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Monte Jade SE Online Platform Improvement

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

by Nealson Li

At the 30th anniversary of MJSE, one of the key projects initiated by Chair Jeffrey Yiin is to reimagine how people could interact with MJSE through online platforms. As a science and technology association, it is crucial to periodically reevaluate the technologies the organization is leveraging and perform a facelift or an overhaul if necessary. This ensures that the association aligns with our core values, remains relevant to the mainstream technologies, and, most importantly, provides our precious members and our community the best online experience.

There are three main target platforms for this project: LinkedIn, email campaign system, and website. Milestones were set for each platform that were executed in parallel, and the entire project took four months to complete. Minor updates and maintenance are still ongoing and will continue to keep up with the constant development of technology. As a newly joined board member with fresh eyes and a STEM background, Nealson Li was assigned with this important task.

The first platform to address is LinkedIn, which is the social network for job seekers, professionals, and businesses owned by Microsoft. It is a platform where companies and professional organizations can build a tighter community that interacts more and promotes businesses. MJSE was missing out on these opportunities, since an official MJSE LinkedIn page did not exist. The creation of a LinkedIn page required a clear vision of what the organization represents and what impression the organization would like to convey. The LinkedIn page is then created to reflect the vision and purpose of MJSE. It now serves as a platform to promote MJSE events, connect with communities, and interact with other organizations. Please follow us on LinkedIn!

Regarding the website and email campaign system, MJSE already has both online platforms that are operating well. Therefore, the goal is to reevaluate how the platforms are holding up with the fast-changing tech world and what could be improved. Although the website has 40% of the traffic coming from a mobile device, the browsing experience was not consistent across PC and mobile. Next, website design has been evolving to embrace trends such as minimalist layout, animations for intuitive navigation, and customizable back-end options. Editors had to understand basic HTML and CSS programming to publish a blog post, which adds effort to the already tedious composing workload. Then, there are other minor obstacles, such as security issues, social media integration.

With these observations in mind, the search for a solution began. After evaluating different website building platforms such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress, Wix was selected as it checks all the boxes, being lower in cost with a better user interface. The process starts with defining the branding guide and color palate that serves as a guideline for the website design to follow. This ensures a consistent look and feel across pages with readability. As the framework was laid down, the website underwent multiple review cycles with website expert Chen Pan, MJSE chairman, and board members. Iterations with constructive feedback improved the website largely before the launch on 4/20, 2022–just in time for the promotion of MJSE AAPI heritage month seminar. In addition to the website management system, the website platform also integrates email campaign service. The service provides an intuitive interface to curate a pleasant email layout, and all the website subscribers are automatically on the mail list without having to import from a CSV file. Two of the online platforms are refined in one shot.

Since the launch of the website, it has been running smoothly with the additional improvements. The website now has the ability to support an aesthetic user interface that is compatible with a variety of different devices. Regarding the back-end analytics, one can now view key stats such as how much traffic the website attracts and gaps for additional promotion and marketing opportunities. Editors are now able to easily publish and manage blog posts without writing a single line of code. Our new email campaigns have been successfully curated to reach an audience of over 4000. The Monte Jade SE Online Platform Improvement Project was a highly successful project to kickstart our 30 year anniversary.

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