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Discussion: New blog about designing websites for O' and more

in: Orienteering; General

Oct 10, 2016 12:02 AM # 
I'll quote my first post:

"Hi, I’m Rebecca Jensen (or ‘RJ’), and I’m active member of the Cascade Orienteering Club in Seattle, Washington.

Early in 2015, I began the process of designing a new website for the club. My first step was not to design what I thought the site should look like. Instead, it was to interview current and potential users of the current site, and identify their goals and frustrations. I would then design the site around their needs, instead of my presumptions.

Designing around user needs is a quick way to sum up the emerging field of User Experience (UX) Design, and at first, that’s what I wanted to write about here: how I used the principles of UX to design and build the new CascadeOC website.

But why stop there? There are so many things, and so many people, behind running and promoting a club. So I might also invite other Cascaders to write about their areas of expertise, such as mapping sprint venues, jersey design, live results, our volunteer point system, running our huge School League, and all the things that make Cascade… Cascade.

So that’s what this blog is for: to share some of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into Cascade Orienteering Club. This is Running Cascade."


I've just posted an article, called 'Start by Asking Questions'. Check it out.
Oct 10, 2016 5:37 PM # 
This is great!

I think it would be neat if not every club needed to find an excellent website designer, but rather clubs could use design from other clubs... Economy of scale... Maybe OUSA could host club websites (if desired), like I think they do at the Swedish federation. So each club doesn't even have to deal with website maintenance and whatnot.
Oct 10, 2016 6:25 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Centralized development sounds great to me. I like hanging flags up, less so finding developers, setting up membership and payment systems, volunteer point tracking, etc. that would all be redundant to most of the other clubs.
Oct 10, 2016 9:35 PM # 
This is one of the goals for the 50th Anniversary Fund money, to help clubs design websites that work for them. The "economy of scale" will help move this forward. Of course, it may take time to adapt the design to a new club as well as train the club members to use it efficiently. The person (or persons) doing this can be compensated for their time using the Fund money. Given that everyone's time is limited, expanding the use of the "standard" design to many clubs probably would become an onerous task, especially if the idea takes off with the smaller clubs but if there is compensation for their time, much more will get done.
Oct 10, 2016 10:13 PM # 
This comment is directed toward event websites---
Event websites are too intimidating for beginners and recreational orienteers. Instead there needs to be a big button that says "click here for beginner and recreational information". That click should take them to a page that provides the information that they as beginners and/or recreational orienteers need. For example, no pre-registration required, just show up between XX:00 and YY:00, instruction will be provided. Bring a compass if you have one but if not, loaners are available, etc. etc.

As it is now, event websites tend to highlight registration cut-off dates, course info, classes, etc. All very useful for those of us that know but too confusing and intimidating for those visiting the site for the first time and pushing the critical info that they need down quite deep.

Think about event promotion---usually that is in the form of posting in various calendars, club event schedules, etc. and usually only the very basic info is provided along with ---the event website. So, when some local person that is interested in attending and goes to the website, there needs to be an obvious link to the information that they need. If you make a new comer work for that info, they will close out and that will be another missed opportunity.

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