Page 6

NCS Currents June 2016

New Website Features – It’s All in One Place! By Tessa Wegenke and Huy Tran, MD We cordially invite you to come and discover the new NCS website at www.neurocriticalcare.org. The move to the new website platform for our society has been an effort almost one and a half years in the making. The impetus for change came in the Fall of 2014 during an NCS Board of Directors meeting, where it was recognized that our society has grown significantly and that the website had not kept up with the pace of change. In order to better serve the needs of the growing membership and to provide a more dynamic website that would enhance communications among members, the board approved funding to transition the association website to a more modern platform. The process of seamlessly transitioning an entire website from one software platform to another is no easy task. The Tessa Wegenke first step was identifying a software vendor that matched our needs. As we have learned in the process, there are a myriad of association management software vendors that cater to all kinds of associations, small and large, ranging from 10 members to 10,000 members or more. We interviewed several vendors and sent out a request for proposals. All the responses were carefully evaluated by the Communications Committee, the NCS leadership, and the Executive Office. After a thorough selection process, we chose JL Systems as our vendor. Next, the new look, style sheets and graphics for the new website had to be designed. After demonstrations of the new software system features and customization for our society’s needs, training took place for the NCS Executive Office and other key members. A workflow process had to be created to vet current content for migration to the new site and for future content creation. Finally, the NCS Executive Office oversaw the arduous task of migrating the membership database and each content page from the old system to the new. The transition of database and website of this scale often takes about two years. Through the efforts of the NCS Executive Office, this project was completed in about 15 months from start to finish. What are the benefits of revamping the website? First and foremost is the fresh new appearance of the site. While looks are a matter of opinion, hopefully most would agree that the new landing page is more dynamic and easier to navigate. Gone is the giant monolithic pop-up menu, which is now replaced by a topline horizontal drop down menu bar, organized topically. The rotating banner is reduced in height to allow for more updated content to be viewed such as the “quick links,” “NCS headlines,” “upcoming events” listing, and a new “what’s trending” module, which incorporates the latest NCS tweets. The new landing page is your one-stop shop to keep updated with the latest news, events, and happenings within the NCS. As with most modern websites, the new NCS website will be mobile-friendly and scale to display screens of varying sizes. Aside from good looks and more dynamic content, the new site offers a greater degree of customization and tailored content that is built on top of a robust membership profile database. When you log in to your account, you will be given the option to opt-in or out of particular types of email blasts, update your bio and photo, affiliate with your institution or company, and update your demographics and credentials under the “Manage My Account” header. Depending on your specialty and committee membership or other group affiliation, certain restricted content areas will be available only after logging into your account. Another benefit of the member database is the ability to easily integrate the function of membership renewal, abstract submission, and annual meeting registration. Membership activities, meetings, purchases and subscription will all be archived and retrievable from the database. There are still several features which are being developed and will roll out over the next year. One that is coming this summer is Forums, which provide a secure venue for online discussion of Neurocritical care related topics. There will be general interest forums open to all members, topical forums about targeted temperature management or multimodality monitoring, as well as group-restricted forums such as pharmacy and nursing forums, which will replace the current email listservs. The forums allow you to opt-in or out at different levels so you receive highlights and notifications (via email) for topics and discussion threads to which you have expressed interest. You can also pin topics to the top of your list to keep them highly visible and accessible, quick poll your peers, and receive valuable feedback from your colleagues. There will be two online demonstrations to show you how to access and use the basic features of forums on June 30 and July 13 via GoToMeetings video teleconferencing. Keep your eye out for more details about the exact times of the demonstrations and the forums debut! Lastly, the Communications Committee and Executive Office will be building a document warehouse, the Repository, which will launch in 2017. This extensive library of resources will allow you to easily search through documents and find frequently sought NCS Publications, such as the NCS salary survey. We hope you’re enjoying the new site as much as we are and taking advantage of the features that are available to members. For news of the new rollouts over the next several months, make sure to Like and Follow our Facebook page and Twitter feed, opt-in to our products, promotions, and discount emails, and view our “How Do I Do That?” videos on the website’s homepage. Huy Tran, MD 6


NCS Currents June 2016
To see the actual publication please follow the link above