PRESENTING texasbankers.com: New features, enhanced content and vibrant look [Texas Banking]
(Texas Banking Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) On March 6, just days before the World Wide Web celebrated its 25th anniversary, the Texas Bankers Association launched its new and improved website. Designed with input from the TBA Board of Directors and Communications Action Group, the visually attractive site features a clean, uncluttered design, bright colors and graphics and a number of enhanced features.
One of the goals of the redesign was to create a site that fully integrates with TBA's database and offers a quick and easy way for members and non-members alike to register for events and purchase products. Another was to create an interactive site that allows users to update their marketing preferences; save event dates to their Outlook calendars; post and read feeds from TBA's Facebook and Twitter accounts; and post job openings for free.
The website redesign figured prominently in TBA's Strategic Plan, which was developed by the TBA Board of Directors. Their directive was to completely revamp the website, make it compatible with tablets and smart phones, create an "Amazon-like" shopping experience and incorporate discussion forums to create a sense of community.
THE LOOK & FEEL
One of the first things users notice when they click on www.texasbankers.com is the colorful and visually appealing design. Although we've interspersed photos and videos throughout, care was taken to keep the pages clean and uncluttered.
In the past, websites avoided using large backgrounds because these images took a long time to load and they were often too distracting. Today, with much faster loading times, large background images that are relevant to the website content are back in favor. Users with large screens will be able to see the images, while those using tablets or smart phones to view the website will not.
TBA opted to use an image of the Texas flag as its background image, which is relevant to our mission of serving Texas banks.
A website is as good as the content it provides, and the TBA website is no exception. Although the site features a number of bells and whistles, it also contains content that wasn't available on the previous website.
For example, the Board requested additional government relations information, so we've included:
* Talking points on major issues, such as credit unions, regulatory burden and data breaches.
* Policy issues - detailed fact sheets on a number of bankingrelated issues being considered at the federal level.
* A congressional district map.
* A compliance Q&A.
Users will still be able to contact their elected officials through the Grassroots Action Center, view comment letters written by the TBA Advocacy Team, read past issues of TBA's Legislative Issues e-newsletter and link to ABA's Amplify website, Compliance Alliance and the Regulatory Feedback Initiative.
Users wanting to keep up with regulatory activity can access news feeds off the home page. We've included news feeds and/or press releases from the FDIC, Federal Reserve, OCC and CFPB. On the state level, we've included a link to the Legislative Reference Library, which is a news media clipping service that contains legislative and government articles from Texas newspapers.
Since technology is both a major challenge and opportunity for banks, we've added a "Technology & Fraud" tab that contains our Thumbprint Signature, Fraud-Net and Stop Identity Theft products, as well as a new "Cyber Security" page that provides useful resources to help protect banks and customers from Internet threats.
In addition, we've created and/or enhanced some pages to appeal to non-bankers. For example, our news media page contains background information on TBA, as well as recent news releases and op-ed pieces. We've included "Issues of Interest," which are one-pagers on important banking topics, such as identity fraud, money laundering, mobile banking, overdrafts and fees.
Our "Consumer" page focuses on the good things banks do in their communities, and provides a list of valuable financial literacy links parents and educators can use to access financial literacy information and programs. Facts and figures from our Community Involvement Survey are included as well.
Under our new "Resource Center" tab, we've included links to Texas Banking Magazine, Weekly and Radio; the TBA Job Bank; Communications Tools, including a media kit, Texas Banks Build Dreams PowerPoint presentation and sample newspaper and television ads; forums; members-only tools; and directories.
TBA's former website included a Job Bank that allowed members and non-members to post job openings. The Job Bank, which was administered by a third party, charged a fee for 30-day postings. Now, the Job Bank is provided as a member service. Members who are logged on to the site can post their job openings free of charge.
The Job Bank, located under the "Resource Center" tab, is easy to use. Anyone can view the postings; however, only employees of TBA-member banks can post. The page intuitively guides users to post their openings. They can even upload PDF or word documents or they can link to their bank's website.
"My TBA" is one of the most important new features of the website. Located on the top row of tabs, "My TBA" allows TBA members to select how they want to receive marketing materials from TBA. It also allows members to view their current registrations, as well as a history of their contributions, participation on TBA committees, TBA event history and TBA orders. Members can even upload a headshot of themselves, and they can edit their address. To access "My TBA," members will be required to log in.
The "TBA Store" completely transforms TBA's registration process. Members can go to the "Education & Training" tab and select the training topic they want, whether it be compliance, lending, technology, audit, frontline, HR and operations, etc. They are then taken to the "TBA Store," where they can select the type of program they desire: webinar, live seminar, school or conference. The "TBA Store" can also be accessed from the top row of tabs.
Everything a banker needs to know about the program is in the "TBA Store," including the schedule of events, speakers, hotel, address and description. Users can even add the event to their Outlook calendars.
Users can also purchase textbooks, fraud products, reference manuals and trust publications from the "TBA Store." Purchases are placed in "My Cart," where users can review the training and/or products purchased and pay.
One of the most important features of any website is its search function, and the new website's is robust. Users can type in queries in the prominent search box, and the website quickly finds relevant results.
With the growing importance of social media, it's important that TBA's presence on the social media networks be highlighted. As such, TBA's live Twitter feed, Facebook postings and Vimeo (video) account are posted prominently on the home page. Users can read Tweets and Facebook postings, and they can also tweet and post to TBA's accounts.
A calendar of upcoming events is also prominent on the home page. Users can scroll through upcoming events, click on the events for more information and to register and add the events to their Outlook calendars.
TBA developed three separate "microsites" for Insurance, Wealth Management & Trust and the Texas Association of Bank Counsel. These sites can be accessed via the home page as well as from the footers of every page on the TBA site. The Insurance site contains claims scenarios, resources, products and an FAQ. The other two microsites contain valuable information for the members of TABC and Wealth Management & Trust.
The next step in improving our users' website experience will be the launching of a mobile website that will maximize the features of a smart phone or tablet and contain the information members want at their fingertips.
In addition, the Professional Development Department is in the process of setting up e-communities for technology and IT bank personnel as well as human resources and operations staff
* In 2013, the TBA website had 93,001 visits and 344,219 page views.
* 93 percent accessed the site from a desktop computer, while 4 percent used a mobile device and 3 percent used a tablet.
* In 2013, the top five pages accessed (not including search results or login) were: the education calendar; Job Bank; listing of boards, councils and committees; Texas Tour; and Annual Convention.
* The issue of Texas Banking magazine receiving the most views was April 2013 with 4,756 views. O
* Stats obtained from Google Analytics.
(c) 2014 Texas Banker Association
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