Smarter financing for the tech industry’s finest

Seamless digital experiences are mission-critical for any finserv firm — especially when your core customers are tech-savvy Amazon, Google, and Microsoft employees. That was the challenge facing First Tech Federal, a forward-thinking credit union with 40+ U.S. locations (mostly on the West Coast).


First Tech came to us looking for a website that offered the modern design and flawless functionality their users were looking for. We helped them think even bigger — rebuilding First Tech’s digital experiences from top to bottom to drive engagement and ROI.

The Situation

Putting a human spin on the financial world

First Tech’s customers are digital natives with jam-packed schedules, so when it comes to banking and borrowing, we needed to deliver something simple, smart, and convenient. Our UX designers and Sitecore developers put their heads together to completely overhaul First Tech’s digital environment, including:


  • Updating First Tech’s touchscreen navigation on mobile and tablet.
  • Designing each page with a cohesive visual identity.
  • Outfitting the search bar with predictive AI technology.
  • Upgrading geo-targeting on First Tech’s location pages.
  • Meeting ADA Compliance guidelines across colors, fonts, images, and layout.

Walking a tightrope between dynamic and down-to-earth

For First Tech’s visual identity, our color palette took a cue from the credit union’s surrounding environment: The effervescent blues and greens of the Pacific Coast. Instead of peppering the site with financial stock photos and industry jargon, we kept the focus on candid moments, sharp lines, and a friendly set of icons to tell a story that’s both energetic and distinctly human.

Molding blueprints into building blocks

Once we settled on the design, we rolled up our sleeves and brought it to life. Our team leveraged Sitecore to assemble 400+ pages that play nicely together on any device or screen size. To enhance navigation, we hard-coded touchscreen components, installed search filters powered by machine learning, and fused the credit union’s location pages with several geo-location APIs to help customers pinpoint their nearest branch. 

"We were very impressed with Horizontal’s ability to elevate our brand for our website refresh. Thanks to their partnership, our website will continue to delight for years to come."

  • Chylon Pappas, Marketing VP, First Tech

Tuning up First Tech’s engine

Under the hood, we upgraded First Tech’s website to Sitecore 9.3 to help the credit union get more out of their Sitecore DXP investment. This platform not only delivers faster page load times, its simple drag-and-drop functionality empowers First Tech business managers to easily tell meaningful stories across every touchpoint.

The Result

Mission accomplished

Following their website launch, First Tech has seen an avalanche of customer engagement:


More Website Searches


Higher Mobile Traffic


Higher Tablet Traffic


More User Logins


Fewer Website Bounces


Faster Page Load Time


ADA Compliance Score

28% above the financial industry average

Fast and easy online banking

Engaging customers on a human level is a surefire pathway to profits — and this story is no exception. Thanks to First Tech’s reimagined digital experiences, the credit union has enjoyed a surge in business:


Increase in student loans apply clicks


Increase in home loans apply clicks


Increase in share certificates apply clicks

“Horizontal took our web design to the next level. We’ve already seen big improvements in ADA Accessibility and SEO — helping us attract and accommodate more members.”

  • Sean Wolverton, Digital Experience Center Manager, First Tech


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