Biodiesel Website Transformed to Improve Service
A website is often the first impression someone has of a product or an organization, and the biodiesel website is no exception. A well-organized and user-friendly site is critical to the National Biodiesel Board’s outreach and communications efforts. As a membership organization, all of NBB’s efforts are focused to support our members. With this in mind, we began the task last fall of transforming biodiesel.org.
You know biodiesel as a mainstream, state-of-the-art advanced biofuel, and now the website dedicated to sharing biodiesel with the world has the same characteristics. The revised biodiesel.org was developed to serve as a location for information about biodiesel while the newly launched nbb.org becomes the home page for the National Biodiesel Board as an organization.
The biodiesel.org site serves to inform the general public, the press, and the biodiesel industry about the benefits of the fuel. It includes handling and use guides; OEM information; frequently asked questions; biodiesel retailer, distributor, and plant maps; and the most comprehensive database of biodiesel reports within the industry. The biodiesel.org site remains the No. 1 source for public information on biodiesel with more than a quarter of a million unique visits each year.
The newly launched nbb.org site is designed for those in the industry who are beyond “biodiesel 101” and are engaged in NBB efforts. The site includes information about the latest policy issues and grassroots advocacy efforts; NBB and member press releases; NBB project successes; partnership programs; membership information; and other information about NBB as an organization.
The decision to split the sites into a biodiesel website and an organization website was made to ensure that NBB is providing content in a way that makes sense to every user and makes accessing the information as easy as possible. In the end, NBB’s goals of presenting the information that members want and need while maintaining our technical prowess in the industry remained a struggle. The two unique sites, which are cross-linked for easy access, help address the needs of the membership while keeping the education and benefits of biodiesel front and center.
The transformation of the websites includes new technology in navigation, delivery, design, and the use of media and graphics. Other new features include reorganized drop-down menus, a streamlined tabbing structure, and prominent social media links. From clean typography to updated color schemes, the new site reflects high-level trends in Web design, moving beyond Web 2.0 and featuring a more simplistic design approach with fewer unnecessary design elements.
Modern Web design involves constant upgrades to stay relevant and the last major upgrades were made 10 years ago. There were things that we are doing today with the new site that would have been cost-prohibitive or impossible 10 years ago, so the team working on the new site was really excited to delve into the nuts and bolts of the redevelopment project.
After several months of work with design research, industry feedback, evaluation of website statistics and more, the redesigned sites were launched March 18, National Biodiesel Day. Our websites are a truly important part of what we do at NBB. We are about the biodiesel industry and our members, and most importantly for the website, about the people who use it.
For more information, check out www.biodiesel.org and www.nbb.org of course!
Doug Whitehead, Director of Operations, National Biodiesel Board