Relaunched in September 2020 after a 20-month redesign and implementation process, Fingate now features a clean, modern look, and user-friendly search and navigation built on the Drupal content management system.

Fingate was created to help staff, faculty, students, and suppliers quickly find information to perform financial activities efficiently, correctly, and within policy. But the 13-year-old site was no longer meeting the needs of campus users and long overdue for a refresh.

Throughout the redesign and implementation process, the Fingate team prioritized improving the user experience. To gather feedback and test the new design, the team conducted five user studies with 60 participants representing 17 business units across campus. The goals of the redesign were to improve navigation and search capability and modernize the site.

The new site organizes information into easy-to-understand activities and topics that help users see the big picture of finance at Stanford. Users have commented that the new site is “significantly better than the old site” and “very organized,” with “much easier” navigation.

By restructuring the website’s information architecture, the Fingate team has made it easier for users to “look” for what they’re seeking by using the site navigation rather than the search function. As a result, use of the site’s search function during visits has decreased 98% post-launch.

Surveys conducted by the Fingate team before and after the relaunch showed a 19% increase in positive sentiment about finding information on Fingate. Before the redesign, over half the users surveyed found it time-consuming to find the information they sought.

Fingate has averaged 1,400 users and 5,000 page views per day since its relaunch. The team has prioritized monitoring the user experience and responding to feedback. The team uses analytics to track and report website traffic and heatmaps to understand how users are navigating the site. Users can report content issues or provide content feedback directly on the site by clicking a link at the bottom of any page.

The redesign team has defined a robust set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and measurement tools to drive continuous improvement and achieve the website’s goals of ease of use, usability, appearance, comprehension and credibility.

What’s next? Improvement plans include additional opportunities to gather feedback from users about their Fingate experience, such as Fingate polls and the FMS Client Satisfaction Survey planned for fall 2021.

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