Since the redesigned Fingate site launched in summer 2020, FMS has been continuously working to optimize the site to meet our users' needs. The site, which garners over 20,000 pageviews each month, supports the Stanford community in quickly locating and understanding policies, processes and the needed information to perform financial activities efficiently, accurately and within compliance. While the redesign did include a focus on providing a more modern look and feel to our users, the primary goals were, and continue to be, ensuring that users can search and navigate through the site efficiently and effectively. In addition, content is being updated on a frequent basis, refined and improved to better meet your needs.

As a continuation of those goals, FMS has recently implemented some changes to Fingate search functionality that will improve the user experience. These changes are a result of a deep dive study of the site analytics, user experience polls and direct feedback from the site's audience.

Planned Enhancements - Winter and Spring 2022

Based on our analysis of the site’s user experience and the responses to the October 2021 Financial Management Services Client Satisfaction Survey, the following are the next action plans for Fingate.

Goal Action Plan
Improve site speed and responsiveness (Completed - January 2022) The Fingate team constantly monitors site speed and discovered some opportunities to reduce loading time for scripts running during each user session. With some code refinements and bug fixes, site speed has been significantly improved, especially when navigating through the homepage.
Reduce pop-ups and "density" of the site (Completed - February 2022) Feedback from users indicated a desire for minimal interruptions to the experience. Notably, the pop-up tours through the site were not adding value for many users and were, instead, detracting from the experience. As a result, the pop-up tours have been disabled.
Improve search capability (Completed on March 2, 2022) The Fingate team updated the configurations of the Fingate search engine to index keywords from all sections of the site. Previously the search was limited to scan specific sections of a page. Search queries now produce more relevant matches that are provided within the search results by relevance. This is a significant improvement that has fixed the issue of certain keywords that produced zero results. Thanks to continued feedback from website users, ongoing improvements to the search engine continue through analyzing the search metrics and fine tuning the search configurations. Users can share examples of search queries that did not produce relevant results to inform future updates by filling out this feedback form.
Improve navigation (In progress, user experience study underway, targeting completion by summer 2022) Analytics and feedback have indicated that users love the "mega menu" navigation on the home page, and often hit the back button or home button to go back to it and re-enter the site. The Fingate team will be working to make the menu persistent across the entire site. This will take some redesign of some of the page templates, but should also provide an opportunity to streamline the ways a user can move through and around the site.

Next steps

We’re analyzing the October 2021 Client Satisfaction Survey and reaching out to respondents who indicated that they would be open to providing feedback and ideas on how we might improve the Fingate site. Groups of users will be invited to participate in online interviews and focus groups over the coming months to help guide these improvements. with a user experience consultant. 

Stayed tuned for future updates about the Fingate search. If you ever have any questions or suggestions, feel free to send your feedback to @email.

Thank you for your continued feedback and support!

Completed in August 2021

The changes to search functionality include:

  • Screenshot of search results
    Re-configured the search engine: Now, the search engine will display all the results associated with any part of a phrase you entered into in the search query. This has significantly improved the number of relevant results generated by the search engine, especially when a user types in a search phrase that doesn't match exactly to a phrase in the site.

  • Screenshot of the autocomplete suggestions for search queries.
    Added suggested search terms functionality: As you are typing the first letters of their search query, a list of suggested search terms based on available results will automatically display for you to select from. This is a common functionality in other search engines to assist the user with targeting their search request.


Enhancements launched on August 12

The second round of search enhancements included more improvements focused on usability and to provide a more holistic search experience:

  • Search modal screenshot
    Quicker search entry: In the full-screen search modal, which is activated by clicking on the “Search” button in the top right corner of the site, the cursor is now immediately active in the search text field and users can type their search query without having to either tab multiple times or move their mouse cursor to the text field. This change greatly enhances the accessibility and usability of the search.
  • Consolidated search: Also in the full-screen search modal, the radio buttons to limit your search to just the site or the newsroom have been removed. The search engine will now display results containing items such as announcements and newsletters. This change is a result of feedback that users did not know which radio button to choose, or, in some cases, had not been aware that there was a differentiation in the content type they were searching for.
  • Search results filtered with news option
    New search filter: To support the consolidated search, we have added a new filter in the search results pages, to narrow or widen results by news content type in the left hand sidebar.

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