Because I have been ...
I have written quite often here about growing old disgracefully, a network for older women to which I belong. About a year ago I was asked if I would lead a small working group to look into the practicability and cost of commissioning a professional website, with an interactive members’ section, for our organisation. The small group boiled down to two in the end, and together we began getting estimates from a number of professional designers. We took our findings and recommendations to our committee, and were given approval and a budget to commission the work.
Then began a period of the most intense commitment and focus: a time of forced learning, endless research, and hard, slogging work. Although both of us were competent computer users and knew our way around the web, we knew little about websites except “what we liked” - which is actually a useful basis to work from.
We had to provide a new logo, photographs, and information about the organisation. We also chose to include illustrations from the two books which were the starting point of g.o.d. And it soon became apparent that much of the information we planned to put on the website was out-of-date, and needed checking or rewriting. Bearing in mind that we are an organisation of scattered individuals around the UK and abroad, with no geographical home or centre, and that about half our members are not yet on line, this all took a lot of time.
We were constantly having to ask questions about what the designers were doing - (we had picked a mother and daughter design team by the way - SugarCat Publishing) - and they would patiently explain to us how things worked, and why they were done one way rather than another. The more we learned, the more possibilities we saw in what we were doing, and it wasn’t long before we were expanding the original brief.
It all came together in the end, and the website went live on 29th January. The response has been immediate. Membership enquiries are coming in, as we hoped, and we are also getting enquiries from radio, television and other media, for members to contribute the g.o.d point of view in various ways. So we are being noticed!
[The images in this post are © growingolddisgracefully.org.uk]