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SEGD is collaborating with Bluecadet to develop and create a more user-friendly—and better designed—SEGD website. The new website is still in development, scheduled to launch in 2022. But before then, SEGD members can check-out the test site for a sneak-peek of what to expect. Read on to learn more!
In August of 2020, SEGD formed a “website task force committee” as a sub-committee of the SEGD Board. The sub-committee members include Traci Sym (plus & greater than), Chad Hutson (Leviathan) and Bryan Meszaros, former SEGD President (Open Eye Global). The first project of the taskforce was to implement a three-week “SEGD Website Ideation Sprint,” including a high level analysis, brainstorm and budgeting exercise to determine the best approach for revisioning the website. That exercise led to a prioritization of the first phase teamed with Bluecadet.
Then this past March, as a part of the website revisioning, SEGD sent surveys to its members and interviewed stakeholders asking their opinions about the current SEGD website. What are their broad impressions of the site? How do they use it? What types of information are they seeking? How can the site be improved, in both content and design?
Across the board, survey participants reported that the SEGD website is currently unorganized and difficult to navigate; visitors have a hard time finding the rich content that SEGD is known to produce. Many respondents expressed that the current web design (developed in 2013) doesn’t reflect the high standards of an organization which includes some of the world’s best design professionals.
“Our intention through the early web redevelopment analysis and surveys is to design a new educational web platform for SEGD that exemplifies the creativity, thought leadership and excellence in design that our members bring to life through their projects and processes,” says Cybelle Jones, CEO of SEGD. “We have over two decades of content on our existing website that need to be vetted and curated. Meanwhile, we are evaluating new membership platforms to create a more customized user experience and a means for connecting to other members.”
So, the intention is to design a more agile and inspiring website. To do that, SEGD is currently collaborating with member firm Bluecadet to reorganize the site’s content, create a more user-friendly interface, and improve the overall quality of design.
Bluecadet has begun to incorporate many suggested improvements within a SEGD “test site”. The test site’s content focuses on the 2020 Global Design Awards, a topic which already lives on SEGD’s current website, but is organized in a more user-friendly manner on the new site. To do this, Bluecadet elevated the content to make visitors feel more immersed within the stories and visuals. They also structured the test site in a way that allows organic exploration, yet provides visitors with a streamlined navigation option for easier searches.
“This is not the final design, but a preview of the site’s design potential,” says Hillary Cleary, Associate Producer at Bluecadet. “Our biggest goal right now is to work with SEGD staff and SEGD members to simplify the current site’s design and content structure.”
As the design and development processes move forward, Bluecadet will also begin adding elements to the test site enabling SEGD members to create their own content. A key element in facilitating this will be a new membership platform.
“The site’s new membership platform will give SEGD members more agency and control in how they describe themselves and their work,” says Elizabeth Russell, Senior Narrative Strategist at Bluecadet. “SEGD members are some of the best designers in the world, so who better to present their own work?”
SEGD staff are currently looking at different member platforms to determine which might work best for SEGD’s members.
“Taking feedback from our member survey and suggestions throughout the years, we are exploring various member management systems to provide a robust service platform for our members,” says Nadia Adona, Director of Membership and Media. “This will include user logins that give access to your purchase history, the ability to update member bios, and control what information is displayed in the member directory.
But one of the main benefits of the new member platform will be its ability to connect SEGD members to one another.
“The system will also give members access to resources and learning modules and opportunities to network in specific interest groups,” continues Nadia. “It is our goal to provide true value to your member login to the SEGD website.”
Bluecadet and SEGD are also rethinking how visitors to the site can locate projects and editorial content. A more refined system of tags will allow the search engine to easily pull-up specific SEGD design projects. But the site’s overall content structure will also encourage visitors to explore and discover various members’ designed projects on their own and at their own leisure.
“The hope is that, strategically, the types of projects highlighted are a mix,” says Russell. “The visitors will get to see a variety of projects demonstrating or expressing the different types and different aspects of what ‘experiential design’ can be.”
The new SEGD website is scheduled to be completed and revealed in 2022. The work to design and implement an entire new website and membership platform is a tremendous undertaking and will require an investment of time and money that comes at a challenging moment for the organization after the impact of the pandemic.
“We hope that as our members and longtime SEGD partners see the improvements, they will be motivated to help us raise the funds to complete this critical project,” says Jones. “Our website is visited by more than 460,000 visitors in the course of a year, many looking to find the top talent and projects in the field of experience design. We want to ensure that our website reflects our mission to provide excellence in education, inspiration and allow members to be connected with partners from around the globe.”
If you are interested in learning more about how you can help by becoming a “Friend of SEGD,” please contact Jennette Foreman ([email protected]).
More sneak-peeks and visitor testing will take place as the redesign progresses. Want to provide feedback on the test website? Please contact Nadia Adona ([email protected]) to help make SEGD’s new website truly reflective of the outstanding design community it serves and represents.