Labour Movement Meets The Internet
The MGEU site has been refreshed by Visual Lizard in 2004 and in 2007. In early 2013, we once again gave the website a new coat of paint and and updated version of our Catalyst content management system. This time the new coat of paint was provided by Doowah Design. The site's primary purpose is to provide the MGEU membership with up to date information about union activities, the relationship between the Union and the Provincial Government, and the benefits of being part of the union.
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The new design developed with Doowah Design added a series of shortcut links at the top of every page which take the average visitor to the five sections that were set as priorities for the site. Finding your Local/Contract; New Member Orientation; Bargaining Briefs with the latest updates on Union bargaining; Member Discounts featuring discounts available to Union Members in their various locations throughout the province; and the Meetings/Events Calendar detailing union local and component meeting dates, times, and locations as well as important notifications on Holidays, Special Events, and office closures.
Filtering the Search
One of the new features we built was a filtering functionality that allowed the MGEU membership to locate their individual Local information and filtering of discounts to an indivdual's local area and specific discount categories. The user selects their general area within the province which in turn reduces the information into more manageable packets. This helps prevent the need to scroll through hundreds of lines of information by only providing information which matches the user's specific request parameters. In a similar fashion the discounts are displayed for the area selected and with the additional application of a category to the search the list of discounts becomes specific to the user's request.
An updated feature from the previous incarnation of the site is a fully functional online store for the purchase of MGEU swag. Though MGEU has limited its delivery of these products to its various offices throughout the province, it is now embracing the power of the online storefront.
Harnessing the resource that is YouTube, MGEU had us incorporate a way to display their video playlists from YouTube to play within their own site without requiring a video management tool within the site. Now by applying videos in their youtube account we are displaying those updates automatically as they occur.
We're going to be Responsive
While we are still in the process of working with MGEU to develop the mobile look and feel to the new site, we have the basics in place for the iPhone and Android phone up and running. With some further input from the designers and the folks and MGEU we will soon have their site available for display over a variety of mobile devices including the iPad, the BB Playbook and other tablet devices.
Arm's Length Associations
An offshoot property of MGEU is their UnionBug Blog. As part of the redevelopment process UnionBug was brought under the overall administration of the main MGEU site. The design was meant to reflect the new overall design, but to also keep some relative autonomy to its look. One login for the administrators rather than two.
The Manitoba Association for Retired Government Employees now has its own standalone URL, but its management is currently under the purview of the MGEU. While it has a similar look to the main MGEU site it is now its own entity rather than a simple page within the overall MGEU site.