The ACR’s Web site has a new face—and it’s brighter, simpler, and more straightforward. The ACR relaunched its Web site—www.rheumatology.org—in early February and it is everything that the planners had hoped to achieve. “Everything we do at the College is designed to provide support for our members whether they be in private practice or in academic rheumatology,” says Stan Cohen, MD, president of the ACR. “The new Web site design makes it much easier for our members to access the information they need,” he adds.
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Explore This IssueApril 2010
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The goal of the relaunch was to provide members with the information they need in a more accessible, user-friendly format, says Eric Matteson, MD, chair of the ACR Communications and Marketing Committee. Dr. Matteson’s committee spearheaded efforts to redesign the Web site that began in early 2008.
While the information on the newly launched Web site isn’t necessarily new, it is presented differently and in a way that gives the user greater access to similar content they may find of interest, he explains. For example, the old home page listed three subsites: the ARHP, the Research and Education Foundation (REF), and the ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting. This type of organization required the user to first understand “who” was offering the information before it could be accessed—not the most user-friendly way of presenting information. If you were interested in awards information, for example, on the previous site you would first have to determine if it was an ACR, ARHP, or REF award before you could attempt to locate it. On the new Web site, key content areas like awards information have been integrated into a single location to better serve site visitors; membership information, educational offerings, volunteer listings and opportunities, and advocacy efforts are just a few of the other content areas that have also been integrated. The membership directory has also been integrated. Members (as well as other users of the site) now need access only one membership directory rather than two different ones of find a member of the ACR or ARHP.
In addition to improving the presentation and integration of content, the ACR also updated its search feature, eliminated outdated content, and added a rotating feature to the home page and several other areas of the site that showcases current offerings, benefits, or organizational efforts. There is also a news section on the home page that alerts members and other site visitors to timely information says Dr. Matteson.