Based on what our analytics tools tell us, many of you go straight to what we call our "event details" pages on active.com. These pages are designed to showcase information about, say, a 10k, to help you decide if you want to register or not (check out the event details page for the Niantic Bay 10K, for example).
We think there's a lot that can be improved about this page. Namely A) it's design, B) the speed at which it loads, and C) its lack of focus on, well, you. So we're starting into a sequence of updates that will spice things up bit. Here's a preview of what's coming in the first update.
It's got a completely re-vamped look and feel. We've also modified the reviews system, making it so people who review an event also rate it on a scale of 1 - 5 (using our fancy stars).
Future releases will include Youtube and Flickr integration as well as a host of other goodies. But look for this update in the next month or so!
We now have over 100 users in our Search Beta, and the feedback we've received so far has been positive. One user has asked:
"I would love to see something interactive where I could quickly access different multimedia from past events. It wouldn't necessarily be official race photos (I'd actually prefer that they weren't) but even links to a search results page for the event's name in Flickr or YouTube would be great. Even a search OUTSIDE the active network, bringing me to different bloggers who have posted about the events or written race reports from past events would be great to see."
I couldn't agree more. There's a ton of interesting, relevant content out there in the cloud that would add value to search. We're working now to implement this feature, pulling in photos from flickr, videos from youtube, tweets from twitter and blog posts from technorati (a blog search engine).
The lesson, as always, is don't brag that you can do the same number of sit-ups that you could do when you were 12 unless you can do the same number of sit-ups that you could do when you were 12!
This is all the result of a "warped" corporate culture here at Active where we are encourage to... well, BE active. A great example of this is the Active X program that our Art Director, Arch Fuston has put together. There's a full and a lite version for those of different fitness levels. It's great fun and a killer workout, as I'm sure Damon will attest.
As you may have seen on the way here, we've redesigned... "refreshed" in the parlance... our home page. If not, do check it out. We'll wait.
So? What do you think? For us it is hopefully a big improvement in that it will get you the user to where you want to be on Active.com quicker. Now there's a lot to that statement, so let's unpack it a little.
As for the layout of the page - we've replaced the duplicate left navigation menu with an expanded global navigation across the top of the page. We also removed the tabbed content from the page because it hid more than it helped to display.
The page now has a nice focus on what our tag line says - and please forgive me if this crosses (or has crossed) the line into cliche - "your guide to an active planet". We've got lots of content, clearly displayed, to help you become a better, stronger, healthier runner, softball player, yogi, whatever. We've got videos, message boards, and blogs where you can share stories or ask and answer questions. And we're giving the core of our site (It's all about the Core) - our directory of events, races, classes, campgrounds, tournaments, etc - the prominence it deserves.
Again, all this should help you find what you want on Active.com quicker and easier. The organization of the page, the colors, the speed in which the page gets to you... it's all done for this same reason.
Of course, we could always use your help to make it better. We can look at all the stats, and we all have our own opinions too. But how are you finding the site?