Let me preface this by saying that I know very little about the IDSA and it's workings. So I am going to give you my perspective from a new person's view (mainly about the website).
Just looking at the website it doesn't seem all that professional. The sketch feel of the site is a huge turn off for this being a professional organization. I understand the relevance of the sketch to our profession, but it's a childish look for the "voice of the industrial design profession". Take a look at the website from the perspective of a potential client coming to find information about ID and to find a industrial design firm. The information is just not that accessible when you first view the site.
The user interface just seems so lacking. There is no "find an ID firm" button on the front page or even as a footer. I have to click through multiple links to find a list of ID firms. That just seems like bad organization. I figure since this is supposed to be the hub for industrial design that the IDSA website would have one of the hottest and most easily navigated websites around.
The home page of the site should be the place to where I can find almost anything I need. However it's not that way. When looking at the site my eye is instantly drawn to this...
It just screams out that this is the most important thing for me to do.
There is just a lot lacking on the website to actually be of any use.
I think you should check out the American Institute of Architects' website. Just look at how it's laid out and how easily it is to find anything you could need. The is a great resource for architects and potential clients to find out more about the profession.
While I have a lot of issues with the AIA in general. I feel that they do a good job at helping to represent architecture and help to better the profession in general.
Some of the positives of the AIA:
- Provide guidance for students, emerging professionals and professionals.
- They put out one of the highest quality and most relevant magazines that relate to architecture.
- They provide vital resources for professionals and firms of all sizes.
- They help to educate clients looking for an architect.
- They provide resources to find jobs at the national and state levels. They have a jobs link on every page you visit on their site.
- They put on relevant conferences at the national, regional and local levels.
- They require continued training and education even after graduation in order to maintain highly trained professionals.
- They give recent graduates a free year of membership and then gradually raise the rates as your career develops.
Some of the negatives of the AIA:
- They are a bloated organization in general.
- They have a strong hold over the profession. They require you to be a member in order to be licensed as an architect. If you are not a member then your firm gets fined.
- They single handedly gave up a lot of the rights of architects to contractors.
While there is more stuff that is wrong with the AIA I will stop there and try to just focus on the positives.
I think the AIA is a good design based organization to try and model the IDSA after. They provide essential information, resources, guidance and training for the entire profession of architecture.