We re-launched the Diabetes UK website on 4 September last year, which makes today its first birthday!
To mark this special occasion we thought we would look back over the year and share with you, our users, what great progresswww.diabetes.org.ukhas made and all the ways it has improved.
Our online shop was launched last month in response to demand from users. Now all our publications and branded goods can be ordered online with ease, many of them free of charge - you only pay the postage and packing. August also saw the launch of the Sex and diabetes section, created to help people with diabetes who face erectile dysfunction (ED) or female sexual dysfunction (FSD).
In June the Your stories section was introduced, which enables people living with diabetes to share their stories. This section has become very popular with our users - thanks to all of you who have taken the time to submit pieces and to comment on other people’s stories.
In January the online donations facility was introduced, making it easier for you to support our work. Your donations help to fund vital research into finding a potential cure for the condition and will allow us to continue to provide crucial information and support for people with diabetes.
The start of 2007 was also when we launched online conference booking for our Annual Professional Conference 2007 and healthcare professionals can now book online for 2008. At APC 2007 we established an internet cafe at which allowed speakers to upload their presentations for all delegates to see - expect the same at APC 2008!
Shortly after the website was re-launched we introduced our monthly e-newsletter. It highlights the latest news about diabetes and Diabetes UK, along with a special focus each month - past themes have included summertime, volunteering, Diabetes Week, Christmas tips, and our Measure Up awareness campaign.
The Measure Up section with its online test was launched in September 2006 to raise awareness of undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes. To date, over 70,000 people have taken the test and Measure Up is back for 2007 with Roadshows already underway.
The phenomenal work that has gone into improving the website was noted by Chartered Institute for Professional Relations (CIPR) when they presented Diabetes UK with the award for best website, beating five other organisations from the commercial and charity sectors.
Awards aside, our greatest achievement since the re-launch is the positive feedback that we have received from so many of you and the fact thatwww.diabetes.org.ukattracts around 150,000 unique visitors every month.
What you think of the website
"I visited your site today having been diagnosed as a diabetic for some two years now, and being in extreme 'in denial' frame of mind about the whole condition. Your site is the first to explain just what is happening to me, and to allow me to understand more about diabetes than I ever thought I would need to learn.
"Thank you for the wake-up call, thank you for the advice, thank you for being honest without patronising. You have changed my whole attitude about the way I will manage this illness from now on. I hope to approach it in a more mature and objective manner from this day on. Once again - thank you."
"This is a fantastic wealth of information, it has increased my understanding of pretty much all areas of [diabetes] - it is almost as if this is intended for newcomers to diabetes and encourages them to keep upbeat whilst explaining everything they can still eat and do. I take my hat off to everyone who has worked within your organisation and on this site.
"A huge fantastic wave of applause - a truly fantastic site and job you are providing - well done!"
"I think the website is brilliant and direct many patients for information."
"Your whole site is very informative, and reassuring. I am a worrier but your site has helped reasure me."
"I have just been diagnosed with diabetes and your website has been brillant - as I can't see my diabetic nurse at my local surgery for a month your site has waylaid a lot of my intial fears, thank you."
"Great improvement. So much more information and so clearly set out. Many congratulations to you all. A great achievement."
So what’s next for our award-winning website? We are currently working on some new sections that will be launched on the website in the coming months. These include, with lots of new information, news and pictures and interactive features such as a game for children and a dedicated forum for young adults.
And, following huge demand from users for a web-based way to discuss issues around diabetes, we will also be launching anlater this year.
Watch this space!