The SCSI has launched its new mobile first web and membership communications platform. CONOR O’DONOVAN and SIOBHAN O’DEA explain.
The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland’s new website offers additional functionality, ease of use and an attractive interface to improve the user experience for both members and the public alike. The development of the new website also incorporates a new membership relationship management system to enhance the SCSI’s use of data to improve communications to members.
The objective of the new website platform project was to improve the presentation of the SCSI to the public, and to showcase the professionalism and expertise of members in a user-friendly and accessible format. A high priority was also to provide resources and advice on property, land and construction issues to the public, and encourage them to engage their local Chartered Surveyor.
We also wanted to personalise the experience for members, and provide information and content that is relevant to them, which was one of the issues members raised in relation to the previous SCSI website.
How it works
The new website’s intelligent tagging system allows members and the public to easily access news, information and publications that are relevant to their specific interests and practice areas.
The newly added Advice Centre contains Society-authored articles published weekly in The Irish Times Property Clinic. This is a valuable resource for the public who may wish to read advice from a Chartered Surveyor on issues similar to those that they are encountering. Also created with members of the public in mind is a specific section showcasing the Society’s consumer guides.
The new interactive platform has allowed the Society to showcase the various applications that were developed for the public, such as the House Rebuild Calculator and the Planning and Zoning Viewer. These will be of considerable benefit to those who are renovating or building their own home.
The Find a Surveyor search tool, which existed on the previous website, can now be located with ease from several sections of the site. A benefit to both the public and members, visitors can search for Chartered Surveyors of specific professions in every section of the country.
Some key areas of the new website include:
- the SCSI Insight section, which contains a range of SCSI publications and policy submissions to Government on construction, land and property issues;
- the SCSI Education section, which holds a wealth of information for students, from advice and details on the range of career options within the surveying profession, to information on taking the APC and the range of third-level and SCSI-accredited courses available;
- the CPD section, which provides members with the opportunity to browse a library of videos from past CPD events and book attendance for an upcoming event on the CPD calendar;
- the Regulation section, which outlines the various rules that must be complied with as members of the society; and,
- Professional Guidance, which provides a range of published guidance notes for all disciplines within surveying for the property, land and construction sectors.
To facilitate access to the Society’s extensive catalogue of publications there is a Library Search function on the home page. This allows users to search every document ever uploaded to the site by entering just a word or two from the document title. It also allows you to search all documents on the site that are related to a specific practice area such as Building Surveying – providing a fantastic resource to Chartered Surveyors, the public, and to students considering surveying as a career.
One of the most significant enhancements of the site is the increased functionality in the members’ section. Members can now edit their own profile information, record their CPD hours, view upcoming CPD events and access a wealth of member-only content such as professional guidance publications, and past CPD presentations and videos. The interface of the job section of the website has also vastly improved, allowing professional members and associate members to browse new opportunities with ease.
Professional groups can now clearly showcase their work, with their latest publications, submissions and committee meeting minutes and information in their own segment of the new website. This allows members of a professional group to keep up with changes and new legislation that is introduced, as well as to avail of the numerous professional guides that are released on topics in their particular field.
The new site provides a great opportunity for the Society and its members to showcase the vast amount of work that is done by the profession and in the best interest of the public. The new communication possibilities offered by the site will help the Society to grow and develop, and offer members, the public and students the opportunity to avail of relevant and high quality content.
The Society’s new website went live in a ‘soft launch’ in December 2014 and the past quarter has been spent refining the website and member relationship management system.
The feedback from members has been extremely positive. In the latest annual membership survey, 96% of respondents stated that they were ‘satisfied’ to ‘very satisfied’ with the layout and personalisation of the new website.
Looking to the future
The Society intends for the new website to evolve over time, and new features and apps will be added in due course. The Society will review the website periodically through the SCSI Communications & Events Standing Committee.
The SCSI would like to express thanks to Clyde Hatter of New Chapter Consulting for his hard work throughout the planning and development process with the Society.