapted to better align with CFCU’s internal processes and the needs of the team. The adapted agile methods we employed continued to move the project forward, meet key deliverables, and adjust for the challenges of COVID during a critical phase of the site’s development.

“It was a true group effort,” said Steve Zich, VP Digital Marketing and project team lead. “The Core team was an extension of our own, as committed to our goals as we were and expertly guided us through the process.”

The Results

The web development team lived and breathed the site transformation for 18 months leading up to the June 30 launch, and current analytics show the hard work is paying off. The CFCU site has received external recognition for their Siteimprove Digital Certainty Index (DCI) score measuring site health through quality assurance, SEO, and accessibility data points. Post launch, their DCI score increased by nearly 55%. They also achieved a 99.5 score for quality assurance and improved their SEO score by more than 22 points. The combined average puts their website’s health at 18% higher than the industry average among financial institutions.

“A quality assurance score of over 95% is a high bar to reach. In over seven years I haven’t seen any average score that comes close,” said Rose Kilsdonk, VP Special Projects. “Visitors of all abilities win when the site they visit meets these high standards, and the organization earns digital credibility and trust.”

“Our new website is also rating very high in the security category,” according to Michael Millhouse, VP Virtual Services, who played a key advisory role throughout and during the search for vendor/partners based on his prior experience. “Our SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) report is outstanding for the new website with an A+ rating! This means that the server configurations and connection management are in excellent order. Our old website was a B-.”

Jay Stoflet, VP Brand and Creative Services, believes the team, “found a way to create a website that delivers important information to visitors without being overwhelming. What’s exciting about this new site is the potential it brings to personalize the experience for our members.” He added, “We knew we wanted a website that reflected the places our members call home. What you see today is just the beginning of our journey towards a site that connects to members with feature stories and scenes from their everyday life.”

“Our team worked hard together to launch a well-designed site that will take us into the future,” said Pam Litscher, Senior Marketing and Design Specialist. “The appearance looks classy and fresh with the intent to best represent Community First.”

Community First Credit Union

Community First Credit Union (CFCU) is a $4.3 Billion member-owned financial cooperative serving more than 146,000 member-owners in Northeastern Wisconsin. Community-based and member-focused, the credit union strives to improve their members’ financial lives.

Technologies Used


Azure Hosting