STC Website Committee at Launch Party March 1, 2018 Top row: Christina Mayr, Marty Brazill. Bottom row: Jonah Schwartz, Shikha Jhala. Not pictured: Briana Crandall, Philip Meilleur, and Gail Lorzing

As chair of the website redesign committee, I’d like to welcome you to the new stc-carolina.org. The redesign committee built a more streamlined website from the ground up to better serve the region’s wonderful and growing tech comm community. The new site is more current in look and navigation, as well as being responsive to the devices you use every day. We put a priority on making sure the information you need is easy to find and up to date.

Redesigning a content-rich website like stc-carolina.org is a challenge. We evaluated all content for relevance and accuracy. Anything outdated was either updated or discarded. We also created four personas based on real STC users and used them to guide site navigation, information hierarchy, and feature development. Saturday afternoons in August were spent sketching, wire framing, and mocking up multiple iterations before we decided on the final design. We’ll be testing the new site for usability in the coming weeks, so check back here for those results. If you are interested in participating in the user test, contact me at brazillm@gmail.com.

I would like to commend everyone who volunteered their valuable time and considerable talent over the past year. I couldn’t ask for a better group to work with and I thank them for their dedication.

Christina Mayr was the driving force behind the rebuild initiative. As a previous chapter president, she knows the STC better than anyone and understands first-hand how unwieldy the old site had become. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook obvious flaws when you see them regularly. Over time you can become adept at navigating around them, but the flaws are still there. In one of her last acts as president, Christina put together a committee dedicated to making this new website. STC Carolina is one of the benchmark chapters in the Society, and Christina is definitely a huge reason why.

My other teammates in this project were Briana Crandall, Philip Meilleur, Shikha Jhala, Jonah Schwartz, Gail Lorzing, and Guiseppe Getto. Briana and Philip were the primary web designers. They did a tremendous job leading mock-up sessions, building a prototype, and executing the final product. Shikha, Gail, and Christina oversaw the content. They edited, updated, and rewrote copy to make sure everything is current. This was no small task given the scope of the organization and the size of the website. Jonah and myself are overseeing user testing the new site to make sure it achieves every goal we set back in the spring of 2017. Look for future blog posts from committee members sharing their experience working on this project.

Guiseppe Getto was a great resource throughout the project. Not only does he teach Technical Communication at East Carolina University, he owns his own web development company, Content Garden. He helped us choose the best WordPress theme. He set up the platform we built the new website on, and assisted in updating our hosting to STC’s recommended platform. We appreciate Guiseppe for stepping up as our new chapter president and bringing his great ideas and energy to the organization.

Finally, the committee encourages you to visit the website and give us your feedback. Are we hitting the mark? Where can we improve? As with any relaunch, there will undoubtedly be a few hiccups at first. I appreciate your understanding and patience. I’ll be staying on as webmaster and contributor to the newsletter and blog and I look forward to meeting you at future STC Carolina functions. I’d like to thank Christina for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this project and for opening my eyes to the quality of this organization. Enjoy the new site!