User Experience Manifesto

Our Commitment: RunSignUp will not only have the most feature rich race management platform, we will also have the leading user experience for participants, race directors, race management companies and timers by the end of 2017, and will continually improve the user experience into the future. Our goal is to create easy to use technology that makes a difference to our customer’s business and participant experiences, and make that pleasurable.

It has been over 3 years since we refreshed our Race Director Dashboard and 2 years since we refreshed our free Race Website user interface. During that time, we have been focused on building out the complete Race Management Platform from a functional perspective from Promotion (free tightly integrated email marketing, Referral Rewards, Social Sharing, etc.), to Registration innovations (1-Click Registration, Participant Management, Reporting, Daily Payment, PCI Compliance, free Sponsor Platform, free Volunteer Platform, etc.), to Fundraising (with fully integrated fundraising, multiple charity management and payment, outside fundraiser integration, etc.) to Race Day (acquisitions and integration of The Race Director and RaceJoy, Kiosk apps from SignUp and CheckIn and Results, a free Photo Platform and more).  And of course our normal 2,000 “little” changes each year.

This was a strategic decision where we saw so many opportunities to improve the status quo and have an impact we needed to put our resources there. With the recent hiring of Jeff Kiesel, our UI Lead, and additional developers joining us next month we are expanding our resources and our focus and expertise to improve the User Experience.

We are now turning our attention to a major push over the next 6-12 months to do major updates to the User Experience. With all of the functionality we have released, we now want to put that in context to make it simpler for races to absorb and give participants a better race experience.

We will be pursing improvements across our platform that will roll out incrementally.  In the beginning they will be smaller improvements, such as our planned roll out for a new Results table. Here is a wireframe of the first version of it:

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This first version cleans up the interface, and improves usability. The second release we have planned incorporates fun elements like photos and profile pictures while also providing further clean-up like minimizing the race website menu, repositioning sponsor logos and other elements:

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We will be rolling out the following major improvements over the course of this year:

Promotion Dashboard and Analytics. New graphics to show you not only how your race is doing in terms of registrations, but also where those registrations are coming from so you can focus your promotional efforts and know what is paying off and what is not.

New Race Website Template. We will be giving you a second choice to the existing race website template. While the current version has served well and has demonstrated great conversions and broad appeal because of the Facebook-like style, the new template will introduce a number of modern elements to keep your race on the cutting edge.

Results Table, Individual Results Page and Profile Page. In addition to the new overall results look and feel, we will also be providing a new look when a runner drills down on their own performance. The design will be like a custom website for the runner at that race, with fully integrated chip and GPS results, photos, videos, and historical performance. Returning participants will not only be able to see past year performances, you will be able to reward them with badges for multi-year participation. And of course perfect for sharing on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. This concept will also be migrated over into the Profile page, where it will be a much richer experience for runners, with simpler access to participant management features.

Participant Relationship Management (PRM). With the improvement in Profile information to the participant, we will also be upgrading our great Participant Management features to a fuller Participant Relationship Management (PRM) approach. CRM systems like Salesforce do not meet the needs of races and participants – PRM provides not only repeat participation types of reports but also integrates tightly with our new Analytics engine, Email Marketing Engine and leverages assets like result data and race photos. This will allow races to use PRM to market their unique Experiences.

Race Director Dashboard Phase 1. We will be enhancing the existing dashboard incrementally by redesigning the header to provide more value and “at a glance” information. We will also be improving the functionality and visibility of My Race List, in addition to the new Promotional Dashboard being elevated to the new race dashboard “homepage”.

Race Director Dashboard Phase 2. A complete redesign and rationalization of the race dashboard. It will center around two elements.  First, that we are a platform with solutions in Promotion, Registration, Fundraising and Race Day.  Second, we will be centering more around common task areas – for example PRM or Reporting or Financial or Promotional. We will also be creating a Simple version, where the basics are shown. Race Directors will be able to discover more, and we will detect which features have been added so those show up on the Simple version incrementally.

Partner Dashboard. This will receive many of the improvements mentioned in the Race Director Dashboard Phase 1 as well as the Promotion Dashboard. This will provide race management companies with the tools and visibility they need to maximize their businesses.

Timer Dashboard. We will be introducing a new Timer Dashboard that will be working with the Race Day Scoring and The Race Director offerings. In addition, it will give the timer calendar management tools similar to what we offer with Sponsors – enabling them to keep track of customers, do automated renewals, mark commitment level, mark paid, send and collect invoices, etc.

In summary, we are shifting more of our resources to giving users of all kinds an experience that can make a difference.

Jeff Kiesel to lead User Interface and User Experience Refresh

jkJeff Kiesel started a couple of weeks ago to lead efforts improving the User Interface and User Experience for both participants and race directors. Jeff worked with us part time a few years ago, and we are lucky he responded to our call for a new UI/UX Developer. Bob has worked with Jeff at two other companies in the past, and can attest to Jeff’s design and technical talent and his caring for the user experience.

We are going to flip back and forth between the UI participants see and the UI that Race Directors and Timers see. The improvements will be incremental in nature, the the goal of reducing clutter and making user’s lives simpler. We will be making small improvements and releasing them quickly so we can get feedback on our directions.

Race Website Improvements

Our first set of improvements that you will see are for Race Websites. In fact, we released the start of one set of design changes with the font on the Menu Bar. We are moving away from the Sanchez font towards sans-serif fonts to clean up the UI and make it simpler to look at. The old is on the right and the new is on the left.

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We also plan on deemphasizing the RunSignUp brand seen in race websites, and the gain some real estate to emphasize the race. We are going to offer a couple of options soon for the header. The default will place the top menu choices for Profile, My Races, Help and LogOut in the upper right corner something like this:

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We will also offer an option to keep it at the top, but greatly reduce the size:

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We will also be coming out with a second template option that will have a full-width image rather than the Facebook-like 1200 pixel width image.

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That will also have a new mobile look with the image overing the whole page on initial load:

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Lots more changes coming like improved table layouts, simplified long pages in the race director dashboard like Customer Questions or Add-Ons. As well as some surprises as we start to roll out the new RD Scoring and Promotion Dashboards.