ASIS&T’s Web Presence: Upgrades and Redesigns

Today’s post updates you on ASIS&T’s recent happenings surrounding our website: a server upgrade as well as progress toward a new visual identity and virtual presence.

What happened to the Web server?

Good news! The asist.org web server underwent a server upgrade last weekend. It’s now residing on a much faster server. Apologies to anyone who visited the site last weekend and encountered missing pages or other oddities. ASIS&T is happy to report that the transition is complete, and the site is lightning fast now.

What’s going on with the Web redesign?

As the chair of the ASIS&T Web Presence Task Force, I’m excited to report all the exciting changes that are forthcoming for ASIS&T’s website and visual branding. You might remember that a few weeks ago, ASIS&T announced that it had contracted with Seven Heads Design (sevenheadsdesign.com; @7HeadsDesign) after a thorough RFP-based selection process. We got to work right away, and things are progressing nicely so far.

The founder of Seven Heads Design – @kevinmhoffman – and others working with him on our site’s redesign led a project kick-off workshop on Wednesday in Baltimore. There were about 15 of us present, including ASIS&T staff members, Seven Heads Design team members, and ASIS&T members. I was thrilled to witness all these amazing people coming together for a commonly shared goal of an improved web presence for our association.

The day started with individual introductions and statements about what we would each like to achieve by the end of the day. Kevin and @rozduffy reviewed preliminary findings from the informal interviews they’ve already conducted with a cross-section of ASIS&T members. @vlh led some analysis and discussion about visual branding, and everyone got to critique other organizations’ logos as well as all-important ampersands. She rightly pointed out that the “&” is an important part of our brand, and so its typeface should be chosen carefully. (I think I’m in the “sans serif” camp now, but then again, I also had too much coffee at the start of the morning.)

After lunch, we did some prototyping exercises in which we worked individually and in groups to think about how certain pages could be designed to incorporate interaction, new technologies, static and dynamic content, and so on. (Some delicious hotel-supplied cupcakes enhanced this hard mid-afternoon work.) We moved on to a presentation from @tkadlec about design patterns and how they’ll be used for a consistent visual identity. We had a teleconference call with ASIS&T’s Web server administrator, and then we received an overview of the project schedule from @iamjolly. We followed up with someĀ  discussion about how we can all work together to meet the deadlines he’s set for us. Kevin concluded the day with some final thoughts and a check-in with each of us to see whether our hopes for the day had been realized.

We’re optimistic that we’ll have a redesigned site, or at least something close to completion, by the ASIS&T Annual Meeting in November, and we’ll observe it with a grand unveiling. Join us for the celebration!

What can you do to help?

This is a major initiative for ASIS&T that has required – and will continue to require – significant time and resources to yield a successful redesign process. To keep the project manageable, the Task Force will work closely with Kevin’s team to provide feedback about their progress on a regular basis. However, I’ll keep the membership informed about our progress throughout the summer and fall as major milestones occur, and I’ll ask for your feedback at various points. Please use this blog as a place to share your thoughts about anything related to the redesign. We want to hear from everyone.

What’s next?

We have a busy few months planned as we work on the technical development, the visual branding, the content, and everything else. Next week, a few of us will attend a content strategy workshop (personas and identity pillar) led by Kevin and the content experts on his team. I’m looking forward to it, and I’ll keep you posted about it.

About Diane Rasmussen Pennington

Dr. Diane Rasmussen Pennington is, among other things, the Social Media Manager of the Association for Information Science and Technology.
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