CU*Answers Web Services Mon, 02 Mar 2015 19:23:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Taunton Federal Credit Union Website Refresh Mon, 02 Mar 2015 19:23:31 +0000 Congratulations to Taunton Federal Credit Union on the launch of their new site design. The new design uses WordPress with Site Control and includes a mobile site with a fresh, new look. Check out the Taunton Federal Credit Union’s custom website design today at

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Network Maintenance 2/26 Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:23:52 +0000 maintenanceOn Thursday evening, February 26, from 10-12 PM ET, we will be performing internal network maintenance. During this time, there may be brief network interruptions to the following services:

  • CU*CheckViewer check images
  • Image Vaults
  • Hosted web/mail sites and
  • AnswerBook
  • CU*Spy
  • Lender Web Services
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Research on Rotating Banners on your Website Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:28:43 +0000 Carousels, or rotating banner ads on your website is a pretty common request from our clients. The general thought is its a way to create information density in a small piece of real estate, as well as, a way to show different content and appear freshly updated.

However, many usability experts call the rotating banner a no-no because of its usability problems, SEO (search engines don’t index image content), and lack of engagement from visitors (many web visitors are banner-blind and don’t even look at banner ads.)

Smashing Magazine did some pretty extensive research into carousels and their pros and cons. The end result? It’s not cut and dry whether they are beneficial or not. Like all things marketing, it depends on your audience and your goals. Smashing Magazine’s article focuses on mobile and ecommerce specifically.

Read the article on Smashing Magazine.

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Hosted WordPress Updated to 4.1.1 Mon, 23 Feb 2015 15:53:15 +0000 Hosted WordPress with SiteControl sites are now being updated to the latest version 4.1.1. This maintenance release fixes 21 bugs in version 4.1.

For a full list of changes, consult the list of tickets and the changelog

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Filer Credit Union Launches New Website Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:07:18 +0000 Congratulations to Filer Credit Union on the launch of their new site design. The new design uses WordPress with Site Control and includes responsive support for mobile devices. A modern light color scheme with bright green, medium green, grey and white make the site visually appealing. Check out the CU*Answers Web Services custom website design today at

]]> 0 Makeover Fri, 13 Feb 2015 15:54:27 +0000 Congratulations to on their recent website makeover on their existing design and content.  We tweaked a few things to enhance the layout of the homepage, such as moving the news posts into columns, as well as add some motion and color by adding the banner carousel at the top of the page.

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CU*BASE Alert: Network Maintenance 2/17 Tue, 10 Feb 2015 17:27:43 +0000 On Tuesday morning, February 17, from 12-8 AM ET, we will be performing internal network maintenance. During this time, there may be brief network interruptions to the following services:

  • CU*Talk audio response and our phone system
  • It’s Me 247 online and mobile banking
  • CU*CheckViewer check images
  • eDOC applications
  • Hosted web/mail sites and
  • AnswerBook
  • CU*Spy
  • RAS/VPN/remote access
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Screen Resolutions 2015 Edition Mon, 09 Feb 2015 17:17:24 +0000 When I started at CU*Answers nearly 10 years ago, our web site designs targeted an 800×600 browser size. This was considered the standard at the time. This meant that we considered the viewable space on any monitor with the web browser at full screen as 800 pixels wide by 600 pixels tall.

Over the years, the best practice moved to 1024×768 resolution and many sites were designed with this in mind. If you can picture these dimensions in your head, and relate them to TVs, you’ll notice they are the older square shape of TVs. It’s nearly impossible to find these now. TVs, and likewise computer monitors have moved to the wider letterbox, rectangular shape like cinema movie screens.

Also, note we’re talking about actual pixel real estate on your monitor, not the actual real world dimensions. You could have a huge monitor that runs at a low resolution (think of a sports score board) or a small monitor that runs at a high resolution (think your smartphone.) We’ve talked about the differing screen sizes and resolutions over the years – here and here for example. W3 Schools has some interesting trend data on resolutions also.

What screen resolution is the current best practice?

Well, that’s surprisingly difficult to answer. CU*Answers Web Services recently did an evaluation of all the screen resolutions that visit the It’s Me 247 Online Banking Community. This represents the members’ resolutions we should be targeting when we develop your website. The results are overwhelming.

  • The axes represent the pixels, horizontally and vertically, naturally.
  • The size of the circle indicates the relative popularity of the screen resolution.
  • The overall quantity of circles showcases the vast variety of resolutions.
  • This chart is graphing about 4.2 million sessions over the course of 2014.


As you can see, this is a very complex issue. The crux of it being, the monitor and screen resolution you are using is very unlikely to be the same as the average member.

If you have done a website redesign with us you likely got a mockup that included relative screen resolutions overlaid on your mockups. Like this example.port_conn_201311_mock-up_screen_sizes

We’re attempting to show you how some common screen resolutions will view your site. But don’t get pulled into the myth of having to have everything “above the fold.” Study after study has shown that your website visitors scroll. There is no fold. See Myth of the Fold, UX False Beliefs or our last screen resolution discussion for sources.

And we haven’t even begun to talk about the proliferation of mobile screen devices. Although the general web trend is that more and more members are visiting web sites on mobile devices, this doesn’t appear to be the case with credit union websites. Although, we do see this with some non-credit union sites we manage. The majority of access to your credit union site is still from a desktop. For example, this sample credit union site is still over 70% desktop access.
2015-02-04 14_12_42-Overview - Google Analytics
This ratio (70% desktop, 20% mobile, 10% tablet) is mostly standard across our credit union sites.

However, we have noticed mobile access trending significantly in the last 18 months and we expect that trend to continue.

Enter responsive web design

Web Services has been including responsive web designs for a couple years. Responsive web designs adjust to different screen resolutions, thus solving both mobile access and the chaotic resolution graph above, while utilizing the same content. This means you are only maintaining one website’s worth of content and that content adapts to the browser’s screen size.

Web Services is working with some clients right now who are pretty aggressive in pursuing mobile sites through our responsive web designs. Below are some examples of great looking mobile responsive designs (remember to view them on your smartphone.) Several of these are currently in development, so you are looking at their test sites.

Responsive web design is the best tool we have right now on the web for showing visitors a single version of your website in a way that best adapts to their screen. As technology advances in high dpi screens we expect the numbers to continue to shift. We’ll continue to determine the best and most practical practices for our clients to help visitors see the best version of your site possible.

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What happens when you type into your browser’s address box and press enter? Wed, 04 Feb 2015 18:30:05 +0000 Do you know everything that goes into browsing to a web page? It’s amazingly complex with all the different pieces involved – hardware, software, operating system, network connections, wire and wireless infrastructure and transmission protocols – the list goes on.

This document on GitHub is a collaborative attempt at documenting the entire process. It’s really technical, and really interesting. And its currently being updated by many contributors.

When developing websites, Web Services has to consider the vast majority of this process. It affects speed and accessibility of the browsing experience. But the main web development components don’t even kick in until the bottom part of the process when you get to the web server and the HTML processing. And this document is just sketching out the process, hopefully it gets filled in with deeper detail.

Read the whole thing on GitHub and check back as its continually updated to be more and more complete.

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Introducing Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:58:25 +0000 Late last year, CU*Answers Web Services launched This website is a blog where Randy Karnes, CU*Answers CEO, shares his opinions on matters related to the credit union industry and encourages readers to respond with their own thoughts on the topic, or to tell Karnes why they disagree. The website features a popup disclaimer, a random name generator (should the poster want to remain anonymous), and discussions about Credit Unions.

Check out and tell Randy Karnes why he’s wrong!

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