Bekah Jarnagin, Strategic Organizational Communication
Last semester, I had the pleasure and opportunity to volunteer with an organization called VOICE Volunteers. They focus on making a difference in the community mainly through education and conversation about relevant topics such as addiction and mental health. With my Strategic Organizational Communication emphasis and penchant for discussing mental health, this really excited me! With it being led by one of my favorite professors, Andra Smith Hansen, I wanted to be as involved as possible, so I asked about building a website as my senior project.
We initially wanted to make the website through WordPress, which is what I had been educated in the semester previously, but we quickly pivoted to building it in Canva so my professor could more easily make future edits to the site and to maximize cost effectiveness. However, I still felt I could make more of a difference at VOICE than just building a website, so I proposed the idea of a remote volunteer program.
In the end, my project consisted of three phases, the website build, the website style guide, and the Remote Volunteer Program proposal.
Phase One: VOICEVolunteers.org
After having a conversation with my professor and purchasing a website domain, I had a rough idea of where to start with the website. The only downside of building a website in Canva is that users are limited to one page, so rather than having multiple pages that take users to different screens and correspond to one menu, I could only make a single long page. However, with the information I was given, I think Canva’s functionalities yielded an appropriate result for where VOICE as an organization is at right now. Site users mainly need to understand who VOICE is, what they do, and how to get involved.
Again, since the website was built in Canva, capabilities were more limited than a WordPress site, so I needed to figure out a way to make the site contain an effective way for volunteers to sign up. I created two Google Forms to fulfill this purpose: one for volunteers local to Rexburg, ID and one for remote volunteers that users can access through the site.
Because of scheduling conflicts with my mentor, the site has not yet published, though it is in the publishing pipeline. There were unprecedented problems on Canva’s end, which I am still working through. You can view a preview of what the site will look like when the publishing is complete here or watch the video below.
I plan to continue to work on the website according to VOICE’s needs and am excited to still have involvement with this project even though I will be graduating. I also wanted to make it easier for another party to edit VOICEVolunteers.org in the future, so I created a website style guide.
Phase Two: Website Style Guide
Though it is likely that multiple people will be editing the website, I want to ensure that the look of the site is uniform so as to exude professionalism and cohesiveness. I thought a style guide may also be useful to future social media posts and event flyers.
I mainly focused on capturing the correct color scheme, font families, and digital templates. The style guide is most useful digitally and in an editable form because users can simply copy and paste the templates into whatever they need them for.
Phase Three: Remote Volunteer Program Proposal
In my initial meeting with my professor, we agreed I would formalize the idea of a Remote Volunteer Program through VOICE. Having been a remote student in the past and VOICE working so closely with many BYU–Idaho students, I thought targeting the remote population of the school would give remote students a flexible volunteering opportunity and would give VOICE more resources to draw from. As a Strategic Organizational Communications major, I was very excited to build this proposal because I’m interested in helping organizations run better internally.
The following is a verbal presentation of my senior project.