In 2015, the Athene companies had seven different public websites, with another in development. In addition, there were five secured portals for producer and customer access. Sites were hosted on different platforms and maintained by different teams. For site visitors, the differences created confusion and misunderstanding.
Our team was responsible for four websites:
Athene.com was our primary retail website. The other three sites were for companies that Athene had acquired in the past, and we needed to retire. On top of that, it had been decided that our parent company, Athene Holding, would take over the Athene.com domain name by the end of the year. All of the websites except the retail site would be built and hosted on Wordpress. We would keep our site on the IBM Websphere Portal and WCM platform.
Our first challenge was to determine whether all sites could be hosted within one shared domain — Athene.com. The alternative was to have a separate domain for the retail website at Atheneannuity.com. We made the case for separate domains, which would allow us to meet the four-month deadline. It would be very difficult to have content built in two different systems be delivered in a seamless user experience. We chose to use Atheneannuity.com for the retail site.
I took stock of all the existing content on the four websites and compiled it into a content audit spreadsheet. It turned out that we had a lot of redundant content, which was easily reconciled with our primary website. However, we quickly learned that there were going to be some very tricky pages. The Contact Us page, and the Service Forms page would have to include information for a multitude of legacy companies, whose business was being serviced by different Third Party Administrators (TPAS). All of the legacy forms would have to be moved into the same database, and we would have to come up with a way to display the correct forms and service information to each user.
I compiled all the different service groups into a spreadsheet and drafted a "forms logic" matrix to show how we would need to have the user answer a series of questions before showing them the correct forms and mailing address. Another team member worked with partners in Operations to confirm that the information was correct. We were also able to get them to agree that we could display one toll-free number for customers to call.
I created mockups of the pages that would change significantly. We went through several options for some of these pages. I had the high fidelity templates from a previous project, so it was quicker to create finished designs than build wireframes from scratch.
I also updated the visual design of the customer and agent portal login screens. The agent portal login page layout had to be adjusted to make room for a link to a new site area just for New York appointed producers.