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Introducing Sidebar Navigation in VAN

Justin Lewis

We’re constantly working to improve our products and make them easier for our customers to use. One thing we’ve continued to hear is that you want a better way to move around VAN. Everyone from volunteers to administrators want to complete their work faster and more easily.

There’s so much you can do in VAN - from cutting turf, to phone banking, to managing contacts - and our users asked for a streamlined way to complete tasks, one that doesn’t rely on main menu. So, we’ve designed something that allows you to do just that: Sidebar navigation in VAN. 


Saving Campaigns Time

This is possibly the biggest improvement to VAN navigation ever. With Sidebar, users have a simple way to access our most-used features from every single page without having to return to Main Menu. Sidebar can save everyone valuable time and our power users will love the search functionality.

sidebar_blog_image-new-02.pngSearch Pages with Sidebar 

Another thing our users wanted was the ability to search for pages that aren’t listed in the Sidebar Navigation. Sidebar surfaces shortcuts to the most-used pages in VAN by default. You can search for other pages by clicking into the “Search for a page” field. Additionally, we’ve included a nice keyboard shortcut for the search bar - if you type [Alt + S] you can automatically pull up the search bar and start typing 

Our Process

We surveyed hundreds of organizers, took a look at the analytics, and conducted an activity called a “card sort” with users that allowed them to group all their most important pages together. This helped us establish new page groupings, ones that make more sense to users. We then tested many different design iterations, continuously collecting feedback along the way. As we continue rolling out Sidebar Navigation, we’ll keep collecting your feedback. In fact, the new Sidebar includes an option to directly send your ideas to our team.  

Don't see the difference yet? We will continue rolling out Sidebar to all users in the coming days.

This year, we’re going to keep listening to our users and continue innovating - and we'll have even more exciting features and rollouts to share in the coming months. Share your ideas with us on Twitter at @NGPVAN, or using the form here.    

Topics: Organizing, Design