Redesigned Website Improves User Experience for Illinois Bankers

LRS Antilles CMS Provides Seamless Integrations and Smooth Launch

By Karen Carlson

ABOUT ILLINOIS BANKERS


Illinois Bankers Association is the voice of Illinois banking industry for banking education, advocacy, and Illinois banking resources.

The site is rich in content for bankers looking for professional education, networking events, career resources, and legislative information that affects the financial industry. The IBA website also integrates with a membership vendor.

That’s a lot of content for a website. 

For 22 years, LRS Web Solutions has helped Illinois Bankers with multiple iterations of its website. In 2021, the design was showing its age. “Our existing site was six years old and had run its course. It was time for a facelift and functionality improvements. That’s what drove the project,” says Illinois Bankers’ Vice President, Data & Digital Marketing Tammy Squires. She also was looking for a new content management system that was easier to use. A new IBA president and CEO also helped drive the idea of a website refresh to build a new site that was better and more functional.


WEBSITE VENDOR SELECTION PROCESS

Even though IBA had done many websites with LRS in the past, the IBA staff did due diligence and enlisted a selection committee of 8-10 people to select a web vendor through an in-depth RFP process. “It was not one-person’s decision,” Tammy says. IBA created teams of staff and board members from across the association that reviewed proposals and interviewed teams from other companies.

“Cost wise, all the companies were pretty similar,” she notes. “There wasn’t a huge difference in pricing. LRS is in the same ballpark as other companies.” The big difference came in IBA’s impressions of the website content managers. In the end, the team chose the LRS Web Solutions team and LRS Antilles Content Manager.

ANTILLES CMS

LRS Antilles Website CMS

Although this was IBA’s fourth website design with LRS, they had not yet converted to the LRS Antilles CMS. The previous CMS worked reasonably well for IBA. “It was functional but challenging to use for someone with little experience. Once you got used to [the old CMS] it was ok. But other platforms launched were more dynamic.”

After comparing several CMS software options, the website selection group found LRS Antilles to be the cleanest-looking and easiest to use. “Compared with other platforms, people felt like it was user friendly, intuitive, and they liked the ease of it,” Tammy says.

“LRS Antilles doesn’t look overwhelming or challenging. Anyone working with Antilles on the first day could be comfortable quickly. One of the biggest reasons I like Antilles is being able to delegate duties to team.”

Antilles also makes SEO a lot easier, the team says. 

“LRS Antilles doesn’t look overwhelming or challenging. Anyone working with Antilles on the first day could be comfortable quickly.”

-Tammy Squires, IBA Vice President, Data and Digital Marketing

GOALS

GOALS

In addition to a better content management system, the IBA website team wanted to have the website content integrate with their high-functioning customer relationship management platform. LRS’s task was to integrate the content website and the CRM, including full integration of reciprocal login capabilities, to provide a seamless and intuitive experience for the users.

“I wanted to make the user experience more robust and really increase the functionality of the website. And I wanted the design to match the functionality of upgrades.”


WEBSITE REDESIGN SOLUTIONS

Solutions

To meet IBA's website redesign goals, LRS Web Solutions analyzed these needs and created a multi-solution approach. The redesigned IBA site launched in October 2022.

The LRS team effectively integrated multiple vendors into Antilles to create a lively, dynamic site that’s easy for users to navigate. The integrations included  the single sign-on option with Microsoft UX 365 CRM, conferences and education events and a vendor search. The RSS App integration pulls in multiple Twitter feeds, as well as feeds from other social media platforms.

The new website can also display copy generated out of CRM system on the public website. “That’s a time saver and helps the accuracy of messaging to our users – It’s a huge plus for us,” says the IBA website team.

The LRS team effectively integrated multiple third parties to create a lively, dynamic site that’s easy for users to navigate. 

CONTENT & NAVIGATION IMPROVEMENTS

IBA also improved its content, with restructured navigation and pages that have calls to action on them, an important part of UX and conversion optimization.

The IBA website team especially loves the top level “eyebrow” navigation that asks people to engage with the site by signing up for the newsletter, volunteering, contacting, or reading news stories.

Post launch, in just a few days the IBA team saw improvements to meeting the website goals, namely, users completing forms. “That was lacking in the previous website.”


WORKFLOW & BRANDING IMPROVEMENTS  Screenshot of IBA's redesigned bank website

The Antilles CMS has also improved IBA's workflow. Before the redesign, Tammy was the sole person maintaining the website. “With Antilles, we’ve been able to expand the team to be able to do updates – not just relying on one single person.”   

The website redesign is leading the way to more consistent branding for the organization, with redesigned business cards and new publication cover pages. “We love the clean look of the new site and the new elements to style pages with.”

To test the website improvements, the IBA team assembled a member committee to do a “website scavenger hunt.” The results? “The committee loved the site, finding it intuitive, saying that it looked great and was easy to find things,” Tammy says. 

"Thank you, LRS, for making this one of the smoothest launches I have completed!”

-Tammy Squires, IBA Vice President, Data and Digital Marketing

SMOOTH SAILING PARTNERSHIP

The new IBA site launched in late October 2022, and Tammy is “thrilled” with the new look and improved functionality. “Out of all my websites with LRS, this has been the easiest and smoothest build and launch, even though it had so many moving parts with our CRM and website. The partnership with our CRM company and LRS was very smooth.”

“We’ve loved our relationship with LRS over the years. The designers and developers have great talent and capabilities."

WHAT’S NEXT

The IBA website team has more plans to keep on improving her members’ website experience. A digital bank directory is in the works.

“We have a lot more things we want to do down the road, but this is a fantastic start to get this going with the new website," notes Tammy. "Thank you, LRS, for making this one of the smoothest launches I have completed!”


A list of business website problems and how a website redesign with LRS solved the problems.


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