Take a tour of the new BetterEvaluation website
We are thrilled to announce the launch of a major upgrade to the BetterEvaluation knowledge platform.
We have rebuilt and reshaped betterevaluation.org with our users in mind to provide:
Improved sign up process and member features
Greater support for more engagement and collaboration
And happily, it’s much more efficient for those of us who administer and manage the platform too.
The BetterEvaluation team has spent the last two years with the incredible Sparks Interactive web development team rebuilding, upgrading, auditing and improving the experience for users, members and contributors alike. This work started when BetterEvaluation was a not-for-profit organisation, and has continued during and after our transition to our new home as part of the Global Evaluation Initiative.
This upgrade is the first phase in a series of planned enhancements to betterevaluation.org to better support the global evaluation community in our goal of improving evaluation practice and strengthening monitoring and evaluation ecosystems around the world. We’ll be rolling out some further enhancements to the site, including new content areas, in early-2023, so stay tuned!
Why the upgrade?
This process was initially started because the technology that BE was built on, Drupal 7, was nearing end of life. The need to completely rebuild the website has turned into a rare opportunity to rethink and significantly improve the site, including:
- how site content is organised (information architecture)
- how site content is interconnected
- how relevant content may be surfaced so that you can find what you are looking for when you are looking for it in a way that you are expecting (navigation)
- how we ensure the ongoing quality of previously published content
- the ways users can share, co-create and get involved with BetterEvaluation
- how we manage and continuously improve the security of the site and your data
We’d like to thank every one of our users who has participated in various pieces of user research over the last few years (and earlier). Your input and feedback have been enormously helpful in helping us better understand and address user experience issues and needs.
Here’s a brief overview of some of the big improvements to come out of this upgrade:
Information architecture overhaul
We’ve significantly reorganised and reformatted how content on betterevaluation.org fits together. A principal component of this work is improving connections between content. The ultimate aim of this is for content to be connected in a way so that site users can compare similar content and make better decisions in their evaluation practice.
The reorganising and reformatting of betterevaluation.org also involved a process to standardise similar content types and structures. You’ll notice two new sections in our main menu: Frameworks & Guides and Methods and Approaches.
Frameworks and Guides groups the large ‘content areas’ on the site into one place. These offer top-down entry points to explore evaluation from the perspective of a particular role, sector, or theme, and it’s here that you’ll find the Rainbow Framework and the Manager’s Guide.
The Methods and Approaches section allows users to dive straight into information on an individual method, approach or thematic area. From these pages, you can see similar options and follow the links to explore more.
We’ve also offered a new tool to help you navigate the site – we call it ‘the Navigator’. You can find this on the homepage and follow the prompts to find content relevant to what you’re trying to do in an evaluation. This tool will continue to grow over time. If you have ideas about how to improve this, we’d love to hear them.
Another important improvement to navigation is the addition of new language landing pages. These automatically pull all materials in a particular language onto the one page, making it a lot easier for speakers of languages other than English to find relevant content. You can access these pages via the icon in the top right of the screen.
A more streamlined, intuitive experience users can share
As well as ensuring site content is well connected and easily navigated, accessibility improvements are underway to ensure that BetterEvalaution content is in the best shape to meet the demands of our broad and diverse audiences.
These updates include improved social sharing of site materials, better accessibility including alt-text and improved file labelling, and automated pdf exports of material, ensuring that all users can access the most up-to-date materials, regardless of the reliability of their internet access.
Improved webform functionality will improve the user experience of suggesting resources and events, and enable a smoother (and quicker!) user sign-up process.
With the new structures and systems in place, all content has been migrated and a major process of auditing has been taking place. The BetterEvaluation team has been reviewing thousands of resource pages and hundreds of methods and framework pages for consistency, accessibility, out-of-date content, broken links and general formatting issues. We are still progressing through this work, so feel free to reach out to us if you spot anything unusual as you browse the new site.
The evaluation community has been at the forefront of our minds throughout this development process and improving opportunities for you to engage with and contribute to BetterEvaluation has been a priority.
Now, as a BetterEvaluation member you can easily:
- Submit events using a simple form
- Recommend resources more easily than before, and potentially become a BetterEvaluation Contributor with your own profile
- Let the improved GeneraTOR tool guide you to create comprehensive terms of reference documents
- Receive the latest updates from BetterEvaluation and the Global Evaluation Initiative (or not, whatever you prefer)
A fundamental value of BetterEvaluation is collaboration, indeed BetterEvaluation would not be what it is today without collaboration across the evaluation community. Therefore, alongside improvements to the online experience of contributing content to BetterEvaluation, we have been updating our content guidelines and policies to make the submission and review process for contributors simple and transparent. We’ll continue to roll these out over the next few months.
We’ll keep working, together with the global evaluation community, to build accessible knowledge to help evaluation practice meet the challenges of today, including environment and climate change, equity, and increasing complexity and uncertainty.
Being part of the Global Evaluation Initiative brings new opportunities to enhance and expand the BetterEvaluation knowledge platform to reach more users. The recent site upgrade is the first step in an ongoing plan to offer improved accessibility, a better user experience and support for engagement. We plan to be rolling out further enhancements to the site in the coming months, so stay tuned.