by Bill Magargal
The tech team has begun the design phase for a refresh and update of the US Servas website (see OD article). The several goals for this three-month project include the overall appearance, ease-of-use, consistency, and overall website message and feel. We want our website to differentiate us from other travel groups, our commitment to peace, etc. We can really use your ideas and help with this project, so please consider the areas below where you can add your two cents.
Marketing/Message - We want our website to convey the essence of what makes us different and defines who we are. Yes, we are a travel and hosting group, but then so is Couch Surfing. We are also a peace group, but so are many others. We want to appeal to younger people, but the fact is that most of our membership are retirees (logically so). Our site should include key phrases like "Slow Travel", "Off the tourist trail", "magic moments", "meeting people of like ethos", etc. Do you have ideas, or key phrases that might enrich our website?
Overall Appearance - Many of us feel the current website is a bit stale. It also suffers from the initial learning curve involved with Wild Apricot, and implementation by multiple cooks with varied ideas, thus it feels a bit patched together. We've been using a color scheme of the green and orange used in the Servas logo, but ido we still want to? We need better photos to align with the theme and message we develop.
Functionality - This involves everything from menu design (verbiage, order, levels, clarity), mix of photos, graphics, text; having multiple ways to navigate the site, and consistency. We also need to improve functionality on cellphones, and make the site better for visually impaired people, i.e., fonts, colors, sizes, use of alternate text with photos.
If you have any thoughts, ideas, concerns, etc. about this project please go to Volunteering and signup. If you would like to become part of the team working on the project, see the Help Wanted article in this issue. Please do so by February 15th. Here are some things you can send us to help:
Key Phrases - short phrases that capture what Servas means to you.
Magic Moments - Bullet point type phrases or sentences that share some of the special moments you've experienced with Servas.
Photos- We want some fresh, emotive, well-taken photos for use on the website. Please send us a great photo you have taken that conveys what Servas is about.
Problem Areas - Are there things about the website that don't make sense to you, or are difficult to use? Please let us know what they are.
Appearance- Do you have thoughts about the website appearance, color schemes, general look and feel? Please give us your thoughts.
General Ideas - Are there things missing from the site that you feel should be included? What other things should we be thinking about for this project?
Please email your ideas, photos, comments, etc. to: TechSupport@usservas.org