Friday, January 12, 2007

Solid Foundation

For the last week we have been playing with examining the updated foundation site. (See the earlier post.)

The Site is much more user-friendly than the old one and looks fairly well designed, especially compared to the old site which had a bad "FrontPage" look about it. We still have "look and feel" quibbles, of course. The boxes in the profile sidebar all seem to have 'sliders' rather than being big enough to hold the information or flexible enough to expand and contract to fit a screen. This is also apparent in the search area where there are sliders within sliders ad nauseum. Rather than try to fit into a "one screen fits all" plan, It would be better and less distracting to resize the higher level containers and allow the page to grow longer so all the choices can be seen with minimal extra scrolling. But that is a quibble. Over all we like what we see.

All the usual Foundation information is still there and easily accessible. All the "who, what, why, and how" stuff is on sidebar menus. Of course, they make it easy to make a donation, too. The one sign they are unenlightened is that they have neglected to link back to S&P. Was it something we said?

The directory that used to be on the HQ site has been moved to the Foundation side and morphed into a sort-of social network. Registration is a quick process of identity verification. Once a member has registered on the site he can add and update his own information. He can also add himself to various groups: home chapter, area alumni group, support levels (this is the FOUNDATION, after all!), profession, and so on. The groups have their own spaces and can have postings for upcoming events or other general information.

The neat part comes when you start making connections. A member can request a 'connection' with another registered member with just a few clicks. The search capability can locate people to add to the list. We added people we have known over the years and those who we met in the course of working on S&P. The downside here is that we cannot contact those who have not registered, and other than word of mouth there is not a good way to encourage people to sign up.

If you have not registered yet be sure and do so. Go to the site and follow the instructions. We'll see you there!