Leading with impact
Clearwater Credit Union: Winner of a 2020 Gold MAC Award for Website Design
About Clearwater Credit Union
Clearwater’s mission is to be a force for good in banking, in the communities we serve, and in the lives of their members. Clearwater Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative founded by 8 Missoula police officers in 1956. Currently, the largest Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and second-largest credit union in the state of Montana, Clearwater serves over 50,000 members across twenty counties in Western Montana. In 2016 Clearwater was invited to join the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), becoming 1 of 3 credit unions in the United States and the only financial institution in Montana to join the GABV.
Over $800 million
Number of branches
Number of members
Field of membership
20 counties in Western Montana
PixelSpoke’s team works as a valued partner, not just trying to push a project or service. They care about the relationship and the long-term outcome.
— Clinton Summers, COO, Clearwater Credit Union
About the project
The story goes like this: We launched a brand new website for Missoula Federal Credit Union back in early 2019. On the heels of the site launch, the credit union began a rebranding effort to “Clearwater Credit Union,” spearheaded by design and innovation consultancy Opp/Ed.
Our new charge was to preserve the improvements to the copy, structure, and design, while infusing the site with the credit union’s new brand identity. It was critical to retell Clearwater’s story, and do so in a way that created a smooth transition for its members.
The result? An award-winning website that serves as a values-based banking impact hub; leads with purpose; and offers a fast, easy, and accessible user experience.
Creating a values-based banking impact hub
For Clearwater, the values truly come first. To make its new site reflect this, we up-ended the typical credit union site and put values first — everywhere. The new homepage is all about the mission and how the reader can get involved, and product pages lead with the positive impact the product has in the local community. It’s not for people who are just looking for a generic banking account, and that’s ok — Clearwater is looking for the people who want to be part of their mission, and this new site is designed to help those people know they’ve found their financial home. It’s not about just opening a checking account, it’s about joining a movement.
Leading with purpose
Before, there wasn’t much to distinguish Clearwater’s site from any other credit union anywhere in the country. Now, woven throughout the site are community impact stories, staff and member testimonials, and local imagery so visitors always know they’re dealing with a local credit union that prides itself on service and impact.
Clearwater is passionate about transparency, so we made it easy to see what they’re up to. From easily accessible annual reports, to actual impact numbers throughout the site, to a blog categorized by the causes the credit union actively works with, it’s obvious Clearwater walks the walk.
Offering a fast, easy, and accessible user experience
Values, impact, and local connection are all important, but of course, user experience remains paramount. Clearwater wanted to make sure that visitors could intuitively navigate the site and find what they were looking for. With well-organized menus, prominent “join” and “login” buttons, and a seamless mobile experience, anyone can open an account, explore products, or view recent transactions without any heavy lifting required.
By the numbers
Traffic to Join page increased by850%
Site speed increased by58%
Bounce rate decreased by60%
PixelSpoke has been a fantastic partner during our website redesign process. They are positive, adaptable, and incredibly capable. We are insanely proud of our new website and are excited to continue working with PixelSpoke as we evolve our site for years to come.
— Gwen Landquist, Director of Brand & Communication at Clearwater