Time for a New Start
Far East National Bank wanted a complete site redesign. Their previous site had not undergone a redesign in quite some time and had a very dated look. They wanted the capability to be able to update the site content and needed it to be responsive. They had a number of mobile users and wanted to make sure they were able to view and access information on the site and perform online banking activities with ease.
Far East National Bank was founded in 1974 as the first federally chartered Asian American bank in the United States. In 1997, it became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Taiwan’s Bank SinoPac. Many of its customers are of Chinese descent, so the site needed to be multi-lingual and support Chinese translation at the time of launch with future plans to add a Spanish version as well.
Researching Chinese Banks and Culture
Although we had a large number of banking clients that we had done work for, this was the first Chinese bank that we were designing and developing a site for. We researched their main competitors to get a feel for what types of products were typically highlighted. International banking seemed to be a very prominent offering as many customers tended to have families overseas in the Pacific Rim area. Far East National Bank also offered international banking services, and because of this, the main navigation consists of three sections: Personal Banking, Commercial Banking, and International Banking. As mortgage lending was also a large part of Far East National Bank’s services, having the daily mortgage rates displayed prominently and easy to update were also considerations in the layout design.
Design & Development
I created high-fidelity wireframes for the client to review to help speed up the production time as this was a very short timeline we were working with. The UI of the site needed to combine a modern layout along with keeping a more traditional Chinese color palette. Tradition and heritage were very important in the decisions in design and colors used on the site. Far East National Bank’s (FENB) logo was already using the red and black color palette, so we maintained those as the primary colors. A language switcher was also included in the UI so that switching between languages is an easy task.
Easy Access to Online Banking
One of the main features they wanted to provide to their clients was ease of action to online banking services. One of the features we include with the banking sites is a highly visible online banking box on the homepage. This allows clients to login right to the online banking services which are part of a banking platform. We receive instructions from the company’s that provide the online banking services to create a tethered login where credentials are entered in on the marketing website and passed through to the online banking site to prevent an additional step for the user.
Umbraco CMS Setup
As with most of our banking clients, we used the Umbraco platform as the CMS. It’s support for multi-lingual sites was also a good fit for Far East’s site redesign. I set up the translation dictionary within the system for the templates and worked with the other developers to import the Chinese site’s content. We created responsive templates and then the developers imported the updated site content into the CMS.
Information at Customers’ Fingertips
The newly redesigned site has definitely cut down on frustrations for mobile users due to its responsive design. Online banking activities are easier to perform with the single step login. Information is much easier to locate through the site’s search functionality and the better organizational structure of the site’s content.