We are very excited to announce the launch of the new MHA website.Â The new design affirms the MHA’s commitment to keep the organization moving forward and up to date with current technologies.Â The archives and news on the MHA’s website has helped to establish the site as a premier global resource on masonry heaters and has served masonry heater builders in North America well as a meeting point with potential clients through its gallery and members’ directory.Â The new version of the website, therefore, has been designed to improve useability and navigation while maintaining all of the existing content.
- New graphic look.Â The emphasis has been on improving navigability, giving the site a uniform feel across the many pages, and maintaining the clean simplicity of the site.Â The drop-down menu system takes advantage of current technology to give easy and consistent access to the most important sections of the website.Â Effort has been made to give the site a new look without re-creating it entirely given both the quality and quantity of the content and people’s familiarity with the old site.Â All of the old content remains in the same place and will slowly be incorporated into the new system.Â Philosophies of simplicity, professionalism and timelessness have also been maintained in the design.
- Organization.Â The navigation menu in the header and navigation summary in
the footer are improvements.Â The placement of Bake Ovens in the main bar affirms the MHA’s commitment to both heater and oven building.Â The placement of Resources and its sub-pages in the navigation bar gives an easy pathway to these resources, useful especially for masonry heater professionals.
- Potential for more collaboration.Â The new site will allow key members of the association to contribute more directly to the management of content on the site and therefore share the workload with the webmaster.Â Administrators, board members, and committee chairs can work together with webmaster to keep site up-to-date.
- New important pages established:
- Heater Mason Education and Development Program (HMED) has its own page which contains a general description of this new and important program of the MHA’s as well as a listing of upcoming HMED workshop dates and locations.
- MHA Contests currently shows this year’s results but will soon also show archives of past years results and guidelines for submitting entries.Â MHA Awards will also be created which will document winners of the Jerry Frisch award.
- Code Considerations and Planning Guides
- Calendar. This page is actually not new but is worthy of emphasis.
- Ability by membership and others to submit full articles and/or recommend links.Â The Content Submission Form is an exciting and experimental new feature which allows members to contribute content such as project reports, workshop summaries, and other masonry heater and oven related experiences.Â There is also the alternate option to recommend a link to content that is hosted on another site.Â This form allows users to write text and upload images for submission.Â Submissions are not automatically published and are subject to review.Â This will be useful for the ongoing success of the MHA News, reporting of HMED workshops, addition of new projects to the Project Archives, committee chair reports, etc..
Development Road Map
- Launch new website.Â Ensure smooth transition and stability of new website.
- Assess and implement a new system for the members’, certified masons’, and especially the manufacturers’ directories that improves the end-user experience as well as ease and functionality for administrator maintenance.Â Transition “Mall” into improved version of these new directories.
- Assess and integrate MHA News into new design, perhaps similar but with its own flair and framework.
- Incorporate second and third-tier content into the new framework.
- Assess and improve member-only lounge.
Feedback / Suggestions for Improvement
- Visit the webmaster contact form to share your thoughts.
This re-design was spearheaded by Max Edleson under the guidance of webmaster Norbert Senf and executive director Richard Smith.Â Stuart Hart did an excellent job of defining the graphic feel of the site.Â Marge Padgitt has undertaken the Contests, Awards, and Media Page.Â The site will have been approved by the PR Committee and Board before going public.