Getting familiar with the new ReliefWeb responsive site

Miguel Angel Hernandez Rivera

Since ReliefWeb launched its new responsive site, we have received feedback from many of our users, especially about usability and navigation. We truly value your input, which we can apply to continue improving the site to meet your needs.

While we review that feedback and continue working on better ways to present and deliver the critical humanitarian information to our global users, we would like to first address some of the main concerns expressed by our users:

Common Issue 1: Confusion as a result of our decision to display the original publication date in the Updates list (Reports, Jobs & Training)

Background: In ReliefWeb’s content management system, there are two date attributions for content: 1) Original publication date, as specified by the author; and 2) Date of posting to ReliefWeb. More often than not, there tends to be a time lag between publication and posting of content for myriad reasons. In the previous design, the date of posting to ReliefWeb was displayed in the Updates list whereas in the new design it is the original publication date. This led many users to think the new Update list was no longer ordered by the latest content.

Updates listing highlighting the original publication date

Solution: We understood that listing only the “(original) publication date” in the Update list was not intuitive to our users. We also know, from our user research, that the majority of our regular users tend to look for “the latest” information while others may look for information from certain date ranges based on the original publication dates. Given this, we are actively looking into the best way to display both of these dates and clearly signal to users that the Updates list remains in the reverse chronological order (the latest first) and that all content remains available.

Common Issue 2: The new country page lists only three latest updates under “Latest Updates.”

In order to access all updates on a given country, a user must click “View all [country name] Updates”, which leads the user to a list of content pre-filtered with “Primary country = [country name]”. There is a sense that this path to all updates on a given country is cumbersome.

Afghanistan country page highlighting the link to all reports

Background: The new country page design showcases the range of content available for each country by providing the Table of Content navigation. We took this approach as new components such as OCHA Digital Situation Report and Key Figures have been added to the new site. Each content-type navigation then leads you to a list of content pre-filtered by content type/genre (e.g., Response Plans, situation reports, maps & infographics).

Solution: We hope this explanation makes sense. For faster and easier access to all updates for the country of your interest, you can bookmark the pre-filtered page (either “Primary Country = [country name” or “Country” = [country name]).

Common Issue 3: Changes made to the location and display of the filters

Background: In order to improve the site performance and consolidate the search options (filters & search box), we decided to move the filters to the top of the Updates list, just below the search box, and made the filter categories, values, and operators visible once a user decides to use the faceted search. Because our users had been used to the previous design for a long time (almost eight years in fact!), many users thought the filters had disappeared altogether.

Solution: We explained in our last blog where to find the filters and how you can perform a search using the filters, using keywords and/or advanced search. We hope to further improve the usability of the filters in the coming weeks.

Other new features and tips:

  • The new Countries landing page by default displays only countries with humanitarian situations. Use the “View” toggle on the top right to switch to the listing of all countries and territories.

Countries landing page highlighting the toggle

  • The new Jobs landing page by default displays all open job listings. With the top right “View” toggle, you can change the list to view “**Closing Soon**” or “**Remote/Roster/Roving**” jobs.

Jobs landing page highlighting the toggle

  • The new Training landing page also displays all open training listings by default. Here, the top right “View” toggle offers “Closing soon,” “Free courses,” “Online courses,” “Ongoing courses,” “Training/workshop,” and “Academic degree/courses” listings.

Training landing page highlighting the toggle

  • The new Disasters landing page displays all disasters (alerts, ongoing/past disasters) by default. To view only “Alerts and Ongoing Disasters,” use the top right View toggle.

We hope this blog helps you to use ReliefWeb in the new responsive design and do keep sending us feedback to help us keep improving our services.