Today, we pull back the curtain on our brand new spanking website, and we couldn’t be more excited. TAP-NY has always been about providing our members with meaningful relationships and quality experiences, regardless of the platform. While our previous site served that purpose just fine, we are proud to say that our new site reflects the thought and care we put into everything we do.
- Revamped navigation
We re-evaluated our navigation, putting emphasis on the things most valuable to our members.
- Responsive layout
The entire site is designed to work regardless of the device you use to access it. Try it on your phone or tablet!
- Built for events
Our new events page is pretty cool, we think. All the relevant information right there at your fingertips. For example, check out the event page for the upcoming TAP Olympics here!
- Focus on content
Keep an eye out as we release high quality content over the next few months.
How did we get here?
On January 12th, 2014, the TAP-NY board settled in for their first full board meeting of the year and the kick off to a brand new year. As we brainstormed on impactful ways we could improve TAP’s brand and utility to our members, the topic inevitably kept coming back to our website.
One thing you might not know about TAP-NY is that the overwhelming majority of our reach is through our email newsletter and Facebook, and in both instances, the website plays a critical part in the “funnel” of members.
At that time, our newsletter would link users off to other places on the web to find out more information, or landed them on placeholder pages on our website that often were just links to an Eventbrite page (our ticketing vendor), or even a dead end. This was less than ideal, and we felt that we were losing valuable impressions and opportunities to brand ourselves in the process.
As the months went forward, we improved the experience in small ways: We kicked off a larger marketing presence on Facebook, brought ticket purchasing onto our own site, and began tracking web visits at higher fidelity. But even as this was occurring, behind the scenes we were in the planning stages of a larger refresh.
As we inched closer to launching, meetings were held to discuss various aspects of the launch: Content strategy, design, technology, marketing all had a part to play. By April, the design was making strides as we worked through a new visual language and style guide. Glimpses of this refresh were shown when we launched marketing sites for our larger events.
Today, several months later, we’re proud to reveal just a fraction of the work that went into this effort, and we can’t wait to show you more in the following months.
We’re not going to lie, the process that got us here was not as pretty as the end product. There were many deadlines that blew us by, technical issues that crippled us, and. Regardless, here are some lessons we learned:
- Get a team of highly motivated people together and let them do their thing!
One of our earliest requirements when deciding on a platform was that it had to be easy to use. At a volunteer organization in a city like New York, where our wonderful board members come and go, we needed something well documented, open-source, and extensible, and WordPress fit that. So what did we do when no one on our team knew how to work in WordPress? We learned it! One of our board members volunteered to attend a full weekend bootcamp to learn the ins and outs of WordPress, and through teamwork and determination, turned our designs into fully functioning WordPress templates!
- Set reasonable goals, and don’t be discouraged if you miss them
As mentioned, there were a couple deadlines we missed. Really missed. As in, months and months missed. The important thing that we kept in mind as this happened, though, was that we were going to make this website happen. In retrospect, should we have set more reasonable goals? Perhaps, but when we had a board with nothing but mutual respect and support for each other, it made it OK to get back up even when we stumbled along the way.
So what now?
As mentioned, this isn’t the end, we still have plenty more updates on the way. In the meantime, please excuse our dust and enjoy our new look!
We’d love to hear what you think! Our site will continue to grow and evolve to serve the community and we welcome any and all feedback. Just drop us a line at [email protected]