User-friendly is the mantra of the newly designed HSPA website.
Pages are organized in an easy-to-navigate format, advertising services are displayed prominently and a Google map function can assist members in getting to HSPA events. The association has instituted a soft launch of the new hspa.com to allow staff members to tweak the content while making better information immediately available to members.
HSPA initiated the redesign with newspapers’ needs in mind, said Stephen Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel.
“Our members need relevant information quickly and frequently,” Key said. “Newspaper staffs from publishers on down will find more information they can use at hspa.com.”
The site uses a WordPress template and Bluehost web-hosting that will be adaptable as staff members make changes and additions to the site in the future.
With the new site, staff members can move content or update directories, for example, on site rather than requesting a change from a host administrator.
Brown & Chance Design spearheaded the redesign effort. Its two founders have ties to journalism education.
Jim Brown, executive associate dean emeritus and professor emeritus of the Indiana University School of Journalism-Indianapolis, is a longtime supporter of HSPA’s efforts to better serve its members through technology.
Tyler Chance works as an assistant instructor for the IU School of Journalism-Indianapolis and is a copy editor/page designer for the Journal & Courier (Lafayette).
Among the site’s new features that the pair created is a searchable newspaper directory. Users can find information about member publications, such as an editor’s name or a circulation size, by searching under a paper’s name, city or county.
“The display results are immediately restricted to those papers that match the search terms,” Brown said.
Brown and Chance gave a face lift to the HSPA Foundation website as well.
Among the redesigned features at hspafoundation.org is an improved online application form for members to request HSPA Foundation Pulliam interns, said Karen T. Braeckel, HSPA Foundation director.
The online forms feature will be utilized for other foundation functions as well.
“We hope to offer all conference and event registrations online with an option to pay through Google Checkout,” she said. “This should save our members time in filling out forms. And it solves the problem of trying to find the buried brochure.”
More information and features on both sites will be added in the coming weeks, Key said.
“The Web is among the easiest ways to make information available to our members,” he said. “The redesigned websites will improve the way HSPA offers services to Indiana newspapers.”