Have you heard?

Our website – www.mcba.org —  is brand, spankin’ new! Have you visited the new site?

The redesign and rebuild began more than a year ago with support from our president at the time, Diane Cecero. We were all pretty confident that the new site would be up and running within the year, but if you have ever been involved in a website build, it never takes the 3-6 months as is predicted.

Team Web Re-Design was led by Membership & Communications Manager, Liz Novak, with support from her team, Dajaneé Parrish, Communications Coordinator, and Merritt Smith, Marketing Coordinator.

Our primary goals:

First, to make the primary focus of the site — our members and the resources you value;

Second, to make the site intuitive, relevant and user-friendly;

Third, to make the site visually appealing.

Following hours and hours and hours of dissecting our old site, and even more hours going through dozens of bar web sites, as well as other interesting sites, we began the vision process with the builders. Our goal — to build a site that represented the best elements of the dozens and dozens of sites we studied.

One of the things we learned early on is that although the MCBA is considered a small local bar, we have a BIG bar roster of activities, initiatives, events, committees and sections, and news in general. This quickly translated to the fact that this site was going to take more time than we had anticipated.

The Team Web Re-Design would bring me in every month to check progress and to offer my feedback. I probably enjoyed these meetings more than the team did, but they never let on.

One very important step that we took during the early design phase was that we surveyed a group of members about what they thought of the preliminary concepts. Once we had a basic design in place, we specifically asked them to find five pieces of information, testing the intuitiveness of the site. We also asked them to comment on the design, layout, colors, overall appeal. We were prepared to shift plans and design if the feedback was negative, but it wasn’t. Members, some of our more vocal members, responded with affirming counsel, thoughtful suggestions, and unanimous “thumbs up”.

If you have been a regular www.mcba.org visitor, I hope you are enjoying the new site. If you are a less frequent visitor, I hope you take this opportunity to visit the site right now, or tonight while you are chilling in front of the fireplace with your iPad on your lap. If you have never been to the site, then with all due respect, what are you waiting for? Go for it! www.mcba.org

You will notice that there are more members-only areas and that you will need your login information more often than not. This is a value-added member benefit, so if you do not know your username and password, please contact Liz Novak at lnovak@mcba.org. She will respond to you within 24 hours.

Oh, and one of the best aspects of the new site is that it is a “responsive design”, which means it adapts to your smartphone and tablets. Very user-friendly for those of us that live with these devices in our hands.

Poor Liz was barely through this project, and was assigned another significant one. She is good with these big challenges. Dajaneé and Merritt have come to learn that I look very closely at the details and design. I want to see spots of color; I want to see interesting design elements. I tweaked and re-tweaked, and they took it all in stride. If they did not like my idea, we talked it through and agreed on an outcome. We have a collaborative group in our office, which results in better quality — in my opinion!

I am proud of the new website, and very proud of this team for getting the job done. We hope you like it! Please let me know what you think.

Thanks for checking in,

Mary

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