CASE STUDY

Wirtschaftsweiber – A German association of Lesbian Business Women

Summary
“Wirtschaftsweiber” is the only professional networking organization for lesbians in Germany. Rebuilding the website represented the conclusion of a thorough realignment process. Heart of the website is the content members of several regional chapters publish. Therefore, one of the goals was to implement a CMS that is easy to work with, even for inexperienced users. WordPress just seemed to be the obvious choice.

Background information

Wirtschaftsweiber e.V. has been founded in 1998 as a professional networking organization for lesbians in Germany. After about 15 years and many political and societal changes, the association felt the need for an in-depth realignment process. Between 2013 and 2016 Wirtschaftsweiber worked hard on goals, strategies and, last but not least, the way they present themselves in the online as well as the offline world. One of the goals of the new concept is to gain new members and reach out to younger women.
A network can only be successful if it consists of many active members. Above all, one of the jobs of the new website is to encourage women to connect and take part in the various activities of the regional chapters.
WordPress and its build-in blogging functionality offers a perfect base for sharing content.

Wirtschaftsweiber e.V.

  • Relaunch
  • TYPO3 to WP
  • User Generated Content

wirtschaftsweiber.de

Process

First, we needed to develop a concept for the new website with all the goals in mind. We used personas to get a clear idea of the needs of the target audience. With the help of the personas we were able to implement a structure that now allows to really display the plentiful activities. At the same time, it needs to be easy to get all the important information about the chapters and the ways Wirtschaftsweiber is organized. Part of the process was also to declutter the website, that is get rid of content that at some time or other had felt relevant.

Once we had identified the structure we needed to develop a design concept for the website. Since Wirtschaftsweiber had also gotten a new logo and aquired a new, more lively color concept, we used these elements as base for the new design.
We developed a modular system of reusable panels to allow even inexperienced users to create new pages quickly. The panels can be arranged as needed.

In the end, we implemented the design in a custom WordPress theme.
The most important factor for us was to implement things in a way that makes it as easy as possible to create new content or edit the existing content. The editors are a very diverse group, with some women being familiar with WordPress and others who have never had any experience with publishing content online.
In order to enable networking directly on the website, we created a private section with profiles and information exclusively for members.
We also worked closely with several members to test the usability and the overall structure and appearance.

Conclusion

The website now appears up-to-date, both visually and technically. For both, visitors as well as editors, it has become a lot easier to use and we are happy to see a lot more activity today than with the former website.
Wirtschaftsweiber are now able to reach out to a broader public, gain new members and even create interest among younger lesbians.