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Discussion: CascadeOC's new website is LIVE!

in: Orienteering; General

May 6, 2016 9:09 PM # 
You can find it here:
May 7, 2016 3:47 AM # 
Is this like a course design critique?

Here are my first impressions
* very clean and lovely - enticing
* I personally am off-put by the "Welcome to Orienteering" text on the first page. If I'm a newcomer, then the "Newcomer" page is very easy to find. If I'm experienced, then it becomes distracting how you define orienteering - which might not agree with my feelings about it.
* In the connect with us section my first impression is how clean and easy it is. But then the second thing I see is "ListServ" and despite being very involved with computers and orienteering I don't know what that is. Perhaps it is something new - but I suspect it is just lingo that people won't understand. Perhaps a different name might help? Also I feel the logos are slightly out of proportion with the rest of the page - a little too large maybe.
* the "Basic Skills" section is great with the photos and the happy/sad faces! This could be super cool to expand.

I think its great - super easy to navigate and find what I'd go there for.
May 7, 2016 10:01 AM # 
Pink Socks:
I personally am off-put by the "Welcome to Orienteering" text on the first page.

The beauty of having a UX designer make our page is that she conducted dozens of user stories from all ranges of people who use the website: board members and content creators, experienced orienteers who don't organize anything, occasional orienteers, intermediate orienteers looking to get better, juniors, and brand new customers.

AZ, frankly speaking, you and I aren't the intended audience for the front page. When Rebecca interviewed me for the new website last August, I was asked how often I read the previous front landing page, and my response was something like, "I read that back in 2009, and I haven't since." Which is totally right. I care more about event info, calendars, results, maps, and creating content.

Therefore, I'd rather have the focus of the front page be for new customers, not regular customers, and since Rebecca has been working on this volunteer project since last summer, and has interviewed numerous beginners, I trust what they say more than grouchy old men like us. ;-)
May 7, 2016 1:04 PM # 
It's awesome that she interviewed so many people for user stories. It'll be fascinating if newcomers are interviewed or focus grouped to hear their experience.

I too found the site to be beautiful and an easy read, easy on the eye. I enjoyed browsing through it.

As a few small comments, I would have found it more natural that the Permanent Course Available link took me to the permanent course (just below) rather than to the page describing what a permanent course is (there's a link for that on the third step of the how-to in the red shaded section with the permanent course), and I'd name that latter link the Permanent Courses page rather than Permanent Course page, but I'm a very grumpy old coffee for 45 hours ;-). Kudos for an outstanding club web site.

(listserv is an old school mailing list server...personally I don't run across the term much, but I'm not much into the original text based internet stuff like Internet Relay Chat or listserv, nearly always using the web and mobile app stuff nowadays, even my email and text messages are the latter.)
May 7, 2016 2:15 PM # 
Great website Run_Bosco!

I particularly like the Newcomers page - especially in light of the recent conversation (that I started) about 'making life easier for newcomers'. That page does a great job of giving newbies all the info they could want to know before coming to an event. The line "...and the other columns have strange hieroglyphics that aren’t important to understand quite yet." made me laugh :)

If I had to make one comment it would be to include a direct link button right at the bottom of your welcome to orienteering text which would point to the page you want newcomers to visit next. Anyway, I know how frustrating it is to feel like you have to design by committee comments so please ignore if this doesn't fit into your own vision. Again, great work!
May 7, 2016 11:35 PM # 
This is a great interactive site with lots of great information. One thing you might add is a link to the OUSA Website, in particular, the "learning page". There are quite a few good learning videos on that site, some originating from COC members. is the link.
I love the fact that people are working on making our sport more open to newcomers.
May 7, 2016 11:43 PM # 
The OUSA links should probably go to not
May 8, 2016 10:56 AM # 
Nick Harris:
Easily the best O club website I've seen. Well done.
May 8, 2016 3:23 PM # 
Sweet. The second sentence in the "Welcome", referring to compasses, seems unnecessary.
May 9, 2016 5:02 AM # 
I still feel something is a bit off with the Welcome text. I think perhaps it is that the text is an example of "description" rather than "selling". I'm not sure the text will engage newcomers and get them to spend more time exploring the site (I could be wrong - this needs an experiment ;-) and I know it is really hard to write two sentences to sell orienteering - so maybe replacing it with more pictures is an idea of how to 'sell' the activity more rather than the text?
May 9, 2016 12:15 PM # 
More pictures would lead to confusion for a front page, and the current pic works well. I think the first and third sentences sell. But whaddoiknow
May 9, 2016 2:28 PM # 
Is this like a course design critique?

