Thanks for getting together to discuss how the Job Bank process can be improved. We had a lot of good ideas, and it was good to hear everyone’s visions of what the Job Bank can be in the future.
The number-one goal at hand, as stated by Steve, is to reduce the amount of manual labor involved in the weekly production of the Job Bank email. It would be best if much of the process can be automated with tools.
If we can reach consensus on this, it will be much easier to move forward.
Assuming we all agree, then it stands to reason that reproducing the weekly email, in its current format, would be acceptable. (The fewer changes, the less upheaval.)
(I think members are by and large satisfied that there actually is a newsletter. Suggestions for improving the format should be secondary.)
With this in mind, I propose this as the first phase of the project:
Consider reformatting the email with HTML. Even though the branding benefits for a redesign may be limited, as Steve explained, the readability can be improved by following some design principles.
Not readability, surely. The best readability is always achieved by letting each reader choose the font and size of text. HTML can only interfere with the reader’s preference.
Rather, HTML might allow a more usable overall layout. Within that layout, readability almost certainly will be reduced, but that’s fine: Our goal is no longer to email full job postings that must be read. Rather, we want to send brief summaries and pointers to the full job postings on the web.
As long as the email is skimmable, searchable, absorbable, it need not be readable.
HTML email will enable the jobs listed at the top to be hyperlinked to the job description somewhere lower in the email, which can get very long. (If we do this, there should be a “back to top” link beneath each job description.)
No, we specifically do NOT want to include the job descriptions in the email. As of Phase 3, the email carries only metadata. Each job summary in the email links to the job posting on the web.
Even if we go to HTML, it’s important to keep the Job Bank email as few bytes as possible.
I propose we just do phase 1 for now, keeping in mind the primary goal of reducing volunteer hours. I propose we do not try to bite off phase 2 and beyond right away, or wait till we come up with the perfect plan, because that will delay phase 1. We should keep the scope small for now.
What does everyone think?