How time flies! After three years of building an evidence-base for youth policy have gone by, with several extensions of our website to accommodate libraries, fact sheets, databases and mappings, it was time for us to rethink how we present the huge amount of data we have collected, developed and created over time. Welcome to our new home! Come on through for an introduction to our new features and for an outlook on what’s coming next.
The rationale behind our redesign
In 2012, we set out to build a global evidence-base for youth policy here at youthpolicy.org. As we went along, we extended the site as needed: we built an online library, produced extensive youth sector mappings, created a youth policy database and developed fact sheets for every country from scratch – among many other things. Over time, the wealth of data outgrew our site structure, and it became more difficult for both occasional and seasoned visitors and users of youthpolicy.org to navigate through the ocean of information.
In 2014, we consequently began to plan for a redesign, wanting to make the variety of data more easily accessible and more easily presentable, while keeping the dual character of our site, marked by our combination of journalism and research. We are quite proud to take the wraps off this new version of youthpolicy.org today. Be kind and consider this our Version 1.0 of the new site: there are kinks left to be ironed out and some pixels remain to be pushed, but—as Matt Mullenweg from Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, on which we proudly run—said:
If you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.
Admittedly, we are more proud than embarrassed, so we have maybe waited a little too long, but if you find something that is not working, smile and let us know!
A new landing page
The top section of the front page now has three featured articles on top instead of two, then another set of four articles cutting across various aspects of youth policy, and underneath that, for the first time, we feature the resources of youthpolicy.org on the front page, with direct links to and short teasers for the library, the factsheets, our overview of academic journals, our mapping of youth participation arenas, our FAQ on youth policy, and more.
At the bottom of the page, you have quick links to all our online presences, can sign up for our newsletter and reach out to us directly.
This new combination and design, we hope, makes for a good mixture of presenting our journalistic pieces and our research findings at first sight.
A new online library
We have adjusted the design and the engineering of our online youth policy library.
Searching through the currently 1,130 entries is blistering fast, try it!
You can search by title, author, keyword, institution, region – in any combination.
If, for example, you are looking for documents on indicators that cover the entire globe, first type indicators into the keyword search box, and afterwards global in the geography search box – and voilà!
We have an impressive backlog of entries to add to the library—apologies to everyone who has been waiting for their entry to show up—and will get to that in the next couple of weeks.
A new fact sheet landing page
The new landing page for our youth policy fact sheets—we have one for every country!—is probably the element of the redesign process that has taken most resources, and we hope that it shows! You can now nagivate the fact sheets through a world map, and the options of engaging with the map are practically endless: you can look at regions and subregions, you can look at specific youth policy facts, you can look at various age limits (from voting age to minimum criminal age of responsibility), and you can do so in whichever combination tickles your fancy.
Voting age in Africa? We got you covered. Youth policies in Latin America? The map can show you.
Our entire team has not only worked tirelessly on producing the facts and getting the technology right for this map, but also spent hours and hours in front of their screens just exploring the map ;)
Underneath this amazingly rich map, you’ll see an equally rich data table, which changes live according to the choices you make in the map’s navigation. If you zoom in on a specific region, for example, you will see that the table automatically adjusts to only show countries in that region. One of the many gems of that table is its print function, try it out! You can of course sort the entire table according to each column in ascending or descending order.
An outlook on what’s coming next
There is a lot more that’s new, both under the hood and in terms of design and presentation, but we want to leave some of that for discovery! Such as, if you allow us one final pointer, the splendid articles overview of everything we have ever written. Let us finish with a quick outlook on a few features we want to still add in the coming weeks and months.
First and foremost, we want to improve accessibility across the site. Most of the open-source-technology we work with is pretty decent at keeping with accessibility standards, but as we were experimenting with maps and tables, we need to fix a few glibs that we produced throughout our iteration process.
A second big change will be the addition of a community section to our site. We promised, in our commitments to the community at the end of last year, that we would
- open up youthpolicy.org to become a home for the wider youth policy community, inviting for guest contributions and opinions more frequently;
- Publish a call for regional youth policy correspondents to help us in continuing our reporting on youth sector developments competently and timely;
- Host an interactive, dynamic online community space for youth policy experts and practitioners to connect, discuss, share, learn and develop;
and we will be working on making that happen next.
But for now, enjoy the new site, and let us know if anything is broken or seems weird!
Andreas, Alex, Bowe, Cristina, Ellie, Ellen, Emilia, Jacob, John, Lisa, Paul.
The core team of Youth Policy Labs – the think-tank behind youthpolicy.org.