The team here at Forest Park Forever is very pleased to be welcoming you to our redesigned and rebuilt website. We'll be brief (we'd prefer you spent your time poking around elsewhere on the site), but here are a few bullets we'd like to share about some of the new features:
- Clearer navigation: We had heard from some users that it was difficult to find specific information on the previous website, so we've set up a logical top-navigaion system structured around FPF, the Park itself, Support, Volunteer and Events. Each one drops down to reveal a clear list of additional pages. Nothing earth-shattering, but that's the point — we hope you can find what you need more quickly.
- Responsive design: Just about every few months there's a new study saying the same thing: More and more people are accessing websites on their phones and tablets, and they're expecting all content, not just a slimmed-down 'mobile version,' or a separate mobile app they have to download. The new Forestparkforever.org is a "responsive" website, which means it automatically responds/resizes to the screen of the device you're use. No more pinch and zoom, flicking east and west on a page; no separate mobile version.
- More people: We're very proud of the Forest Park Forever team, and we think you'll be interested to learn more about who they are and what they do to restore and maintain your favorite park. While we've got more smiling faces up here now, we'll also be using our blog to introduce you to some of our great horticulturists, gardeners, educators and more.
- Blog: In short, we now have a blog. Plus a special News Releases section for more formal announcements.
- More visible links to our social channels: No matter where you are on the site, you'll see a list of our stations on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo and Tumblr. We know that for many 'followers' of an organization like ours, social media channels are how you stay connected.
- Site search: Another new offering — site-wide search. The search box is located near the bottom of the home page, and on our FAQ and Key Contacts pages. In our testing, it's picked up everything we've anticipated users searching for. Give it a spin.
- Calendar: Previously, our website offered an Excel-style PDF of a range of events happening here in the Park. Our new approach is much more user-friendly: A calendar listing of select events in the Park, with the initial information you need, plus a link to where you can find even more of it. We expect this section to grow in the coming year.
- Online Forms: We still have one or two PDF forms on the website, but in several cases (including locker rentals), we've replaced processes where visitors had to download/complete/mail us their forms with online forms that submit within a browser.
- More integrated e-commerce: For those many visitors who wish to take care of buying a membership, purchasing a tribute gift or renewing their locker rental, our secure store offers a much improved user experience with tighter integration into our core site.
- Photo Galleries: The Park's a feast for the eyes, so we'd like to show it off, and with larger photographs than anything on our previous site. Currently, we offer a Transformations gallery and a Top Picks gallery. A "Your Photos" gallery down the line.
One of the great things about any website, including this one: It's fluid. Meant to change. We'll be introducing new pages and features in the coming weeks and months, as well as making improvements on any snags or confusions users are experiencing. (Send your own feedback here.)
And we'll be embracing the opportunity we have to be a storyteller for the Park, posting a continuous series of articles, interviews and videos that both help explain what we do here at FPF and more deeply connect you with the Forest Park you love.
Thanks for your interest and support.