APA Division 38, Health Psychology
An association needing to be "best in field"
APA (American Psychological Association) Division 38 is an association for Health Psychologists, dedicated to understanding and improving the linkages between our psychological and physical health. In the grand scheme of things, Health Psychology is a relatively new field - just now celebrating its 30th birthday.
Like any association, Division 38's survival depends on attracting new members and retaining existing ones. It needs to market itself as a professional organization that offers more in the way of benefits to members than competing associations. One of the challenges of this field is finding training, since Health Psychology is interdisciplinary, and degrees are not forthrightly defined.
The challenge. The existing site suffered from several key problems:
- The design was ugly and dead. It did not reflect an active, vibrant, challenging organization.
- Navigation was difficult. It differed from page to page, and everything was multiple clicks away. Like a poorly designed voice-mail tree, often the clicks would take the user to the wrong place.
- The database of training programs -- their most valuable asset -- allowed for poor and incomplete data to be entered and had, in fact, been hacked and lost.
The Second Street Re-Design
Graphic Facelift. We are Alive! In addition to conveying the purpose of the association, the home page needed to convey the activity at Division 38. There are conferences, papers, and awards. The key message: Come join, you've come to the right place.
Streamlined Navigation. To anywhere, from anywhere -- clear -- with "where you are" markers.
Improved Content. A new training resources section of the site was developed. New pages to market to students - the key source for new members -- were created.
Secured Member Portal. Members can now search for other members with similar professional interests and add to the database of training programs. Blogging and other valued member features are envisioned for future development.
Database Redesign. The previous database allowed for input of incomplete and inconsistent data. The architecture of the database was poor; the relationship between data elements did not follow industry standard practices. This reduced its search functionality. In the new database form checks were greatly improved. To assure data integrity, new entries to the database are restricted to members, although anyone visiting the site can search the database.
Skills that spelled success
Talking non-technologists through the application of technology to their work.
Not unexpectedly, technology expertise is not a high priority in this field. At Second Street we do not talk down to non-technologists. Rather, we enjoy talking through how technology can be applied to improve things. This type of open and frequent communication with the core team at Division 38 was key to our success.
Ability to Manage Large Projects. The members at Division 38 who worked with us are a busy group of people, which meant our skills in managing large projects with minimal impact to our clients were particularly important. Second Street is able to plan out projects, coordinate schedules, keep track of problems and priorities, manage a hit list of issues, and provide critical feedback to our clients, assuring a smooth project completion.
Copyright Second Street Web Design 2013