Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal’s Web team needed help with some of their larger, more technical projects. In some cases, it was a matter of laying out specifications and managing the projects. For others, we rolled up our sleeves to do production work. These projects include:
Digital Media Style Guide and Best Practices
Building a repository for best practices, team processes, and collective wisdom
As a Web Producer for the Digital Media team at Navy Federal Credit Union, I supervised a team of Web Designers to maintain the Credit Union’s public-facing website. Our boss had given us a big initiative for 100% accuracy — no mistakes and perfect syntax — so we worked hard to define and follow good processes. There was no reference for our best practices, process methodology, and collective wisdom. And, if one person knew the background on something, and then left the team…knowledge would be lost. I created a Intranet that functioned as a “team wiki” to:
- capture style and coding topics
- use cases and usage rules, with current examples
- code samples to copy and paste
- examples and methodology on solving technical issues
- implementation tips and steps
- website standards
- internal content inventory
- workflow and publishing processes and checklists, as well as team responsibilities.
- statistics and reports
As our team processes grew or a new component was defined, I updated and documented the site. It was our living style guide and knowledge repository.
Locations Database Redesign & Google Maps
Graduating from a list of branches to Google Maps Integration
Navy Federal is growing and expanding with new branches everywhere. It is highly important that members be able to find them. A poorly formatted list of branches was already served up to the website from a database, but, they wanted to give their members more. The locations pages needed to look like they were really a part of the same website.
We worked with the Web team to integrate Google maps into the NFCU Web site, giving their members a means to map and find their way to branches. Next, we worked with stakeholders to map out a restructuring of the locations database for better control of the data, and to lay ground work for automated voice systems later. Then, in order to have all formatting controlled by css files accessible by the Web group, we worked with an in-house development team to accomplish the changes to the database and the code that surfaces the information.
Ingegrating a knowledge-base repository to reduce member calls
The Correspondence group at Navy Federal found RightNow, an “Ask me a Question” functionality and knowledge-base solution, an extremely valuable in-house tool to answer members questions. They wanted to expose this content to the organization’s public website. If members can find answers to their questions without having to email or call in, this could save the credit union money as well as provide more efficient service to their members.
This project wasted months thrashing around about all kinds of integration issues. After solving potential security issues and concerns, the next largest problem was the customization work required to expose only the features the NFCU Web team wanted, and to allow stylesheets to update the “Look & Feel”. As is often the case, when it comes to HTML and css work, even the most senior developers don’t have a clue. This was indeed the case and their estimates leapt into months.
Finally, to get the project underway, we rolled up our sleeves and convinced the project owners and managers to allow us to do the customization work. It took a good couple of week’s work— not the months of the developers’ estimates!