Ian Currie, Vice President of UK Affairs writes...
In this month’s Scanner, I am pleased to let you all know that very soon the RCOG will have a new website. At long last you might say! In fact, a great deal of behind-the-scenes work has been undertaken to address the feedback that has been given over the years. I will not bore you with the details but the RCOG website functions as a portal for many initiatives, StratOG for example, which makes the development and design quite complex. Far too technical and well beyond my own comprehension! Hence the long timeframe.
You may recall filling in a website survey approximately two years ago when I first took up office, and I am most grateful for the time and effort that Members and Fellows took to participate in that survey. Every week the College is inundated with requests to send surveys out to you, ranging from student projects through to requests from major commercial organisations seeking your views on specific subjects. I realise how mind numbing it can be to be continuously bombarded with such requests so I try to limit them and not let them come through as individual emails, generally condensing them in The Scanner.
It was apparent to me by the overwhelming response to the original website survey that the website itself is an important and integral part in your professional lives. Issues such as navigation tabs, search functionality and access to guidelines were some of the most topical and we have strived to address these areas in particular. We have included Members and Fellows’ views in the design of the new site and have had great deal of input from the Women’s Network in making sure that the patient section of the website looks and feels right. The new website will certainly look and feel different and I hope you will see a step- change in the right direction. I would like to emphasise however, that it does not stop here. A website has to be managed professionally and the success of any project depends on making sure that any content that is online is in a format that considers the user’s needs.
Content management is the key to maintaining a well-structured dynamic site and we have put structures in place to ensure that the website is well maintained. The existing content has had to revised and reformatted and this is a continuous process.
As the information era is upon us and here to stay, the College is embracing it and trying, within its resources, to deliver high quality projects. Apps and mobile technology almost seem second nature now, but considerable investment is needed to develop these. E-learning platforms as well can be extremely useful and although they are not the only way to learn, they do allow flexibility so that we can keep up-to-date within the restrictions of our busy lives. It is easy to get swept away with the technological advances and I feel the College has to strike a balance between the old and the new.
Yesterday, I was reading one of those items we call a book! As I opened it, I noticed coffee spill marks on the pages. Thank goodness it was not my laptop. There are still some advantages to paper…