Information helps, services are what’s needed.
If you have the time to talk to people affected by eating disorders and listen to their stories you’ll find Australia is woefully under-prepared. We struggle to identify, support, treat and connect those affected by anorexia, bulimia and a host of other conditions in a meaningful way. To this day, the deeper we look the less we find at a state or federal level to address the health crisis eating disorders represent. It has been humbling to help in a small way with a new digital platform for Eating Disorders Victoria however this NFP website is just one step along the way. We all have work to do. Let’s get to it.
How is the site being used today?
The previous website had been doing a serviceable job of providing information to visitors from here and around the world. Hundreds of pages provided useful context and guidance to tens of thousands of visitors per month. What does this mean though? Where does a person affected by a disorder go next? This became a focus from research and defining user stories for the new site. We could not be a simple surrogate for google on the topic – we need to help people address their situation constructively. The project charter, and a mission to provide more direction and support along the path to recovery, determined we must find end points for site sessions that mattered.
How do we know if we’re having an impact?
In a year when most of our digital platform projects contained dependent projects like re-brands and organisational design – this website design and build required attention to ongoing learning. The new Eating Disorders Victoria website needed to help the organisation learn from every site visit, article read and form completion. A parallel task to the site creation was to define what a learning organisation looks like and how to begin to support that through the website. Learning will create useful data and feedback on services, content and support preferences for people with a range of conditions that are only beginning to be understood in 2019.
The website is just one part of the platform.
Eating Disorders Victoria provide in person support services, events and programs to help Victorians impacted by Eating Disorders. The front door to many of these is the website but why compete with best in class event platforms with your own event management system? With most support services and programs commencing on the website and progressing through direct contact with the support team events was the exception to solve for with the new digital platform. Initial conversations included a desire to collect and store data independently of third party suppliers. With more consideration and an audit of organisational needs, budgets and ongoing support the decision was made to use Eventbrite off the website for event management. Simple integration to the site was made and the extra features and functionality of the TPS have been welcome.
Can we accelerate change for the better?
Early feedback on the new digital platform and website in the first few months has been encouraging. The Eating Disorders Victoria team has re-doubled their efforts in connecting people to services and information through the website and deepening the ‘customer’ experience from first site session to first contact in person. The site will become more than a content and service hub as member engagement, campaigns and activation of extensive support for the organisation ramps up through 2019 and 2020.