We like to recognize the really good local union web sites. Our hope is that highlighting the really good ones will give us all a little extra energy to improve what we have. Union web sites are still in their infancy.  As a group, we do not seem to yet have a clear idea of what to do with them. Do we just store information for members or give non-members more than a glimpse at the home page to boost their willingness to join? Do we push information at unit employees by e-mailing them alerts of new stories or just service them when they decide to look at our web sites? Do we want unit employees to use it to communicate with union leaders and one another, or is it just a one-way communication from us to them? Even when we know the answers to those questions, often we do not know how to make the site very user-friendly.  So, as with most FEDSMILL posts we hope this gives you some ideas.

Check out the NFFE Local 2109 Watervliet Arsenal site. The first thing we noticed was how easy it is on the eyes. Nice art work and colors. More importantly, the home page is not cluttered with multi-colored, multi-font material and options. Some home pages are so overloaded they can look like carnivals. The first thing that comes to our mind when we see them is that it will take several minute to wade through them just to get a sense of where we might begin to look for our information.

But what really got us about the Local 2109 site was the automatic drop down of topics as we merely moved the cursor over the menu bar. Combined with the uncluttered and logically organized design of the entire page, it felt like we could find what we want fast. Its News section is also up to date which we cannot say about most union sites. Note also how much information a non-member can get. That gives them just one more opportunity to interact with the union and become convinced of its value.

NFFE Local 1998 at the Passport Service has similar features and an even better menu bar despite not offering automatic drop downs under each tab. It looks like a chunk of the credit for these sites goes to NFFE national whose own site is very similar to these locals. A number of national unions provide their locals with a site template that they can easily customize and use.

The NFFE Forest Service Council also has a site loaded with very good features. Its left-column memo offerings are extensive and long, which at least we see as very user-friendly.

Although we could quibble with the next site, check out the very prominent use of an employee survey in the upper right corner of NFFE’s GSA Region 5 local.

About AdminUN

FEDSMILL staff has over 40 years of federal sector labor relations experience on the union as well as management side of the table and even some time as a neutral.
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