You may have noticed a new look to SHM’s Web site. To the naked eye, many of these changes might appear subtle. Behind the nuanced changes to the graphical interface, the content now resides in a completely different structure that allows users to more easily find information and resources.
Why the change? As SHM’s interactive services manager, I have spent a lot of time trying to find pages of content on the SHM Web site that need to be added, updated, or removed. This is not a task for the faint of heart, considering there are more than 10,000 active pages on the SHM Web site.
About a year ago, after a particularly head-splitting day of trying to find an obscure piece of information, I concluded: “There has got to be a better way to organize the information on this site!” After discussions with key stakeholders, we concluded it was time to completely reorganize our Web site. As a reward for bringing this to everyone’s attention, I was chosen to head the endeavor.
After a couple of minutes of pondering the sheer magnitude of the effort I thought for a moment about taking an extended leave of absence. It would have been easy to sit in my cubicle and pound out a new architecture I thought would work well for the organization’s needs. But the reality was that just about everybody would need a say in the process.
As one of the most prominent faces of the organization, the Web site projects the core of SHM. Its online presence is a major tool for finding and engaging members, promoting SHM’s major initiatives and letting the world know exactly what the hospital medicine movement is about. Because of this, it was imperative that all the individuals involved in making the Society what it is were involved in the process of creating an information architecture for the Web site that would best serve the needs of all our users.