Presentation Guild website 2.0


Two years after the Pre­sen­ta­tion Guild first launched, I relaunched the sec­ond iter­a­tion of the site. The orig­i­nal web­site was a labor of love, glitches, fixes, and expan­sion. Twenty-eigh­teen had me hard at work build­ing a whole new Guild experience.

Guild Site 1.0 (G1)  had its issues as it was cob­bled together as we build the orga­ni­za­tion and change a few major com­po­nents that ran behind the scenes. We received great feed­back from the mem­ber­ship dur­ing the first two years which was incor­po­rated into the new and improved Guild site.

Less selling, more desired content.

When any­one first vis­ited the main page in G1, they were met with a lot of calls to join the orga­ni­za­tion. This worked well when we were brand new, how­ever, over time we had the feed­back that our mem­bers did­n’t want to be sold to when they visited.

To bring a more wel­com­ing feel to the expe­ri­ence, vis­i­tors are no longer shouted at to JOIN NOW! Instead, All users are pre­sented with a selec­tion of con­tent from var­i­ous parts of the web­site. The inten­tion is to give mem­bers a very quick glance of what’s new while teas­ing non-mem­bers with just enough infor­ma­tion so that they might want to dig deeper. For most con­tent, that would require non-mem­bers to join the organization.

Better navigation

There were tech­ni­cally 4 dif­fer­ent nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems hid­den in G1, which made get­ting to where you needed to go rather frus­trat­ing. Specif­i­cally, G1’s Mem­ber Hub (where you could access all mem­ber­ship details, mem­ber-exclu­sive con­tent, etc.) was a tile sys­tem that was not only obscure, but often dis­played hor­ri­bly across mobile.

Great nav­i­ga­tion is the foun­da­tion of any good user expe­ri­ence, so spe­cial atten­tion was paid to our site nav­i­ga­tion and struc­ture. Whether you’re logged in or not, you will see all avail­able places to go in the updated nav­i­ga­tion con­fig­u­ra­tion (with the excep­tion of “my Guild” which goes to your per­son­al­ized account infor­ma­tion). And that Mem­ber Hub? Gone. What used to be buried in the site has been gath­ered into the My Guild item.

More mobile-friendly

G1, while respon­sive, was­n’t built with a mobile-first men­tal­ity. Regret­tably, mobile-friend­li­ness was more of an after­thought. Because of that, many of the most-used fea­tures of the site were a strug­gle to work with.

The new Guild expe­ri­ence (G2) has been tested exten­sively on mobile and is much eas­ier to use. Those of us with big fin­gers should have an eas­ier time of things. The most inter­ac­tive ele­ments of G2 (forums and chat) were exten­sively tested on mobile to make sure that they could be used effort­lessly across all platforms.

New site features = new member benefits

A lot of cus­tom cod­ing and puz­zle-piec­ing went into forc­ing the site to do exactly what I wanted it to do for mem­bers including:

A page for members to showcase their projects in a style that does them justice.

A glanceable archive of past webinars.

A job board that is free for members, but where non-members can pay to post openings.

And a cleaner, more organized member discount page.

More than one membership choice

All of the new fea­tures were com­pleted and then I cre­ated a total of 6 addi­tional mem­ber­ship lev­els as well as the option to gift sin­gle mem­ber­ships. Each sin­gle or group mem­ber­ship comes with its own set of site accesses and perks.

The new Guild experience at last

The build took about 200 hours of cod­ing, design, and con­tent cre­ation on my part. Many oth­ers were involved in proof­ing, con­tent cre­ation, user inter­views, and card sort­ing exer­cises. And so far, all feed­back has been excellent.


Posted on

November 1, 2018