Lunchtime Links: Is it Time for a Redesign?

Just because your website works doesn’t mean it can’t get better. Also: why Google+ is failing.

Building a website is hard work. But getting your site up and running is just the first step. You have to keep it fresh. How to tell if it’s time for an online overhaul.

That, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Online makeover: You’re generally happy with your association’s website. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some elements of its design that could be improved. Writing in The New York Times, Paul Downs, founder of Paul Downs Cabinetmakers, offers a few questions your organization should ask itself when considering an online overhaul. For starters, he says, focus on your mission. What is it your website is trying to accomplish? If your website features a bunch of pages chronicling the history and accomplishments of your association with little emphasis on services and member benefits, it might be time for change. “If I want to sell conference tables, I shouldn’t hide them somewhere on a site that shows a lot of other things,” writes Downs. “It should be all tables, all the time, and the URL should reflect exactly what we sell.” He also suggests making sure your site is easy to update and clearly labeling and pricing products and services for visitors. What are your keys to effective website design?

Get it done: Associations are full of big ideas. But turning those big ideas into reality is easier said than done. To do the work requires adjustments and, often, new ways of thinking. “It takes a change from ‘business as usual’ to get big, important projects completed,” writes Eric V. Holtzclaw for Holtzclaw, who recently published a book while simultaneously running his own business, shares six steps to help your organization complete big projects: block off the time; set up a separate, dedicated workspace; put your head down and go into isolation; use downtime to catch up on other work; take full advantage of technology; and reward yourself, or your team, for a job well done. How does your association tackle big projects?

Goodbye Google+? It was just a few years ago that Google+ launched to great fanfare. The Facebook alternative “was supposed to be a lot of things: great for SEO, the new ‘killer app’ as far as communities go, a must-have if you’re an author, the place to post and store photos, and who knows what else,” writes Maggie McGary on her personal blog, Mizz Information. But along the way, something happened. “Recently, I’ve started reading more negative articles on Google+,” writes McGary, who adds, “I’m still finding Google+ really hard to use and like.” McGary calls the redesigned interface a “usability nightmare” and says the social network lacks the intuitiveness that made Facebook such a viable tool for associations. Does your association use Google+ to connect with its members?

What are you reading today? Tell us in the comments.


Corey Murray

By Corey Murray

Corey Murray is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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