Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Just a Click Away

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Just a Click Away

Article excerpt

Around mid-October, people who visited the NASP website got quite a surprise. They were greeted by a whole new layout and eye-popping pictures and graphics. This certainly did not look like the usual NASP website!

The site transformation was the result of a couple of years of careful planning on the part of the NASP office and various Web design companies. There were significant challenges, as there have been a lot of changes in technology since the last site redesign, and the size of the site had significantly increased.

In the 1990s, when NASP first launched its website, the process of creating a website was fairly simple. Most computers operated in a similar manner and they all used the same two or three Web browsers. Fast forward to today, and people are using a variety of Web browsers and looking at websites through an assortment of devices, including their smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.

Older websites had difficulty accommodating screens of different sizes that people are now using. This is why some sites on smartphones have print that is too small to read. The old NASP website had that problem. Thankfully, it is now no longer an issue as the redesigned site is responsive to the size of the screen it is being viewed on. This means you can view the website on any device and it will adjust with you. No more having to expand a view in order to be able to read the site!

Once people were able to see the site on any device, it was important for them to be able to find what they were looking for. Developing a good organization system gets tricky as more people use it. What makes sense to one person can be totally confusing to another.

Now imagine having to organize a website with thousands of documents and resources for over 100,000 people. This was the task that the website design team undertook. The team started out by sending out a user survey to NASP members and other groups who commonly use our website. Focus groups were then used to see how people looked for information on the website and what key terms they typically used. Based on this information, the website design team went back and tagged all of the documents and resources on the site with key terms so they could be found more effectively.

The feedback from the surveys and focus groups was also used to make sure that the most common information people looked for was easy to find from the front page. …

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