Archive for May 10th, 2010
Happy Monday, everyone! We have big news today – really really big news! And after months and months of planning, preparing, and posting, we’re finally ready to share it with you all.
In case you haven’t already noticed (and I’m hoping at least some of you already have!), the Alliance has made some significant changes to the website: a wider format, bigger pictures, links to our new media networks, and an awesome new library (if we do say so ourselves).
The new design wasn’t just an aesthetic improvement – we had some specific goals in mind. In particular, we wanted to:
- improve access to content
- improve search functionality
- improve navigation.
(And okay, making the website cleaner and prettier was an added bonus.)
As we got started on this effort, the website team did some website evaluation – our expert consultants called it “user testing.” We asked our friends and colleagues about their experience using the website, and among the many suggestions and critiques we received, we heard one comment repeated over and over again: “your website is full of really great content – but I can never find what I’m looking for!”
So we definitely wanted to change that.
Among the many changes we’ve made to the website, we wanted to highlight just a few that we think you might find most helpful:
- Check out the About Homelessnesssection.
As the new media and communications girl at the Alliance, I get a LOT of questions about homelessness – how many homeless people are there? Why are they homeless? What’s the rate of mental illness among the homeless population? What the heck are we doing about it? For these general overview questions about the homeless population, you should check this section first.
- Notice how we’ve changed around the focus areas.
For those of you more familiar with the work of the Alliance, you know that a lot of our work focuses on four major population groups: families, veterans, youth, and people experiencing chronic homelessness. Once upon a time, we kept all our information about those four groups on four pages – now we’ve divided all that information into three distinct categories. Under Issues, you’ll get an overview of that subpopulation. Under Policy, you’ll get information about federal policies addressing that particular subpopulation. Under Solutions, you’ll get information about best practices for that particular population – what the Alliance has observed as the best way to reduce and end homelessness.
- And while you’re in the Solutions section, take a look around. In that section, we outline all the most effective, most efficient, proven strategies to reduce and end homelessness. Find out more about the Housing First approach, prevention and rapid re-housing strategies, and the Alliance’s Ten Year Plan to end homelessness.
- And don’t leave without checking out the Local Progress section. This new section highlights the efforts and successes of communities across the country. It features community snapshots, underlining the methods and tactics that have measurably reduced homelessness in a variety of localities.
- And after learning all about homelessness, consider doing something about it! Check out our Advocacy section. At the Alliance, we work with state and local leaders to inform federal policymakers about the state of homelessness at the grassroots level. If you really want to make a difference – if you really want to reduce and end homelessness in your community – connect with the Alliance’s advocacy team to have your voice heard.
We’re really hoping that you find that the new design makes it easier for you to use the Alliance website and find the information you need. We had a wonderful, crazy, very enlightening time making the updates – and we hope you like it!
Let us know your thoughts, critiques, comments here or on any one of our Alliance social networks!