What's New on the AETC NRC Website
February 3, 2014
This month the AETC NRC is reaching a milestone in a year-long process to update and upgrade our website. If you are reading this blog post, you are one of our new website's visitors. The biggest changes may be behind the scenes -- we moved all of our content into a new content management system which allowed us to make better connections among the organizations, people, and resources that comprise our network. And while most of the site content and resources are not new, the way they are organized and presented was redesigned to help the whole community discover both gems and gaps.
What has changed
- Resource Library: we've consolidated some categories (Trainer and Clinician resources) for one large library section. We reorganized the topics to reflect new priorities in HIV/AIDS prevention and care in 2014 (eg, care continuum).
- Archives: resources are automatically archived after 5 years, but we can manually archive or activate exceptions. Archives are available under a tab on each category page. You are able to sort results lists by date.
- Directory: the directory is updated for easier browsing. Photos of staff are included. Resource and blog tabs to show the contributions from each center. Participation in special initiatives like the Telehealth Training Initiative is noted.
- The ShareSpot Blog is better integrated with the rest of the site. You can use your AETC Community login to sign in and comment on posts. There is also a ShareSpot tab on topics pages, so you can read about related activities. Our updated layout makes it easier to browse through recent posts, and there is a feed of new posts on the home page.
- AETC Only is now "AETC Community" and offers access to workgroups, committee, and collaborative spaces and discussion boards.
- Technology: We are now using the Drupal content management system, which is a popular, open-source system. Our tech team went from novice to expert in record time!
What is new
- Calendar: Interactive, national calendar for meetings, webinars, and events. The calendar focus will be on national and cross-regional events rather than local or regional.
- Discussion boards are replacing listservs. Our old listservs didn't get a lot of community use and were really difficult for our staff to administer. If you ever tried to unsubscribe, you know what I'm referring to :(. We are hopeful that the online communities will be a better fit for the AETC network. If you are a member of a group or committee, you'll be hearing about these on your next call.
- Pulling together individual contributions from individual community members. Now you can browse and see what contributions have been made by individual AETC faculty and staff. We want to promote all community members to each other to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing. Check out our own Dr. Susa Coffey's page for an example.
- MailChimp for biweekly emails. Using a modern mail system will let us track metrics related to our newsletter and announcements and improve our communications. Please add us to your safe senders list! If you have an announcement for the national list, you may contact Judy Collins, our biweekly newsletter editor.
What is still here
- General look and feel: With so many moving parts, we didn't want to attempt a new graphical identity at the same time that we updated our technical infrastructure. Our "brand" is similar, but there are some updates to modernize the look, such as bigger font sizes, mobile-friendly navigation buttons, smaller top banner.
- ShareSpot blog is still highlighting the good work of the AETC community and our partners from the Ryan White program and beyond.
- Map: We plan to have a more interactive map in the future, but the familiar, colorful graphical map is still doing its job.
- Newsfeed: See the home page for a daily feed of HIV/AIDS clinical news
- Accessibility: We test our site for compliance with Federal accessiblity standards, but we don't test every contributed resource. Our goal is for all new NRC resources to be fully compliant. Join us!
What prompted these changes?
- The desire to let non-technical staff make routine updates to the website
- The desire to have ready access to modern content management system features, including a better search engine
- Feedback from users about too many old resources on the site
- The growth of site visitors from mobile platforms
What was our process?
- Usability testing with our Advisory Committee and others from the network
- Input from a committee of LPS representatives who went through a wireframe development and feedback process. This was probably the most helpful input we received! Thank you Amanda Newstetter, Anna Kinder, Ricardo Rivero, Susan Tusher, Priyatam Piya, Jim Meenaghan, Karina Danvers, Eric Brus, Michele Baily, Wendy Newport, Emily Huesgen, Cheryl Carter, and Anna Mayor
- Consultation with technology mavens both in house and in the community (Mary Salome, Gowri Abaya, Jayson Jaynes, Mark McCormick -- you are the best!)
What we would like from you
I have been involved with the AETCs since 2002. I am the manager for the National Resource Center website, and have been involved in many technology-related network activities over the years. I got my feet wet with Web technology in 1996 when I worked with other UCSF faculty and staff to launch HIV InSite.