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IEEE Photonics Society Website, Designed by HDG, Named Best Association Website by Web Marketing Association

photonics website multi screens
photonics website multi screens
photonics website multi screens

Each year the Web Marketing Association (WMA) names a Best Association website as part of an annual WebAward competition. Since 1997, the WebAwards has been recognized as the premier industry-based website award program in the world. This year, the IEEE Photonics Society’s new website, designed by the Howard Design Group (HDG), was named the 2023 “Best Association Website” winner by the WMA.

Within the WebAwards there are 97 industry categories, and the IEEE Photonics Society was considered for Best Association Website. Each site goes head-to-head with other sites in their categories and the highest score is selected by three or more expert judges. The judges are informed of the mission statement and prospective audience for the site. Judges are not told who submitted the entry or which category it is entered into. 

Our Society website was selected by judges who reviewed seven criteria, i.e., Design, Ease of Use, Copywriting, Interactivity, Use of Technology, Innovation and Content. 

The Web Marketing Association, and its judges, are made up of internet marketing, online advertising, PR, and top web site design professionals who share an interest in improving the quality of online advertising, internet marketing, and website promotion. 

“We are extremely pleased with the result of the new website development. It brings a much more flexible, robust, and easy-to-navigate communication platform to better serve the photonics community and our members,” shared René Essiambre, IEEE Photonics Society President.

The new IEEE Photonics Society website was launched on 1 March 2023. The site was designed to deliver better cross-functional content strategies in parallel with new interactive website elements. Its improved design composition and purposeful digital approaches have enhanced the Society’s brand competitiveness and product awareness, especially for our conferences and publications, in the broad photonics and optoelectronics community. 

The new website optimizes inbound SEO tactics that have improved organic traffic from keyword and web search engines. Its added capabilities, mega menu, and interactive modules further showcase the Society’s products and resources making it easier for members to navigate strategic areas of interest and allows for increased volunteer engagement, particularly for those accessing the site on mobile devices. 

Key staff members and volunteer leaders performed comprehensive website mapping audits, and in-depth collaborations were made between IEEE Brand Experience/UX Accessibility Teams and the vendor, HDG, to stay compliant with the IEEE Brand Identity & Digital Guidelines. HDG is a creative agency and marketing firm that specializes in advertising, branding, print & web design, communications & strategy.

“The IEEE Photonics Society team enjoyed the collaborative experience with Howard Design Group, an award-winning creative agency, located in Princeton, NJ,” states Kerrianne Sullivan, IEEE Photonics Society Digital Community and Presence Manager. “With their attention to detail and focus on our needs and goals, we were able to completely transform our website and mobile experience for our global community.” 

The new website, formally, changed to a new domain name and URL,, which reinforces its connection with the IEEE Brand and matches our social media presence that the Society’s strong following has become familiar with.

There are new features, such as: Mega Navigation Menu, Community Calendar, Career Center, Newsroom, Announcement Sections, Social Media Integration, Analytical Tools, Calls-to-Action Opportunities, Chapter & Research Center Maps, Volunteer Intake Forms, Publication Spotlights, Most Popular Article feeds, etc.

The shift of technology platforms (from Joomla to WordPress) was a significant undertaking but has become instrumental for the Society to manage and curate ever-evolving content moving forward. The website went from 184 sitemap pages to approximately 100 pages. This condensed format allows target audiences to navigate through the site with greater ease and effectiveness. It has undoubtedly enhanced user experiences. The Society looks forward to what the new website is also set to bring, for example, an Industry Engagement section and Media Center soon.  

For questions about the new website and WebAward, contact Kerrianne Sullivan, IEEE Photonics Society Digital Community and Presence Manager, at