GAWDA Summer Projects Are In Full Swing

GAWDA Web Site Usability Review Underway

By John Ospina

As President Mark Raimy notes, GAWDA efforts this year are about better communications. We are employing new and existing technologies to achieve this, and through the summer months, we’ve undertaken the revamping of GAWDA’s web site as a major project to that end.

The last web site redesign was in 2010, when the current GAWDA team assumed management of the association. At the outset, the site was very simple and clean. Services were added with time. For awhile, navigation worked well and members found information with relative ease. As more and more web pages, information and links were added to accommodate member needs, there was a drawback to those good steps. The drop-down menus became longer and it became more and more cumbersome for members to find what they needed. This year, President Raimy initiated the first phase of this project.

We have begun to evaluate the scope of work needed to give the GAWDA site a more up-to-date look, improved functionality and more intuitive navigation. A website developer has been retained to work directly with the GAWDA team. We have been analyzing historical metrics to see which pages have the most traffic and which have little or none. This information, along with input from GAWDA leadership, was used to develop an initial design proposal, which was presented to the GAWDA Board of Directors for approval.

President Raimy also is assigning an advisory committee to provide input to the GAWDA team and developer on updates to the proposed design and functionality plan. To begin, they will assess the web pages with low or no activity to determine their user relevance. This will help eliminate information that may no longer be relevant, while simplifying the navigation process. This group will continue to provide input throughout the project.
We also want to receive direct input from our members. If you’ve been on the site recently, you may have noticed a pop-up window that asks, “Were you able to find the information you were looking for?” If you answer no, a second window that asks for more detail will appear.

With your help, the data we collect will provide a better understanding of what navigation problems users are experiencing. That will help determine if information is missing, or if it’s present but not labeled in a way that’s intuitive to users or if it is present but requires too many click-throughs to find.

Next comes the creation of a road map for an improved web site experience. After the initial phase, we will determine next steps, including a process to ensure continuous improvement and optimal user experience.

Thank you in advance for your input as we continue to move GAWDA forward for the benefit of our members and the industry.