U3A Sunshine Coast now has a new website that aims to be more informative, more interactive and brings more news to U3A members faster. Here is a guide to its features and how to navigate around the site.
The new website is really an evolution of the previous website albeit with more pictures and a different layout. Essentially, it’s the same information but arranged in a more user-friendly format. (Figure 1.)
The Top Menu (Figure 3) is where visitors navigate through the site, using a header item with sub menu items arranged in a drop-down format with named links to specific pages, such as ‘News’ with the dropdown menu showing links to ‘Latest News’, ‘eVoice Posts’ and the like.
The new site uses text plus pictures to convey information more clearly, and visitors are able to pick-and-choose those articles of interest to them.
For example, to read the latest news click on ‘NEWS’ in the top menu, and from the dropdown select ‘LATEST NEWS’. This opens a page with individual news items arranged in columns across the page. At this level there’s a small image and a short passage of text for each news item so the reader can decide what to read more about. Clicking on the image or the headline of the story opens a full page post with a larger photo and text of the whole story.
This format, with several items on a page, linking to more detailed full-page posts is common throughout the website so that visitors to the site are able to choose more easily what they want to read.
Selecting Menu Items and Content
To return to where you were click the back arrow on your browser or use the Top Menu on every page (Figure 3). If a new page opens, say, a policy document in PDF format, close the new page to return to where you were.
Content under Top Menu items
The underlying content of each Top Menu item is grouped according to the type of information displayed, as below:
This is where you will find most of the background of U3A information and our official documents (Figure 2) such as:
About U3A Sunshine Coast
History of U3A Worldwide
Frequently Asked Questions
Information for Tutors & Volunteers
Policy & Procedures documents
Link to the Member Login Page
U3A Document Archive (login required)
U3A Personalities stories.
Note that clicking ‘HOME’ > ‘MEMBER LOGIN’ will open a new page displaying the U-MAS membership website (Figure 4) where you can view courses and classes that are available, login to register for classes and update personal information. When you are finished in this area simply close the page and you will be back in the main website area.
This is where you will find the latest news and articles posted on the website (Figure 5), with the following sub-menu items:
EVOICE > DIGITAL EDITIONS & PDF EDITIONS
Clicking on ‘LATEST NEWS’ for example opens a page with thumbnail images of the latest news items. Clicking on the image or the headline opens a page with a larger photo and the full story (Figure 6).
Similarly, clicking on ‘EVOICE’ > ‘PDF EDITIONS’ for example opens a page with thumbnail images of previous editions of eVoice. Clicking on the image displays the printed version of that edition that may be read or downloaded (Figure 7).
Note that this page doesn’t have menu navigation so you simply close the page to go back to the main website area.
This the Education section of the website, combining news about Latest Courses available with general information about educational options and links to the U-MAS Members Section. These are the sub-menu items from which to choose:
NEWEST COURSES (Opens page with latest courses being offered – Figure 8)
ALL COURSES/CLASSES (Opens U-MAS section where all courses may be viewed or searched)
TERM DATES (Dates of the four terms per year for most classes)
LECTURE SERIES (Dates/Times of lectures presented at venues in Mudjimba, Nambour, Buderim & Sippy Downs)
LIFE LEARNING (General information about life learning through U3A)
ONLINE COURSES (Online courses being offered)
Note that clicking ‘COURSES’ > ‘ALL COURSES/CLASSES’ will open a new page displaying the U-MAS membership website (Figure 9) where you can view courses and classes that are available, with the option to login to register for classes. When you are finished in this area simply close the page and you will be back in the main website area.
These menu links take you U-MAS Members Section where you can view courses, login to register for courses and update personal information:
COURSES & CLASSES LIST
Note: As above, when you have finished in the U-MAS area simply close the page to return to the main website.
This a general information part of the website concentrating on Lifestyle activities. Each of these menu items takes you to a specific area of interest (Figure 10):
LEARN & PLAY WITH US
LIVE A SOCIAL LIFE (Social photos taken at U3A events and celebrations – Figure 11)
MIND, BODY & SPIRIT
This is where significant U3A events will be listed in calendar format with links that detail information about a particular event (Figure 12). You can also submit an event for inclusion in the events calendar:
LIST AND EVENT
Note: The event submission will be considered by the webmaster before it is posted, for security reasons.
The development of an online digital Hub based on a social media platform, with Facebook-style (but not actually Facebook) pages, aims to provide an online environment in which member groups may communicate with each other and externally regarding their group activities. The aim is to improve communication within each group, and U3A more widely, as an adjunct to attendance at classes and activities (Figure 13).
Note: This section is under development at present and is included on the main website to give groups a glimpse into this new project.
This is where U3A members and prospective members may get involved, as a volunteer or tutor or to get our newsletter, or just learn about people who have kindly become part of the organisation we know as U3A (Figure 14). It is also an area that may be developed in merchandising U3A products.
This is the traditional area where people can contact us to find out more about U3A as a member, supporter or contributor in some way. It also shows our office location and contact details and includes a Contact Me form that messages the U3A Office that they have some interest in U3A (Figure 15).
The Management Committee hope that this guide helps members and visitors alike who visit our website to make the best use of our new medium to market and communicate the great things about U3A. Any suggestions on improving this guide and most welcome. Please send your suggestions and comments to John Armstrong, Communications Officer – firstname.lastname@example.org.