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Web Survey results

posted by Sam Harrison on 2013-05-23

I want to say a big thank you to everyone that completed the web survey that I sent around a few weeks ago. We got over 40 responses, many more than we were hoping for! We learnt a lot from the answers and they will really help this website progress. The following bullet points summarise the responses to the survey, with the question subject in bold, the responses in normal text and thoughts and practicalities from me in italics.
  • Frequency of visits: Most people visit the website between a few times a week to a few times a month. Worryingly, two people didn't know it existed (worrying for them, as there is a link to it on every email we send and a good deal of our Facebook posts!). This is what I was hoping for, and I'm confident by making the site more interactive we will encourage more visits (see below). The number of visits to the site has stayed pretty stationary through the transition from the old site, peaking in September/October time each year. We roughly average 1000 visits per month.
  • Reasons for visits: The overwhelming majority of people use it primarily for the calendar. This is followed by looking at photos and reading news articles and trip reports. Because of this, a re-design of the home page will include a calendar and more extensive list of upcoming events.
  • The forum: As expected, most people don't use the forum. The reasons for this were quite mixed - most people said they weren't interested in forums, with a good number checking the "Not enough people" and "Can ask questions on Facebook" options. The next version of the website will most likely be without a forum, and instead will encourage interaction via trip pages, which will hopefully be more successful. Whether these will be integrated with Facebook events is still to be decided.
  • Trip pages: The majority of people would welcome an interative trip page, where people could submit trip reports and photos. This was split equally between people happy to create an account, those who would want a "Log in with Facebook etc" option, and those who wouldn't want to create any account. I'm encouraged that most people think this is a good option, and hopefully once up-and-running we'll be able to get some really good archives and trip reports going. Ideally, people wouldn't have to create an account to post, but this does pose the problem of spam being posted. A simple one-click "log in with Facebook" option could be a potential work-around.
  • Website design and suggestions: Most people liked the design, layout and content. There were a number of useful suggestions:
    • 'Live' feed of trips on main homepage in order for people to keep up to date of who is on the next trip/when and where it is. Upcoming events will definitely feature more prominantly on the next version of the home page, whether that will include who's on the trip is yet to be decided.
    • Maybe make it easier to find out info about destinations, such as a list of all destinations which there is info on. Such a list already exists here, but this will be made easier to find and publicised more.
    • More details about locations and potential routes. This is definitely a target of mine, it's just unfortunately very time-consuming. My aim is to set up a Web Committee who will help in writing such content for the website. If anyone has anything they wish to contribute now, then please do email us.
    • More of the "history" bits (e.g. info on old execs). Again, this is a definite target that just takes time. I will eventually restore any backups I have to the website, however these are incomplete and I'm reliant on old Web Officers sending over any older backups they have.
    • Sign ups via the website. This is an idea that has been discussed and rejected in the past, as we feel it would take away from the personal and social feel that going to foyer has. It will be discussed again though, and perhaps there is scope for such a system (the web architecture is already well-and-truly in place to implement it).
    • Photo pages bug (sometimes photos just don't show up). We use a third-party Javascript plugin to pull photos directly from Picasa Web Albums, and it's a problem with this that causes photo pages to not load on ocassion. We will be moving over to a new system in the future which will do away with this problem..
    • OS Maps "HTTP referrer" erro. This is a common problem with the OS Maps API, and I have tried every suggestion I've found to try and rectify the issue, to no avail! I will keep persisting....
    • I don't like the yellow colour. Me neither... I kept it from the previous version of the website for continuity's sake, but it will be changing to a "greener" more hiking-esque look.
  • General comments: Most of these have been covered so I'll just address a few here:
    • Distinct lack of sheep. I'll see what I can do about that....
    • A few suggestions to publicise the website more. I personally thought it was quite well publicised already - trips on the website are linked to from the Weekly Newsletter, and our Facebook posts often link to it. But a few people made this comment and so we'll have a look at what we can do to publicise it further.
    • Don't know how to contribute content (e.g. trip reports, photos). You can currently by emailing the club, however in the future hopefully submissions will be able to be made directly through the trip's page on the website.
    • Widget that shows hiking related news. Great idea! I'll make sure this is incoorporated into the website in the future.
    • Swingers page? Maybe we should start an online version of the "incest chart"....
It will be a while yet before any changes and suggestions are implemented, but rest assured that there is a lot work going on with the website in the background and hopefully some exciting changes won't be too far off!