In June 2015, Climatelinks launched a three month beta test during which more than 1,000 USAID staff and implementing partners participated. The purpose of the beta test was for users to explore a password-protected, beta version of the website. Beta testers helped identify additional and desired website features and content priorities while Climatelinks development was still underway. Participants provided feedback via poll questions embedded in the website itself, through an online survey, by emailing comments, and through online webinar discussions.
We thank all of our beta testers for taking the time to share their reactions and suggestions! We wanted to report back on the changes we made and the new content and website features we added in response to your comments.
Climatelinks content additions
- We added a tagline description of the website so its purpose and target audience is clear. Go to About in the website footer for details.
- We added curated content about USAID’s Global Climate Change Training program; rich and comprehensive Monitoring & Evaluation resources, and standardized profiles describing the many climate change Tools USAID has invested in to support practitioners and development partners.
- On the Where We Work map and country list, we added help text on each country’s profile page to better convey what the context indicators represent. We updated funding information from Fiscal Year 2014 to Fiscal Year 2015 allocations. We included metadata to document the sources and dates of access for all data presented in the country profiles. Updates to context indicators and funding allocations will be made annually and metadata will reflect updates accordingly. We aim to continuously update country profile pages with information about USAID climate change programs and encourage suggestions to be sent to [email protected]
- We added an Associated Websites compilation in the footer, providing the first such inventory of USAID-supported climate change websites.
Improved organization and functionality
- We reorganized and changed the labels on the main site navigation menu to be more intuitive and to make the various areas of content more accessible. For example, the Climatelinks Blog is now its own item on the main navigation bar and clearly labeled as such.
- All items in the Resource Library can be filtered and sorted by type, geography, keyword, publication year, and rating. We corrected bugs in the search algorithm that caused incomplete search results. We also developed a taxonomy term guide for more consistent application of keywords when tagging content. This is a work in progress, so we appreciate user feedback to help us improve consistency or tips related to specific resources that need adjustments in how they are tagged and characterized.
- We re-designed the Events calendar by adding keyword filters that help viewers quickly find events related to their interests. We moved past events off the main event page but kept them available and searchable. Links to external websites within event descriptions now open in a new tab. We also added links to recorded webinars for USAID-supported webinar series, such as the CEADIR Series and Adaptation Community Meetings, to past event descriptions to provide users one more way to find and access content at their convenience.
- We started social media operations! See links to Twitter and YouTube in the website footer. Follow us @Climatelinks for daily updates about events and new content.
- A monthly Climatelinks newsletter will go out the first week of each month highlighting new resources, upcoming events and the latest climate news stories and blog posts.
- To join the Climatelinks mailing list to receive monthly newsletters, please sign up here. Beta testers are already signed up. We encourage you to highlight this opportunity among your networks to help us grow the Climatelinks community.
Thanks again to all the beta testers and webinar participants for the great feedback during the Climatelinks beta test! We will continue to work toward addressing a number of your longer-term suggestions over the coming months. We always value hearing from you, so please send any feedback or suggestions to [email protected].