Usability testing raised a question of how well our proposed design would meet the needs of both the general public and those unfamiliar with Rotary, and members of Rotary, those who know us well.
The world of Rotary can seem very big and complex to new Rotary.org visitors, and we want them to quickly and clearly grasp what is great about Rotary and how it’s relevant to them. That’s part of telling the Rotary story to the world and helping strengthen clubs and districts and raise public awareness.
At the same time, we want members visiting our site to quickly connect to information and resources, easily carry out their tasks, and get the depth they expect.
Usability testing showed that the proposed plan didn’t fully meet the needs of the general public, who found the site somewhat overwhelming and didn’t immediately perceive the value of Rotary and relevance to them.
With these two important objectives in mind, we revised our approach to the redesigned site by splitting it into two distinct sites, a public site and a members site, each with its own focus and experience.
The public site will focus on telling the Rotary story to the new and uninitiated, clearly expressing the value of Rotary at a personal level and sharing the good Rotary does in the world. It will introduce and capture the best of Rotary at a high level, in a way that will resonate with those who don’t know us yet.
The members site will speak directly to a more experienced audience seeking depth and detail. It will help members connect to the world of Rotary and their particular interests, as well as to the information and resources they need. It will also provide a customized view for logged-in users that allows them to easily access the most relevant information.
It’s important to state that when we speak of “members” in this context, we are describing Rotarians, as well as Rotaractors and Interactors and those who have relationships with Rotary, such as alumni, donors, scholars and other interested volunteers and supporters.
Each site will have its own navigation and level of information appropriate for that particular audience. The two experiences will of course be linked, so visitors can pass from one to the other based on their need. We haven’t yet figured out details of the experience, such as web address and other specifics.
We understand this is a bit of departure from today’s site. But in learning from the experience of our current website and in listening to our users, we believe this more defined approach will provide a better solution, one that more fully meets the needs of all our visitors.
On this subject especially, we are really looking forward to hearing what you think. Love it or hate it? Want to hear or see more? We will of course share details about how we’ll carry out this plan, but we’d love to hear your thoughts on the idea itself and the new sitemaps.