By Lauren Isaacson, QRCA President, Founder & Research Director, Curio Research, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org
QRCA Gears up to Conduct Research for New Website
This is the first of four letters I’ll be writing during my term as QRCA president. A presidential term is just one year. That’s not much time; you need to pick a few goals to focus on and hit the ground running by building a great team to help get the important things done. Luckily, there is never a shortage of wonderful people who want to help at the QRCA. I am nothing but pleased with the team our members elected to the board:
- Jeff Hecker, Vice President
- Lisa Horwich, Treasurer
- Elizabeth McKinley, Secretary
- Bob Taylor, returning Director
- Natalia Infante Caylor, returning Director
- Colleen Welsh Allen, returning Director
- Maria Virobik, Director
- Cynthia Tello, Director
They’re ready and eager to start overseeing our major committees and work on the strategic goals set forth under Michael Mermelstein’s term. For me, I have one primary goal and one major initiative. The goal for my term is to achieve financial and member stability. The last three years have been a rough ride for our organization, and I believe we finally have an opportunity to reestablish our foundation. After all, can you seriously grow and move forward while the ground under your feet keeps shifting?
By focusing on what we do best—the annual conference and ongoing professional development opportunities—we can maximize the value we create and consolidate the precious efforts of our volunteers.
My major initiative is completely overhauling the QRCA website. We’ve spent many years adding page after page without considering the overall structure and navigability of the site, and it shows. Kay Corry Aubrey and I have assembled a strong team of young and eager volunteers who are utilizing all of the best practices for researching and designing an intuitive information architecture for complex organizations. Kay and Zosia Czerska are working with students from Northeastern University to test the site for usability in its current and future states. Adeyinka Aderoju and Lukas Schmid are generating quantitative satisfaction and tree test metrics for the before and after. Sonya Shen and Paulina Fisher are conducting a content audit of the site (almost 2,000 pages!) to prepare to program the card sort. Sam Evans and Elizabeth Fitterer are working on target personas and recruiting participants and respondents for the research.
Soon, the entire team will be working on the qualitative card sort exercises to see how our members and nonmembers think our information should be organized. Once we know how the site should be structured, we can start creating search engine-optimized content and wireframes to give our tech team a blueprint for a new website built on a modern content and member management system. It’s a long way from completion, but we are excited to eventually gift this to our community of qualitative professionals.
Thank you for your support of QRCA. We want to be better and stronger, and we can’t do it without you. Please help participate in the research to create a better website and volunteer on a committee, chapter, or special interest group if you have the time.