Lansingmakersnetwork.org out of date items

Update Website

tl:dr; The website needs to be updated. Leadership can do it, or I can. There’s a lot of stuff that’s out of date, and I think our website should be better at marketing. Here’s how I think it should look.

Resource: Website Maintenance

Volunteer who usually handles this type of ISSUE: @brian.adams

Details of ISSUE:
I brought up that some of the items on the website were out of date, and Brian suggested I bring a list of the out of date items. I found time this weekend to actually go through the site, and found more than I expected. As I went through, I kept in mind that the target audience for this website was “prospective members” i.e. people who heard about us at an event, people who found us on google, people who want to know more about our space. Our website should say: “Look at these cool things we do, you can do them to if you come in” and it doesn’t now.

Note: there’s a lot listed here. Even if only the High-Priority stuff is fixed now, it will likely be out of date in the future. I suggest an easy solution: let the makers make. The Fix What Bugs You is a great mantra for a makerspace, but as it is, we are unable to fix something that I’m not alone in thinking is broken. I’d like to host a git repository and development website which volunteers and members may update as they see fit, and push stable updates to the website after review.

I’ve made a demo of a front page that addresses a lot of the issues i’ve talked about:

LMN Demo

On a desktop browser, you can hover over almost all of the elements in the page, and see my reasons for making it like that. If I get the OK to do so, I’ll keep working on it and fix the issues I listed here.

Here’s the list grouped by page and priority:

General Stuff:

  • (High Priority) Are education@lansingmakersnetwork.org and info@lansingmakersnetwork.org both emails that ara checked regularly and actively responsive? I have heard volunteers mention phone calls where people mentioned not hearing back from emails to LMN.
  • (Low priority) The header bar on mobile is difficult to navigate. The animations make it slow, and some links with submenu open the submenu, while some you have to click on the tiny arrow.
  • (High Priority) The wiki is linked in a few places. It’s also hasn’t been updated in a few years. We should remove all links to a wiki. We don’t want someone referring to our wishlist and finding us a tool we don’t need, etc.

Main Page (lansingmakersnetwork.org):

  • (High Priority) The main page says “Members have 24/7 access to the space.” This isn’t true.
  • (High Priority) The talksite should be linked from the main page. We hand out a separate business card for it, and if more people go there, that will only help membership.
  • (High Priority) The safety policies are not up to date. Masks are not required, nor do people need to have their own safety glasses.
  • (Medium Priority) The hours listed as temporary have been consistent for over a year. They should be visibly displayed on the main page, not in this bubble.
  • (Low Priority) The pictures in the link and header are out of date, and contain people who are no longer in the space. Up to date photos would be nice
  • (Low Priority) The COVID policy takes up the whole page, and the light pink makes it look like it is the page. Below it are links, and instagram. but our main page doesn’t say what a makerspace is, or why people should come join. It should.

Covid-19 (COVID-19 Measures – Lansing Makers Network):

  • (High Priority): The updates are out of date. See main page^^
  • (Low Priority) The general info about our current policies should be at the top and easy to find, the history should fall below that for people who are curious.

Virtual Tour (Virtual Tour – Lansing Makers Network):

  • (High, High, High Priority) We get asked “what tools do you have?” “What can I do there?” This should be changed to “Tools and Space” and have a list of tools (which exists now, thanks to a recent post) including pictures of our coolest looking tools. I also think a video of jimmy giving the standard tour would be awesome here, which people will watch to find out about our “Tools and Space”

Classes and Workshops/Class Policies/Volunteer Opportunities:

  • These pages are great.

Become A Member (Become a Member – Lansing Makers Network):

  • (Low Priority) The prices look more like buttons. It seems like I should be able to click on them. It’s just a vaguely weird design/layout.

E-Newsletter (E-Newsletter – Lansing Makers Network):

  • (Medium Priority) This should match the class cards. Either those should be updated, or this should.
  • (Medium priority) Do we send out updates? We should! Even if it’s just a little status update every other month. A volunteer should be tasked with writing these.

Leadership (lansingmakersnetwork.org/leadership):

  • The people here are outdated. It looks like the Volunteer Staff part hasn’t been updated in over a year.
  • Update: Got up to date area manager photos.
  • Pictures should look similar

History (lansingmakersnetwork.org/history):

  • Like leadership, this page should either be updated more regularly, or simply moved to a google doc, wiki, or something.

Sponsors (Virtual Tour – Lansing Makers Network):

  • (High Priority) The only sponsor listed is Zapier. We must have more sponsors than that. Our how-to-holiday at least had a few names on the T-Shirt. Those should all be listed here, even if we just say “Thanks to X, Y, Z for sponsoring this event”. If we want more sponsors in the future (which we do) we have to show them that it will be worthwhile.

LMN Wiki

  • Again, we should just remove this until we have a concrete plan for how to keep it up to date

Calendar (Calendar – Lansing Makers Network):

  • (Very High Priority) This is a great thing to have, but only if we actually use this. A volunteer should be tasked with (and given access to) updating this with our classes, events, open sews, open jewleries, etc.

Donate (Donate – Lansing Makers Network)

  • Information on this page seems great, but again, it links to the wiki which is really-really out of date.

Gift Certificates

  • This is an external link to the store. I have no problem with the store. People seem to be buying stuff occasionally, so that’s great.

If anyone has anything else that they’ve noticed, post it here. we may as well get a full list for working on the site going forward.

5 Likes

I think this covers all the issues Ive run into. The website has been not very useful and when I was considering signing up that was a problem for me and I put off coming in for a long time because I couldn’t find information on tools and operations.

The more I look at this the more im impressed. If this is what I think it is, I think he should be put in charge of the website ASAP!!! @brian.adams

This is a ridiculous amount of work for billy to just get ignored

2 Likes

Thanks Greg! I don’t mind if I’m in charge of it or not as long as this stuff can be fixed! I just worry by not having up to date information and an easy description of what we do and are, we are losing potential members.

Thanks @billehhg this is great. Documented problems make it easier for us to hand off to be fixed. The website is in Wordpress, if you want to look at making the fixes let me known otherwise we’ll keep our eye out for someone who wants to tackle it. (I know when we talked Wordpress wasn’t something you were comfortable working in at the moment.)

Let me know! (And again thanks for taking the time to help out!)

Hey, thanks for getting back to me. i’d be happy to use wordpress! I haven’t used it before, and find using templates difficult (they never look quite right), but not impossible. That being said, I’d like to take a bit of time to learn in order to get the website up to date.

Cool. Shoot me a DM about when you’ll be at the space and we’ll coordinate a time to get you setup.