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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

New website ready to launch

After months of planning, designing, writing, coding and testing, the Profession’s new website is due to go live in early August. Holly Liu, the Profession’s website manager, takes time from the final preparations to talk about some of the features of the new website.

“It was designed with the needs of members in mind,” she explains. “We have such a diverse membership in terms of their needs and expectations so it’s really important that the website can deliver. Not only this, but as the public face of the Profession, it’s crucial that it presents a modern and attractive image.

“Members were involved in the project from the beginning. We actively sought feedback and guidance from them and carried out an exhaustive process of research to make sure that the website would meet their needs and make best use of the available technology.

“The site reflects our new brand and has a whole new look and feel. It’s much more user friendly and the powerful, fast new search engine, along with links to related content, allows visitors to the site to find the information they want quickly and easily. The communities section gives members the opportunity to share information and discuss issues with each other, regardless of where they live and work.

“An improved booking engine will make it simpler and easier for people to register for events, and we’ve also made improvements to the CPD recording process so members can check and update their CPD record online with ease.” Keeping members up to date with news about the Profession and the financial world in general is also a key feature of the website. In addition to news from and about the Profession, the news section of the site will carry news stories from around the globe.

“We are very much aware that 40% of our members are based overseas,” adds Holly. “With this in mind, we want to enable members to interact fully with the Profession, no matter where they are based. And, for our users on the move, the website is fully compatible with smartphones such as the BlackBerry and iPhone.”

The web team is already planning the next phase of website development, which will include more social networking features such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

“We know how important social networking is to our members so we want to improve our use of this technology, and encourage members to use it. We also plan to use a lot more video content to make the site more dynamic and open up conversations with members.”

Nigel Bodie is one of the members who have been involved in testing the website. He comments: “I didn’t find the old website especially useful. It was slow and difficult to navigate, so I’m pleased to see that the new site is much faster and much more responsive to my needs.

“I’m busy, my colleagues are busy and so we need a website where we can get information in a timely fashion. The new website does just that.”

The website address remains www.actuaries.org.uk. The web team will be promoting and demonstrating the site at the Profession’s events and activities. If you have comments or feedback on the site or if you would like to arrange a demonstration of the site for a group of members, please contact webservices@actuaries.org.uk