How to keep the bank’s portal forever young?
ING Bank Śląski
Meet one of the most interesting sites among Polish banks. See why it is recognized in industry rankings as a reference solution.
Our cooperation with ING Bank Śląski concerning the development of the portal has a long history. Beginning in the late nineties, both the portal and the supporting ActiveContent CMS platform have experienced unbelievable growth since.
Now, we’re going to tell you what makes the new ING Bank Śląski portal stand out compared to the competition.
2009: “The Google Effect”
The first versions of the ING Bank Śląski service were of clear hierarchical structure (main page, subpages) and navigation. The emergence of Google has fundamentally changed the way people build their pages.
Thanks to Google users can easily find precise information without digging through the main page. Because of “The Google Effect” the old hierarchical structure had to be changed and substituted by a new one. Creating independent structures such as mini-services or landing pages is what enables the user to access the desired data without having to navigate the service.
This is the foundation of the new ING Bank Śląski portal which was introduced in 2009. At the same time, we also implemented a new version of the ActiveContent platform which meets Google’s expectations.
e-point CMS supports Responsive Web Design, which is an approach to web design in which all pages are automatically adjusted to the size of the device screen and to the web browser used.
e-point’s proprietary CMS solution enables effective and comfortable content management and editing. The website’s pages are compiled with ready-to-use components that resemble building blocks. An extensive authorization system, in turn, makes it possible for numerous editors to work on different parts of the website, or to order the selected tasks from outside agencies.Read More
2013: Content Driven Design
2013 marked a breakthrough in further development of the ING Bank Śląski portal. The authentic concept of Content Driven Design was the basis of the restructuring.
No clicking, no reading
We’ve observed that many websites aren't designed in a content-friendly way.Often the content becomes inferior to navigation and one may find links placed or SEO positioning. Content Driven Design flips it upside down. The designer focuses on creating a cohesive page layout so that the structure and the functionality facilitate easy reading. We also believe that content supersedes design because content is paramount.
"Design with no content is not design. It’s decoration".
5 elements of the Content Driven Design concept used in the web service of ING Bank Śląski:
- Strategic Content
The process of designing a new portal begins with looking at the issue from a broad perspective. We want to understand the client’s marketing strategy, investigate the sales processes, and how clients are reaching their decisions. This is where we get the answers to questions like, “what is the purpose of the page and what value does it bring to the receiver?”It’s after obtaining those answers that we wonder how to present the offer and how to plan the content and functionality.
At this stage we work closely with the client. In the case of ING, we started with a thorough audit of the retail products offered to look at the offer comprehensively. We analyzed the customer base and the decision-making process behind the purchases.This has allowed us to create strategic content. We used the content structure at a more basic level and individualized the message of certain product lines.
"It’s e-point which showed us that our virtual product shelf is too complicated. They convinced us to focus on the key points. Right now we don’t even mention five different types of personal accounts. Instead, we’re concentrating on putting all the advantages underneath a common brand, underlining only the variable features."
- Vizualization and content organization
After we’ve tackled the “what to say” issue we approach another one. “How?”
We’re trying to get into the user’s mindset and analyze the decision making process, which allows us to create an intuitive layout and plan website interaction. We find this to be an interesting magazine and typography, in this case, is very important: style differences,font size, light images, content in the center of attention.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to cram the whole page above the footer. Users are perfectly willing to scroll down and read just as they do on their mobile devices.A site can be full of content, and doesn’t always need to be short, as long as it’s still appealing to the eye.
- Interactive elements in the content
It is unusual to include interactive elements directly in the product site content – calculators, and adjusters. According to the “a-site-is-to-be-read” line of thought we decided that these elements don’t have to stay hidden as they are both interesting and functional. This proved to be correct as users willingly look at the refreshed content. Regarding cash loans, the average time spent on the site increased from 3’38” to 4’2”. The overall traffic and specific conversion indicators have also increased.
- The Banner Blind fight
An essential change in creating a user-friendly portal was to change the perception of it, internally, as advertisement space for certain departments. Every department within a bank wants to advertise their products on the site to the fullest. Unfortunately, users are usually resistant to the advertisement-like messages. The better an element blends in the site, the more likely it engages the user. We’ve set new rules and now ads have to be an essential part of the content. We’ve persistently eliminated banner-like elements or other placement ads. It’s imperative that the user perceive everything as useful and not as advertisement.
The last step of rebuilding the ING site in the Content Driven Design model was to standardize the data. We had to facilitate service maintenance by the bank employees, and to do so, we created ActiveContent components and formats. This enables the CMS editors to build new sites with the inclusion of visual cohesiveness of the portal.
2014 – Responsive Web Design
After enhancing the portal aesthetically, the bar was set even higher in 2014, as we had to adapt the site to mobile devices. We opted for the RWD model (Responsive Web Design). This enabled the ING Bank Śląski marketing department to maintain and develop a single service for all types of devices.
UX Content Based Design
Often, it’s the content of a portal which complicates it’s functionality. As a result, the site feels as though it’s designed so that the content is inferior to the navigability, banners, or links. The package is more important than the content.
In fact, it is the content that represents the true value of a portal and this is the foundation of the new ING Bank Śląski portal. The design process involved the analysis of marketing communication, structural content preparation ( structural copy), the information architecture and the graphic design of particular sites.In 2013, the first pages appeared, receiving positive reviews from users and increasing the conversion and popularity indicators.
Responsive Web Design
In 2014 we began our transformation into the into an RWD model. The project was not merely focused on the technical elements, as it also involved content transformation.
"We really cared about making the content perfectly adapted to every device and at the same time absolutely compliant with successful marketing communication requirements".
The new version of the ActiveContent platform
We used our ActiveContent platform to realize the new RWD Bank service. It supports responsive sites in the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) visual model. Using one view, an editor can build a site for a 4-inch smartphone and a 40-inch Full HD TV.