PROJECT: With over 1,600 members, the ASIS International New York City Chapter (ASIS-NYC) represents the entire spectrum of security professionals.But its website, which hadn’t change effectively since 2006, did not accurately reflect its important role in the security industry. I redesigned the site to be a more interactive and engaging resource for its members, and to provide a more streamlined method for ASIS-NYC to distribute information and collect funds.
Here are the issues the site faced and how they were addressed.
ISSUE: Without a system to manage content, the site often had out-of-date information. Only one person had the technology and experience to make updates which put an unwanted burden on one volunteer.
SOLUTION: I rebuilt the site on a WordPress framework, which allows updates with an easy-to-use online interface. I added several editors, with varying degrees of access to the system, so the work would be shared more equally, and the site would feature ever-changing, new content.
ISSUE: The original design was outdated. Navigation was confusing.
SOLUTION: I used a clean white, black and red palette for a more professional look. Content was restructured into sections that everyone could identify; dropdown menus allowed access to all pages. The design was made responsive to work well on mobile phones and tablets.
ISSUE: An important feature of the project was to integrate online event registration. The website already had a custom registration that used Authorize.net as a payment gateway. The new website incorporated this system and added new features.
SOLUTION: By using the Event Espresso plugin ($179.50 for a single license at eventespresso.com) we were to able to avoid costs of rebuilding a custom program. As before, we used the SIM method which cut down on the need for a more expensive secure hosting environment since transactions are done on the Authorize.net website. Though the plugin was mostly ready to use out of the box, we made some customizations to make registering guests an easier process. Event Espresso also included some features that were not available before, such as:
- Events are automatically added to a monthly calendar.
- Registrants received a ticket that can be scanned via mobile app at the event door. I formatted the ticket so it could also serve as a name badge
- Attendee information is collected and available for export via an online interface.
ISSUE: The website had limited means for members to contact the organization. Most forms were static text files that the user had to print out and then fax or mail back.
SOLUTION: I installed the Gravity Forms plugin ($39 for a single user license, gravityforms.com) which has sophisticated form building tools. I took the forms for scholarship, mentoring, and advertising and converted them to go online. Each form can be personalized to control who gets sent the form results. Users can also attach files to the forms, essential for scholarship applications that need university authorization.
The new website encourages chapter members to think about their website in a different way. It is no longer so much a static resource but has the potential to play an active part in their communications. They now have a framework that they can grow with.