With the User Group Summits just around the corner in St. Louis, the timing of Dynamic Communities’ relaunch of the User Group websites couldn’t be better. During the Summits, members and attendees will be able to follow the Summit experience via the new site, something that they couldn’t do before. Now they can check out the homepage Twitter feed to see up to the second updates from other attendees. The News and Blog feeds will also give a detailed view of conference highlights, such as the keynotes . Attendees can continue to post discussions and network virtually in the attendee-only community, which is where they’ll find the session presentations after the events.
So why the new look and what’s in it for the User Group Members? We asked Katie Froeber, Marketing Manager at Dynamic Communities and she shared her insight:
Jon: What was the main goal behind the redesign as it's a major shift away from the original? What member input was taken into consideration with the design?
Katie: Over the years, we’ve gathered a lot of member feedback regarding our previous sites – the difficulty finding events, the bulky registration process, and inflexibility of login, to name a few. Based on these conversations, we wanted to create a site that was engaging, served up information and events in a searchable and consumable format, and gave our members more control over their accounts and profiles.Another critical piece was integrating the community functionality of Collaborate so that instead of having to go to one site to register for events, and a different site to access discussions, communities, and webinar recordings, there was only one site for members to navigate that included all of their member benefits. As we worked through the information architecture of the new site, we involved a group of members in a feedback activity to understand how members search .
Another critical piece was integrating the community functionality of Collaborate so that instead of having to go to one site to register for events, and a different site to access discussions, communities, and webinar recordings, there was only one site for members to navigate that included all of their member benefits. As we worked through the information architecture of the new site, we involved a group of members in a feedback activity to understand how members search .
This isn’t a one-time fix, but instead a commitment to maintain and improve the site based on the needs of the community. We will continue to gather member feedback through community posts, support cases, emails, conversations, and focus groups, and make adjustments to the site to provide the best experience for our members.
Jon: What are some of the cool new features/functions of the websites?
Katie: One of the most noticeable features is the filtering and sorting functionality. Instead of scrolling through pages of events to find what they are looking for, members can filter by different event criteria, such as event type, and even perform a keyword search.
I believe the feature that our members are most excited about is the increased ability to manage their own information. Starting with the login process – where they can create their own username and password, and continuing through the profile and account areas. Those designated as their company’s primary contact and those with Account Administrator privileges can now easily add or remove team members from their membership. Additionally, the joining, upgrading and renewal processes have been streamlined, allowing members to have more self-service options via the website.
One of the features we’re most excited to release is our new time zone functionality. As you may remember from our previous sites, all events showed in (UTC-5:00) Eastern Time (US/Canada). Coming soon, you can update your time zone preference in your profile, so that you can view upcoming webinars in your preferred time zone. In-person events, such as regional chapter meetings, will always display in the time zone for the location, but virtual events will no longer require time conversions! Please note, all virtual events will default to (UCT-5:00) Eastern Time (US/Canada) if a member does not update their time zone preferences. Look for this feature to be released in the coming weeks!
Thanks Katie and the entire Dynamic Communities team for keeping the member experience top of mind when creating these websites! I’m glad to hear that overall, the feedback has been positive and that site visitors appreciate the new sleeker design, how information is organized, and the ease of finding events. While there may be a few growing pains, it’s reassuring to know that you’ll continue to respond to member questions and make adjustments where needed. I look forward to seeing what’s coming next as you make refinements and developing new features.