I didn't actually ask for feedback, I just shared the page. However, since everyone is giving feedback, I thought I'd give feedback on your feedback.

1. Good feedback is when you speak for yourself. If you are a veteran saying that newcomer content doesn't appeal to you: I don't care. You are not that audience.

I would be concerned if newcomer content made it harder to get to the things that you really do want, such as events, results, and registration. However, I know all those things are an easy click away from the home page, so that's not the case.

2. Good feedback is when you speak for yourself. The best feedback on this thread is about how the Permanent Course section is a bit confusing to the very same person who is giving the feedback. I agree; it's a work in progress. Those red links were previously unlinked, but it was confusing to people who thought red = link. Now I think I will experiment with making it unlinked and black.

All that said, I am exhausted from working on this project, and I don't want to receive feedback over an internet forum. I will seek feedback from local users when I am ready.

And, as-is, in my humble opinion, our new site is pretty damn great.
May 9, 2016 4:00 PM # 
Yes, it is pretty damn great. Thanks for showing such a great example of what can be done.

As an aside, Salmon La Sac looks like a very interesting area (based on the map on the web site). My experience with the Cle Elum and Roslyn area had been Cle Elum Ridge, Ros*Elum Ridge, and a few other maps in that area...quite different terrain just a short distance away. The terrain at the north edge is marked out of that private, or environmentally sensitive?
May 9, 2016 7:02 PM # 
Nice job on the website! It looks great.

As an aside to the aside above: SLS is a great area. The best o'ing in WA state in my opinion. The area to the north is Wilderness which does not allow orienteering or mountain biking.
May 9, 2016 7:02 PM # 
Pink Socks:
The area north of the map is a designated wilderness area, so we can never have a permitted event there. Technically, I think we can have training up there, but only limited to 12 people.
May 9, 2016 8:36 PM # 
It's such nice terrain that it sounds worth mapping a bit even for training. The Washington State orienteering that I never knew!
May 10, 2016 6:07 PM # 
Pink Socks:
I just looked at the map posted on the CascadeOC page... the map actually extends further to the north than shown; it's cropped out of the beginner course shown. The out-of-bounds area makes a 90 degree turn to the north for a section before turning back east.

It's my favorite venue in Washington to design courses (it's a little too steep for my running preferences... I like Fishtrap Lake better for that). That said, it's a difficult place to design courses, because it's logistically awkward. It's steep, there's an out-of-bounds area (private cabins) plus a bridge crossing between the two distinct areas. We can only stage out of the giant parking lot on the south border, which means a long shuttle/trek to the best stuff.

Not to mention that it's our most challenging venue (by far), so we have a very high DNF ratio here. In fact, SLS was the reason why we decided to include navigational and physical ratings for all of our maps on our club's website. SLS tops out both: 10/10 for navigation and 10/10 for physical.

I'm looking forward to designing courses here again on June 12th!
May 10, 2016 6:28 PM # 
Looks fabulous Rebecca! Love the whole thing icons and all!

Listserv is a term and there is an explanation underneath - people unfamiliar will become familiar within minutes. My first introduction to the term was at Queen's because all students were signed up for the university listserv and every university I have attended since is the same in that regard so that target audience will know.

Very beautiful and easy to navigate - I plain like it!
May 10, 2016 7:26 PM # 
Norwegians, Finns and Swiss seem to get lots of practice with highly physical difficult navigation from what I've seen, so I suspect that it's good practice.
May 10, 2016 11:19 PM # 
@Run_Bosco - fair enough. Seems I've violated the number one rule of giving feedback - don't give feedback unless people ask for it. Sorry to have offended ;-)

(this is why I never give critiques of courses in AP unless they're in a Course Planning non-Contest. So I should have known better)

This discussion thread is closed.