New OVA Website Offers Enhanced Functions – and It’s (Mostly) Password-Free

Colin Hannigan, Information Technology and Communications Coordinator

            Have you visited lately? It’s not your same old website anymore. We have ushered in a new, fresh design. But the makeover goes deeper than cosmetics. 

            New user-friendly features now allow OVA members and visitors to access the Oakmont News, news alerts and posts and eblasts without logging in to the site with a password. The website goals, developed with the Communications Committee, are aimed at increasing the community’s interaction with OVA online.

            Oakmont club and organization leaders will likely see the most significant changes, because they now can upload articles and photos directly to the site. The same is true for submissions to the eblast and the letters to the editor section of the Oakmont News. The new forms are easy to fill out and automatically count word limits for the user.

            For clubs and committees that have been using Zoom during the months-long pandemic, reservations and requests for time slots of the OVA Zoom subscription can now be made from the site under the Activities tab. 

            The  Activities page is one of the most dynamic site features. It is updated with new content several times a week. Just as emailed news alerts let members know of news that happens between newspaper editions, the Activities page now also allows members to check for new items in-between the twice-monthly newspaper editions.

            Users who like the “paper” version of the Oakmont Newscan also flip through the pages on the site. A web-based reader allows for content searches and downloads of the editions of the Oakmont News.

            Content on the Members tab contains OVA board minutes, agendas, videos, documents and policies, as well as archived content. Those pages still require a password to access, because they contain proprietary OVA documents that are available to members only.  

            A separate Facilities tab provides items such as hours of operations and new maintenance updates. Those will be posted daily when applicable.

            A daily, hour-by-hour calendar has been replaced by a new events page and the Activities page, which lists classes and other events. 

            More enhancements are coming soon, including the addition of a virtual assistant. This will be a Chat Bot, where members will be able to pose questions 24/7.        Staff will aggregate questions the bot can’t answer and provide the best responses in a timely manner. 

            We want to see as many people as possible using the website. Since day one, my goal has been to work with the community and get people comfortable with the changes we’re making for efficiency. I’ve learned some changes didn’t work, such as having an overall password  for the site, and I use feedback to refine my approach. I hope members find this latest update more user friendly.” 

            Anita Roraus, activities coordinator, and I are also holding webinars on how to use site features and how to become more comfortable with technology. The sessions are open to all members.