From North Central Oklahoma Ostomy Outlook September 2010:

Changes in the UOAA National Website

by Bob Baumel, UOAA Webmaster

The UOAA website underwent two major changes in July 2010. First, on July 8th, we went live with our new graphic design, which had been in the works for at least the past six months. Then, on July 12th, we changed the URL of the site from www.uoaa.org to www.ostomy.org (although the older URL still reaches the site by redirecting).

The new graphic design features a new logo and an easy-on-the-eyes blue and green color scheme. The left-side menu includes hierarchical submenus, which makes the navigation easier. The design also includes bigger text which tends to be helpful, given the age of many ostomy support group members. In addition, the header banner displays photos of actual ostomates doing things they love to do (where one of the available photos gets selected randomly each time you load a page of the site).

The new logo and other core graphics in the new design were developed in late 2009 and early 2010 by a small Ohio marketing company selected by Kristin Knipp, the new UOAA President. Then I worked over the technical aspects for several months, making sure it was practical to implement and would work properly in all current web browsers (Our new site works in modern browsers such as Firefox, Chrome and Safari, as well as Internet Explorer versions 6.0 and greater). Once I was satisfied that we had a suitable design, I converted all existing pages to the new design. A final delay of about two months occurred while waiting for header photos to be available in suitable form. We finally had everything ready to go live on July 8th.

From a behind-the-scenes viewpoint, the new design is somewhat more modern than our old one (for example, most positioning is done with stylesheets instead of tables). I had built our previous site so it would be easy to update—and I made sure that the new one is just as easy to update. As another important aspect, I made sure that all existing pages kept the same URLs that they had previously, so our redesign doesn’t break any links to pages of the UOAA site.

We changed our URL to www.ostomy.org on July 12th, just 4 days after going live with the new design. Ostomy.org is the most appropriate domain name for the primary non-profit ostomy-related organization. It’s analogous to other major health organizations such as the American Cancer Society which uses cancer.org, and the American Diabetes Association which uses diabetes.org, where the web address contains the condition that the organization is based on, instead of an arcane set of initials that would be meaningful only to people who already know the organization’s name.

With regard to my previous comment that our website redesign didn’t break any links: The transition to www.ostomy.org clearly changed the URL of every page of our site, but it still didn’t break any links because every URL containing uoaa.org redirects automatically to the corresponding URL containing ostomy.org.

Before UOAA acquired the ostomy.org domain name, it had been held for many years by Dick Taylor, who had been president of the St Paul, MN ostomy support group and used this domain name for his “Ostomy Resources Minnesota” website. After Dick passed away last year, his family helped to transfer the domain name to UOAA. To express our appreciation, a new award is being created in Dick Taylor’s name, to be presented at each UOAA Conference to an outstanding volunteer webmaster of a UOAA Affiliated Support Group.


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This page last revised 2010-09-18

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