I’m excited to say the new website has been launched this week for the Gresley Society!
The brief was to create a brand-new website from the ground up using current technologies. Stage one would have the following features:
- it must be easy to maintain by the society editors,
- accessible to all, including members who have little Internet experience,
- attractive and easy to navigate ,
- provide the ability for the society to showcase the benefits of becoming a member.
Stage 2 to include:
- a members’ only area,
- the ability for members to sign up and then renew online,
- an online store,
- and an online photo gallery containing the society’s extensive photo collection.
I was taken on by the Society because I’ve already created websites in this niche that includes the features outlined above.
Working with a Committee
One of the great things about working as Chilli Designs is that I get to help lots of great people! I’ve worked with several committees before and have found the right formula for working with them effectively. By making sure that we lay down strict deadlines, clear reporting lines, and a clear review process, we can create and launch a new website in a fraction of the time it usually takes.
One of the most difficult things about working for committees is that each member of the committee may have a different version of what an ideal website would look like. Also, there may be friction between different members of the committee, which could lead to problems later. Again, clear expectations are necessary before a single website page is created.
Working with the Gresley Society was fantastic because they understood the need to work in this way from the very beginning, and they trusted their liaison committee member to do a great job.
There are 2 things that you should never surprise, bears and clients!
By that, I mean that clients should know the current state of play at all times. The process we followed with the Gresley Society was to have one senior liaison person, sometimes a second liaison person for a second opinion, and regular conversations with the society chairman. We instigated weekly meetings over the phone, and I made myself available to answer questions between meetings if necessary.
When the website got to a point where the design was completed, the functionality was almost there, and before we had gone live, I started training the new editors. This was in the form of custom videos and hands on training over the phone with each person in front of a computer.
Working this way meant that the Society claimed early responsibility for the editing of the website, which gave me the time to complete the development.
Working with the committee is more complicated than working with a single person, but the same rules apply to both. When taking on a website designer, ask them how they work. Make sure that they include some form of communication plan within their website design process. If you can do this then you will be happy, tour relationship with website designer will be happy, and you will have a better website for it!
Custom Video Tutorials for gresley.org