AIA designs new website with members in mind

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Besides being an optimal experience for members, the new aia.org is also an optimal experience for every device. It's just as great on a phone as it is on a desktop or tablet.

The process of designing a new aia.org has been about creating a superior experience for visitors. It’s also been about clarifying AIA’s purpose, as a member-first advocate for the positive impact architects have on our everyday lives. The new aia.org is the signature product of AIA’s multi-year “digital transformation,” which builds on the momentum of an improved digital “join and renew” process that we launched in late-2015. The site, which is live and in a pilot phase through early summer, has been reengineered for members who will be able to browse custom content when they login, as well as for members of the public and the AEC industry who will be able to quickly find what they need, from the right AIA Contract Document to a local networking event to an architect to lead their next project

An organization’s website is often a visitor’s first impression—and, often a lasting impression. That’s one of the main drivers for the new aia.org. Building on AIA’s renewed focus on its brand (including a new logo and typeface), aia.org looks completely different from its predecessor—designed to leave a first impression that will, indeed, last.

Another driver of the new aia.org? Statistics.

All in all, fewer than 290 pages at the old aia.org accommodated 95% of our site traffic, which means that we had about 6,700 pages that were of little interest to our members. That reality, coupled with poor navigation on the old site, exacerbated the challenge that nearly every visitor had when they tried to search for something. Namely, they couldn’t get what they needed from us. It may seem like a simple thing, but an improved search function will deliver accurate results based on a sophisticated and robust tagging system and site taxonomy.

Improved functionality and compelling content on the new aia.org creates a better experience for members than ever before.

Ask any architect and they will tell you that form and function are critical concepts in design, so we made them the backbone of the new aia.org:

  • A clear hierarchy defines the navigation
  • A gridded layout offers a visual menu that allows you to quickly browse by topic area or simply zero-in on the story that seems interesting or useful
  • Compelling photography draws the eye in
  • "Search" delivers the most relevant content to your query
  • The new aia.org is just as suited for the architect looking to quickly check her transcript as it is for the architect wanting to catch up on the latest news.
  • Responsive design means that you can open the site on any device and it automatically creates an optimal experience for easy use

Form Follows Function

When the architect Claude Nicholas Ledoux imagined a house for barrel hoop maker, more than 200 years ago, he created a house that was shaped like a barrel—a house that spoke, quite literally, about its function and purpose. As a site built specifically for our members, the new aia.org is shaped around the interests of AIA’s 88,000 members and speaks, in its design and function, about the purpose of a 21st century member organization. All of the career and profession coverage or firm management intelligence you need is front and center—along with special coverage of topics like energy and resilience. It also includes all of the economic data that drives business decisions and local events that keep you connected to the community.

When you go to the site, take a look, browse around, and try it on your mobile device. Looking for the old aia.org—what we’re calling the “classic” site? It’s still there for the time being if you desperately need to find something. But, we know that you’ll help us make the new site a success.

Image credits

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