Website Improvement for the VISTA website


Use Cases

vistas and supervisors:
do you know what is expected of you at any one point in the year?
have you gotten forms off the website?
have you gotten manuals or guidelines off of the website?
do you read blogs or the newsletter (the Digest) off of the website?

do you read the vista blog?
do you use the wiki?
do you check the website for news and events? (probably just wait for
the emails)
do you keep in touch with any other vistas?
have you used another vista as a resource?
do you
have you used the website to show others what your work is about?

questions people are trying to answer with the website

uninvolved people:
what is this place?
where is this place?

random web surfer/visitor through a link
why is this relevant?

prospective vista
where is it located?
would I want to do it?
would I be qualified to do it?
where can I do it?
*who can I contact about it?
*how do I apply?
*when is each piece of the process happening?
(a lot of this is in the "supervisor resources" section)

prospective org
where is it located?
do we need this?
what do we need to do to get it?
who can we contact about it?
how do we apply?
what other orgs are involved?
when is each piece of the process happening?

current vista
*where are those forms?
*what is the next thing I have to do with the project?
*who do I contact about ___?
how do I contact other vistas?
what are other vistas doing?

current org
*where are those forms?
*what is the next thing I have to do with the project?
*who do I contact about ___?
what about after my vista leaves?

prospective employer of current visitor

Post-application VISTAs and organizations
**what is my application status?
**what stage is the project at? (project news)
**when is each piece of the process happening?

Specific Comments

-- about section:
the contents of what the about section should be are on the front
page, so do we even need the about section itself? project news
should be more visible. during the application process, people rely
on knowing what is going on, and having it buried here doesn't help
people find it or feel that it's credible. also, do you need the
"contact" link in the secondary menu there? it's right next to
"about" in the primary menu.

-- contact us page:
needs to have info about who is responsible for different things. for
people who are already involved in the project, it's great; for
people with questions who didn't RTFM, there aren't clues on who to
email except the titles. I solve this problem at our organization
with a contact form where you select a subject rather than
individuals to contact. You could follow that with the staff list.

-- the ctc vista project guidelines:
need to be more prominent. they're the first link on the supervisor
resources page, but they're what enable a supervisor to use the other
documents on that page.

-- organization summaries:
it would make sense to have a link to the organization's vista (and
the vista's blog) on those pages.

secondary menu items that link to non-secondary hiearchy pages = bad.
ie, flickr photos, contact us links, "project hq" link in "directory"

it might make sense to have an starting page for all applicants
(vistas and orgs) that lays out the process, basically who does what
in what order. I realize that specific dates are basically
impossible, but having an idea of the workflow of the applications
process would be good.

also, possibly the "directory" menu item should be either before or
after the two "resources" items.