RAS website

I have redesigned the website for the Royal Astronomical Society, which went live today.
The brief: The RAS wanted their old site switched from Mambo to Joomla! as the underlying CMS. In tandem with this switch they wanted to improve navigation and ‘findability’ of information, as well as to improve the site’s appearance. The website is updated by staff and volunteers with no design experience, so it needs a robust structure requiring no additional support.
The result: I provided a compact home page, which is viewable even on relatively small screens. Much time was spent reorganising the existing 1500+ pages to reduce the number of menu items and to group pages more logically, as well as to give each page a more consistent appearance. Instead of just showing ‘news’ items, the home page now also contains additional navigation tools (‘quick links’), and lists the next two scientific meetings. And there are two panels which change randomly on each visit: a ‘Did you know?’ item to highlight aspects of the Society’s work, and a colourful image linked to a recent news item. As a result, the home page is more compact than before, but is more attractive, works harder to aid the visitor in finding what they want, and better reflects the variety of the Society’s functions. I also wrote a users’ guide and delivered training to staff on how to write, style and add pages to the new site.
On the project I acted as the designer, but worked closely with a Joomla! expert who handled the technical side.
See the redesigned site at www.ras.org.uk.