New ways to navigate on

Bringing a structured content approach to ONA with events and profiles

Adam Nekola
Nov 14, 2018 · 3 min read
We’re featuring the Women’s Leadership Accelerator as the hero image on the home page, where we’ve traditionally only mentioned our mission. This is one of several small strategic shifts occurring on the ONA website.

By the end of 2019, my goal for the ONA website is to create a broad network of information with an emphasis on community. We’ve been slowly making a few structural improvements over the last year as part of that process — here’s what we’ve accomplished so far.

Events and local groups

I revamped ONA Local program’s appearance earlier this year with a new landing page, allowing for easier exploration of our network of organizers. These groups hosted 187 events in 2017 and are on pace to pass 150 in 2018.

Our community manager, Meghan Murphy, uploads each of those events to the website to provide a history of the program’s activities and a window into what the worldwide ONA network’s groups are discussing. New this month, we launched a tool on the home page showing upcoming events and a listing page that goes into more detail.

That detail is also available on the group level — ONA NYC or ONA St. Louis, for example — where users can also see blog posts related to the group and a listing of the group leader profiles.

Profiles and involvement

In addition to Local group leaders, the ONA website showcases fellows, Student Newsroom members, Journalism 360 ambassadors and more. We want to highlight these community members’ contributions as well as achievements.

I created a new profile system structured with a formalized taxonomy. Now, it’s easier to browse and search through over 1000 profiles of ONA community members. Each individual profile shows the ways that person has been involved with our organization.

Users can also explore these profiles by the programs with which they were involved. This allows us to highlight eight years of MJ Bear Fellows and over 130 ONA Board of Directors candidates in the last nine years.

Other improvements

Career opportunities: Thousands of people each month visit the ONA Career Center to see new digital journalism-related job openings. I’m in the process of making those positions even easier to find with feeds on the home page and on the ONA Local group pages.

Footer navigation: Our footer was brand and not useful before this quarter, but now I’ve made it meaningful by adding program, resource and member links. Now, if you reach the bottom of a page, you’ll be able to navigate elsewhere.

Homepage lead: In the past, the lead image and text on ONA’s homepage had been static, offering a quick overview of the organization’s mission. I’m changing up this approach to feature a rotation of open opportunities and current activities. This month it’s the Women’s Leadership Accelerator as we are currently accepting applications for the 2019 program. In December, it’ll be something new.

Resources: We announced the beta launch of the resources section at ONA18 in September. This portal provides session video, audio and more from several ONA conferences. Since September, I’ve refreshed some design aspects and fixed several bugs related to speakers and embeds. I look forward to sharing a project overview and walk-through of the features in a future post, when we shed the “beta” stamp.

As these tools are refined further and more features come to the ONA website network, you’ll find their “product release” notes here on Framework.


Designing the ONA Experience

Adam Nekola

Written by

Senior Digital Manager @ONA; Formerly @nwherald, @pewresearch, @fiscalnote. Softball pitcher; journalist; pizza. Grad of @Illinois_Alma.



Designing the ONA Experience