June 2021 Volume 27 No. 2

Introducing: The New and Improved CAS Website

by Laura Hemmer, FCAS with Meghan Goldfarb, FCAS, and Wesley Ross, CAS Director of IT

You were in the midst of final exam preparations, and you decided you needed another look at the exam syllabus. Perhaps a question came up at work and you wanted to consult one of the exam papers. Or maybe you wanted to register for a webinar or the Spring Meeting. Whatever it was, something prompted you to go to the CAS website, and once it loaded you thought, “Wait a second … does this look completely different?”

The answer is yes! As announced and rolled out on March 9, the CAS has launched a brand-new website. While the change appeared to happen overnight to most of us, this was the culmination of over a year of work by CAS staff and volunteers and was very much a team effort. CAS IT Director Wesley Ross and CAS Chief Communications Officer Mike Boa spearheaded the project and brought on a vendor for the web development and user experience design. Of course, relaunching the website brought the opportunity to review all the existing content, an effort primarily undertaken by CAS staff. And then a team of over 40 CAS members and candidates provided feedback, input and ideas to make the new website a reality.

The upgraded website has been a CAS goal for some time. While the website was refreshed in 2013, that was more of a minor front-end facelift necessitated by the introduction of the new CAS logo. In fact, a lot of the underlying website architecture was from the early 2000s! The old technology surely proved its worth over the past 20 years, but it was beginning to significantly limit the CAS’s ability to meet the needs of all its stakeholders. Therefore, the main goal of the website redesign is an entire ground-up replacement that incorporated newer technology that allows for more flexibility and room for growth in the future. Secondary goals to the website redesign include providing a new look and feel, ensuring a mobile-friendly design, removing distracting unused content and improving the user experience. While the development team met many of these goals, they want the redesign to be a launching point to the future, so you will notice continued improvements happening after this launch.

Meghan Goldfarb, FCAS, who was closely involved with the redesign team, is most proud of the new website giving candidates a competitive and intuitive website experience. “Several years ago, I did some research as part of a task force and found that other professional organizations’ websites far outpaced us in making the most important information easily available in an intuitive and appealing way,” said Goldfarb. “When I go to the Exams and Admissions page now, it clearly spells out the value of the designation and makes it easy to understand where to go to locate the information you need the most!”

The website redesign team encourages candidates to explore the new website and see the new features for themselves. In addition to the revamped Exams and Admissions section, the Future Fellows area has also been expanded. Prior articles from 2017 onward are indexed for easy reference, including many with helpful study tips, exam information and CAS membership background. The new website also has a consolidated research database that candidates can use to easily find relevant articles for work and exam studying. The website search function has also been improved, making it much easier to find what you need.

As mentioned, there are definitely future plans for the website. This release is the CAS’s springboard to the future, so keep an eye out for future enhancement announcements. The website team is also looking for your feedback! Please use the contact form on the website to include any comments you may have. If there is content that is no longer relevant or items you want to see more of, the CAS wants to know. The more modern architecture of the website also affords us more flexibility in adding new features and additional improvements, so feel free to share any creative ideas you have. We hope the new website provides a much better user experience for candidates as they begin studying for their next exam.

 

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