Guest Post by Liz Novak: Our New Website is Almost Here…

For the past year, we have been working on our website…from soliciting our vendor, working on the design, creating and developing content page by page, and creating a more extensive members-only area that enables updating of contact information, forms, online registrations, and more. Next week, our new website will be going live.

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Throughout this process, we have kept in mind that we are a membership organization. To our members, we provide an array of benefits and services – high quality Continuing Legal Education, various insurance, networking and leadership opportunities, and more. We also understand that our organization exists because of our members. Yes, some services we offer to attorneys who are not members – but at an increased cost. After all, membership does have its benefits.

When creating the website, we reviewed membership surveys for feedback on what members are looking for; we held focus groups showing an early version of the website design and incorporating feedback; and, we researched other bar association websites and looked at industry best practices. And while we cannot please all, we believe this website offers a cleaner, more intuitive design with increased capability. Our goal was not to have a website with heavy animation, bells and whistles; but rather a visually pleasing website that is utilitarian to our members.

Because our new website is connected directly to our operations database, most of the issues our members had in the past with logging in will now be eliminated. Oh, I’m sure there will be a couple of snags here and there in the beginning, but having the website connected to our database provides a more streamlined approach for solutions to any issues, along with the ability to register directly for events online.

The website has been a true team effort here at the MCBA – with heavy lifting from Merritt Smith and Dajaneé Parrish who have put their blood, sweat and tears into this project (well, not tears yet, but you get the idea!).

Now that you have the background, let’s get down to some of the basics.

Logging In

Homepage with login

 

Logging in is quite simple as long as you know your username and password, and if you don’t know either one, there is a way for you to retrieve them. You also can send an email to me at lnovak@mcba.org.

But let’s assume for now that you have your login and password. You go to the “Login” link in the upper right corner of the MCBA.org home page and click on it.

Once you successfully log in, that “Login” link switches to “Profile” and you are automatically brought to your own profile page. Your username is directly linked to your contact id in our database. This personalized “Profile” page hosts an array of relevant information – such as your contact information that you can update at any time, events you have already registered for, the ability to change your password, and information about your membership renewal.

If at any time you navigate away from that page on the website, simply click on “Profile” in the upper right corner of the website and you automatically go back to your profile. The system will keep you logged in unless you specifically log out.

Calendar

We have a brand new calendar system—one that is directly linked to our events and CLE database. To register for an event online, you must log in. Unlike our current calendar, our new calendar allows you to view in a couple of different ways – by month, by listing, or by type of event.

instamatic photo

Photo Gallery

One of the features we’re especially excited about is the new photo album feature on the website. While we encourage those who have Facebook accounts to “like” our Facebook page, we understand that not all of you have a Facebook account.

We take a lot of photos at events and CLEs, and want all of our members to enjoy them.

photo gallery image

Here at the MCBA, we’re excited about our new website, and hope it will provide you with expanded capabilities and information. Again if you have any questions about logging in to the website once we are live, please feel free to contact me directly at lnovak@mcba.org.

Thanks for checking in.

Liz

 

Guest Post by Liz Novak: MCBA Website — Where do we go from here?

We’re looking at revamping, re-skinning, redoing our website. Whatever you want to call it, the bottom line is that we’re looking at making some significant changes to it.

The last redo of our website was about 4 years ago and it suited what we were trying to accomplish at that time. But I think websites might age like dogs – so that means that redesign was nearly a lifetime ago.

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Sure we’ve made some tweeks and additions over the years but it’s always good to look at a website every few years and reevaluate – are we providing a resource to our members?

I was doing a little research on website trends, and words like responsive design, parallax scrolling, flat web design, and others that sound good in theory, but like skinny jeans, don’t translate into my actual daily life.

While I agree (as an iphone/ipad junkie) that being responsive to various devices – smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop – is important for folks to access a website and not get completely annoyed with the super small type that you have to manually (literally) enlarge, I also believe we overcomplicate things and that simpler is better.

What’s the information our members want from our website on a regular basis? What do they need? And what aren’t we providing that maybe we can be providing?

But maybe I’m wrong…I’m no tech guru. I live with one, but I’m not one. (Actually, he wants to be referred to as a tech guru genius, but I can only take it so far). My best answer to all things technology related – whether it’s a website not working properly, my email, etc – is to reboot.

So rather than us assume or simply go with the trends being published, we want to hear from you. And Mary takes it personal that no one responds to our blog – so I’m asking, can you please respond to the survey below. The survey will also be posted on Facebook and our homepage.

Click here to take survey

It’s 10 questions that takes less than 5 minutes, and I appreciate you taking the time to do so!

Thanks for checking in…

Liz

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