EVERETT ROWING ASSOCIATION
website experience overhaul
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In spring of 2018, I pursued the opportunity to update the outdated website of the rowing club with which I compete and coach part-time. Alongside the Program Director and a Board Member took on the long overdue project. The nine month project was completed in early January 2019 and the website went live on January 13, 2019. 
We spoke with current youth and adult athletes, parents, potential newcomers, coaches and administration as to what they would and would not like to see in the new site, as well as any glaring issues they experienced with the existing site. Outsiders attested to an outdated site that was filled with redundant and dated information, leading them to pursue other "more modern" clubs in the area. From an insiders point of view the site had too much information and the page trees were overly cluttered with pages of nothing. It also took too long for returning athletes/parents to find the registration/payment page. 
The feedback led us to one major goal: updating and streamlining the registration process
It also led us to multiple minor goals: more accurately representing the club, creating clearer information hierarchy, and simplifying the overall website experience. 
Initial meetings discussed why the overhaul was needed and what was to be expected. The project was approached in phases. We and other stakeholders determined which parts of the website needed to be prioritized before others. Alongside the continuing work through each phases we discussed best practices for the integration and necessity of third-party registration systems as well their alternatives. 
The newly designed website successfully and intuitively reduces the amount clicks/taps needed to get to the registration/payment page. It also, decidedly represents the professional coaching staff and well-kept facilities and young fleet of racing shells and other equipment. The new site removes redundant and obsolete pages of the previous site that are now hosted through social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr.
The new site, when it first debuted, received positive feedback, but was met with a new learning curve to approaching the registration process. The challenge was met whole-heartedly by athletes and parents and was well adapted to within the month. Since then it has contributed to an increase in site traffic and user retention. At the adult level, athlete registration has gone up. The verdict is still out as to how it has affected youth registration. 
The site continues to be updated and adjusted by administration as issues arise and time passes.