This article was featured in our December 2014 issue of BUILDER Magazine.
In the mid-1990s, the NAHB launched its first association website ahead of the curve among its peers in the advocacy community.
We believed the fledgling Internet quickly would become a primary means of communicating directly with members. We also saw the Internet’s potential to take targeted advocacy messaging and other important information directly to the public. Over the past two decades, our early assumptions about the Internet have proved to be correct, and NAHB.org has become one of our most valuable communications tools.
To keep pace with rapidly evolving Internet technology and to ensure that NAHB.org meets the needs of members and the federation, the NAHB is building a new website. Set to debut at the 2015 International Builders’ Show (IBS), the newly remodeled site will house relevant content about our industry and provide easy access to the information members need.
In addition to providing critical news and information on the home page and other landing pages, the site will feature:
• Audience- and topic-driven navigation choices
• A profile page that allows members to easily access “favorite” content types and update personal information
• A membership directory where consumers can find listings of builders in their area
• A faceted search, with filtering capabilities like Amazon.com and other popular sites
• Events and education opportunities
• A high-tech product catalog
• Social media sharing tools
The site also will employ responsive design, which enables visitors to take advantage of its functionality on desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones. So whether you’re at a construction site or an outside meeting, you can use your mobile device to get the latest information.
Sample page designs with mock content are available at nahb.org/sitenext. Test out the new features and see how the site looks on different devices. The new design comes after nearly 18 months of reviewing user data, outlining requirements, conducting focus groups, collecting member input, and designing a state-of-the-art site to meet the needs that were identified.
In addition to our work on the website, we have introduced several communications vehicles this past year to quickly take news to members. These include our blog, NAHBNow.com, and Housing Headlines, a compilation of national housing news. We’re also analyzing responses from a recent communications survey that solicited feedback from members. Such feedback will be invaluable as we update our platforms in the months ahead.
While electronic communications are critical for daily life, nothing beats face-to-face interaction with peers, experts, and vendors. As such, I’d like to remind you to register for the 2015 IBS, Jan. 20-22, in Las Vegas. There will be education programs in 10 specialty tracks, networking opportunities, and the unveiling of the New American Home. Register for the IBS today at buildershow.com/register.