Here's a basic draft of the Homepage we discussed (click on it to see full screen). Albert has offered to join our team and help build it, hopefully he'll be along soon, and @Julita has offered to create a welcoming, energetic, fun and exciting collage from our photos in Google Drive
important points from the meeting:
1) the main menu needs to remain the same (the Mega Menu), or have slight changes that can be copied to the other areas of the website.
the menu on the home page and map is identical across the whole website. We use Discourse, Wordpress, Meteor, plain html, and Shopify, and the menu is used to make the user feel that they are on the same website all the time
2) the website is a very ambitious community hub, and the biggest challenge is fluidly guiding new users through the many areas they can participate in. the homepage needs to begin that path, so we identified the two main paths we want users to take, and want to feature them prominently, then have the secondary paths lower down the page
the basic design we have so far isn't fully developed and is open to improvement
We were able to revert to two main paths on the home page by setting a pop up on the map with the three options available to users. The Megamenu is currently being improved slightly soon