Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Titles and New Places

If you've been visiting SmartGirl regularly, you probably got a little disoriented last week. All the sudden, the titles of each section changed and some of the content moved from one section to another.

How did we decide to make these changes?
We have been working on lots of new ideas for stuff we want to add to the website. For example, we want to make it so that SG Authors can work together through the website instead of through email. We want to add quizzes and contests and polls. We want to add career profiles that show what a job is really like, not just a basic description. Plus, there's so much more... there are almost 200 pages on the new website!

Well, that was a lot to organize, so we enlisted some local middle-school girls to help us organize it. We put the descriptions of all our pages onto post-it notes and asked the girls to group them how they thought they should go. Then we asked them to name the groups. The names they came up with are now on the site! Plus, we noticed that they put some things in places that were different from where we had them before. So, we moved that stuff to where they put them. We hope the site makes more sense to everyone now!

Here's a little overview of the changes, organized by the old titles:

Speak out changed to "Survey Says," and this part of the site is--duh!--where to take surveys and play around with the survey data!

This part of the site became "Creative Corner" because here is where SmartGirls can make stuff and imagine. there's Do-It-Yourself crafts, creative writing, and web design. Plus, we moved Super SmartGirl to this section because it is used to honor our poets.

This section turned into "Reviews," which seemed more straight-forward. Here there are staff reviews in SmartGirl Suggests and SmartGirl reviews in SG Reviews. Plus, Featured Reviews by SmartGirls are found in this section.

This became "Real Life" so that it could include more than just advice. Now all the non-fiction writing goes here, too, like SmartGirls' opinions on our topic of the month (The SoapBox), Love Letters, and Gold Stars.

"Wait!" you ask. "What are Gold Stars?"

Well, "Gold Stars" is the new name for "Shining Hours." In the past, visitors to our site had trouble understanding just what Shining Hours was about. Gold Stars is a more familiar idea that a lot of you have encountered in school. Gold Stars are what you get for doing a great job on something.

We're also adding a "The Best of Us" section for Embarrassing Moments. It might have been easier to call them "Embarrassing Moments," but we wanted to keep the spirit of the site positive and encouraging. Hopefully, we can all still laugh and smile while reading these stories, but now we'll also be able to say, "Hey, it's OK. We've all been there in one way or another."

It was actually a lot of fun making all the new images for the move. I used Photoshop and Dreamweaver to help me make all the changes.

Do you have any questions about the stuff that has moved around or the new names? Do you have questions about some of the stuff that is in the works? Do you want to know more about HOW I did it? Leave a comment and I'll get back to you with some answers!

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