The New Face of NCDA
By Melanie Reinersman, NCDA Website Editor
September 1, 2015 marks the debut of the new NCDA website, www.ncda.org and web magazine, www.careerconvergence.org. Visitors will immediately notice numerous visual changes to the pages and layout, while experiencing behind-the-scenes changes that increase efficiency, services and ease of use. Additionally, a newly updated mobile-friendly site is available. Members will also benefit from new online services.
Website Enhancements and Experiences
Visitors to the NCDA website and web magazine will find major changes in both the look and layout. Since the previous upgrade in 2008, ideas were collected for a future website. The results are now revealed and include:
- a visually inspiring design, with “outdoor” colors, connecting blue skies and green grass
- diverse images, representing the “inspiring and empowering” tag line, as well as NCDA events and celebrations
- efficient connections for members: the new log-in is at the the top left of every page and this helps members receive all the benefits
- direct service to visitors looking for career help, with a clear link to search the list of eligible members available for hire
- tabbed navigation, with links that match the NCDA mission statement
- new Quick Links, for those who know what they need and want to get there fast
- three focus areas centered on the home page and on the left side of each inside page: these boxes link to the three highest hit areas of our website: Career Convergence, Career Development Facilitators, and the Career Resource Store
- an extra built-in area (under Membership) for each constituency group, to encourage communication and access to specific, relevant resources
- a reorganized web magazine, with a new department, “Workplaces”
- job listings for members-only now available online and an easy to fill-in form for employers to post open positions
- a home page calendar, clearly showing NCDA national events, as well as state career development association events.
All the extensive content that is so valuable to those in the field of career development continues to be available on the site. With the new look and layout, members and visitors will enjoy using the site and find innovative ways to employ the many tools and services. For non-desktop computer users, the site now passes the Google-mobility test, allowing accurate search results and even friendlier access on-the-go.
NCDA Board Approval
Offering support from the start of the redesign, the NCDA Board provided input to Melanie Reinersman, the Website Editor, at the October 2014 meeting. The draft version of the new website was enthusiastically approved by the Board at the June 2015 meeting. The Second Century Fund, initiated in 2013, was the financial source of the project.
Goals for the Future
NCDA will continue to make the website the “face and first contact of NCDA,” as described by Rich Feller, NCDA President, 2012-13. The high traffic volume, per hit rate analytics, shows an extensive number of people served (both members and non-members). According to Deneen Pennington, NCDA Executive Director, the NCDA tech contractor and website host, TCS Software, “manages a number of websites, including many that we have referred to them. Their client list is impressive, so for them to say we are at the “top of the traffic list” is quite remarkable.” We anticipate that the traffic will continue to grow on the website and mobile-friendly site.
Members and visitors can attend live demonstrations of the new website at the Career Practitioner Institutes in Vancouver in October 2015 and New Orleans in February 2016, as well as at the NCDA Global Career Development Conference in Chicago in June 2016. An online Tour/Tutorial will also be available in 2016. These presentations will showcase the new site's extensive resources, ease of use, and value to both members and non-members.
In the future, NCDA will continue to collect feedback and ideas for potential website changes. The site is designed to be dynamic to meet the ever-changing needs of our members and the clients they serve. Career Convergence, the NCDA web magazine, provides evidence that changes in the field of career development are continuously occurring and NCDA aims to keep abreast of them. The Board is working hard to make NCDA an outstanding association to meet the needs of all the groups served. NCDA wants to make sure all members understand and know what we are doing. The detailed long term plan is on the NCDA website.
Melanie Reinersman, M.A., is the Website Editor for the National Career Development Association (NCDA) and the Editor of NCDA’s web magazine, Career Convergence, as well as the Publications Development Director for NCDA. From 2007-2010, Melanie was the Editor of Career Developments, NCDA's members' print magazine. She has been awarded the JoAnn Harris-Bowlsbey Award for Excellence in the Field of Technology in Career Development, and the NCDA Presidential Recognition Award. She has been published in the ACA Encyclopedia of Counseling, the Career and Adult Development Journal, and the online World Book Encyclopedia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and is on Twitter @NCDAwebeditor.