Q: How long was the full process?
A: “The entire process took about nine months. I came on board with TIA last February and the website was one of the first projects I wanted to tackle. In late spring, I worked on the request for proposal (RFP) and began contacting and interviewing Web design firms and narrowed it down to a short list to send the RFP. The design process began in August and took about six months.”
Q: What were three goals of the redesign?
• Create a user-friendly website that will increase member acquisition and engagement.
• Deliver large amounts of informative content in a manner that is easy to navigate and visually pleasing.
• Have a content management system (CMS) that allowed for easy content updates and integrates with our association management software (AMS)
Q: What were some of the design issues that TIA wanted to correct from its previous site design?
A: “Our old site had tons of content, but it was very difficult for visitors to find the information they were looking for. It was unorganized and hard to navigate.”
Q: Once the decision was made to redesign, what steps followed?
A: “Web design firms were researched and interviewed and then an RFP was sent out to a select group. Once the proposals were received, they were reviewed thoroughly and references were checked. We selected System Solutions Inc. (SSI), a small firm from California that works very closely with ACGI the company that provides us with our association management system (AMS). It was very important to us that the website be able to integrate with our AMS. One of the primary reasons SSI was selected was because they had quite a bit of experience integrating with the ACGI system.”
Q: Was an advisory board created at any point during the redesign?
A: “The public relations and marketing committee of the TIA board was involved in reviewing the RFP prior to my sending it out. In addition, once I narrowed down the choices to a couple of firms, I asked them to review proposals and express any concerns.”
Q: What did TIA accomplish with the redesign?
• The new site clearly shows on the home page the main focus areas for TIA, including Advocacy, Training and Events. It is much easier to navigate.
• We've added a consumer safety section which includes tire maintenance tips and videos.
• The CMS is very user-friendly and I am able to update the site with ease.
• We've added a blog and a photo gallery.
• The site is responsive, which means it will fit multiple screen sizes (such as desktop computers and mobile devices).
Q: What work does TIA see moving forward to ensure continuous updates are made to the site's design?
A: “The site is always going to be a work in progress. You don't just launch a website and let it sit there. New content needs to be added on a regular basis. Once our members and visitors start using the site, I am sure we will receive feedback as to areas that we can still improve.”
Q: How can a business owner prioritize its users' needs when beginning a website redesign?
A: “Determine who your users are and make a list of the type of information they will be looking for on your website. Talk to you customers. Look at your analytics to determine the most visited pages on your current site. That should give you an idea of what information is important to your website visitors. And as mentioned above, look at what your competition is doing.”
Q: What other information did we not address that you care to tell me about the redesign?
A: “We're really excited about the new design and functionality of the site. It is still a work in progress and we encourage feedback from our users. We'll continually be working to improve the site.”