• Improving usability

  • Increasing services per household

  • Supporting financial education

First Credit Union, an Arizona-based credit union serving over 42,000 members and holding more than $400 million in assets, required a beautiful, cutting-edge, and highly usable new user experience to replace their aging Dreamweaver-based design, fuel increased customer engagement and act as an online equivalent to the in-branch experience.

First demanded a website that would reflect the branch experience. Increasingly many members do not visit branches as often, making the website their main point-of-interaction with the credit union. It was vital to their perception of First that the new experience convey the organization’s identity and values – and that it differentiated First from the less personal, corporate approach of big banks.

It was also important that the new site be conversion-driven, supporting First’s important loan business while helping drive an increase in services per household among members, and emphasizing First’s personal, highly service-oriented approach to its membership.


We visited the First team at their headquarters near Phoenix, AZ for a three-day project kickoff that included one-on-one and group interview with credit union leadership and other key stakeholders, knowledge transfer sessions, brainstorming and design concepting workshops, and technical reviews.

The user experience that took shape over the next two months moved away from the traditional architecture employed on the previous credit union site and towards a goal-oriented scheme that used navigation prompts like "Borrow," "Spend," and "Save" to help users quickly find the products and services they need. A complete aesthetic overhaul of the website matched dramatic photography to a charismatic combination of fonts (merging the friendly whimsy of Jenna Sue with the Futura's elegant confidence) and resulted in templates that encouraged short, concise copy.

We also brought to life a "Learn" page consolidating First's valuable library of financial education resources under a dynamic filter allowing members to browse by topic and type.

As the project moved into the development phase, we once again visited First's offices to spend three days creating a custom library of beautiful high-resolution images documenting the Arizona landscape, shops, roads, cars and architecture as well First branches and card products - allowing the website to leverage dramatic visuals without relying on cliche stock photography. We also wrote copy for key sections and pages, crafting brand messaging that signals the open, personal relationship First Credit Union has with its members.


The live site, built atop the Percussion content management system for intuitive contribution and security, included a custom brand and ATM locator, single-sign in to online banking and other member services, live chat, and an integration to Silvercloud for guided help.  As launch approached, we helped design assets for social media, email marketing, and in-branch experiences that matched the look of the site, as well as delivered a comprehensive set of web standards guidelines to ensure consistency.




increase in traffic to product pages from homepage



increase in downloads of First's financial education resources



estimated savings on custom photography over premium stock libraries

Dialogue Theory created a fantastic member experience.
— Lori Gallegos, EVP/Chief Operations Officer