"Kafka" enhanced BCU Website

Inland paddling
Mudflap
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2004 9:02 am
Location: Dorset

"Kafka" enhanced BCU Website

Post by Mudflap »

On the "Funky" new BCU Website why is UKRGB under.......

"Holiday Opportunities and other Useful links" are we an embarassment?

see for yourself

http://www.canoe-england.org.uk/canoeen ... ItemId=469

and under "Resources" the following:


Canoeing magazines

Canoe Focus is the official magazine of the British Canoe Union - produced every two months. It contains advertising, articles, competition results, book reviews and private sales. The magazine is free to members or £2.00 to non-members.

The following are independently published magazines.

Canoeist
Paddles
Canoe & Kayak UK
Playboater
Videos

A wide range of canoeing videos, including expeditions, coaching and competition is available from

Chrisfilm & Video Ltd
The Mill, Glasshouses
Pately Bridge
Harrogate
North Yorkshire
HG3 5QH

Tel: 01423 711310


Not a mention.........

Informative ? In the words of our leader "Discuss?"

Steve

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by Steve B »

I've found half a dozen basic errors within 30 seconds of looking at it. It's not fit for public release.
Steve Balcombe

User avatar
MarkB
Posts: 695
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2002 4:29 pm
Location: North West England
Has thanked: 2 times
Contact:

Post by MarkB »

Steve B wrote:I've found half a dozen basic errors within 30 seconds of looking at it. It's not fit for public release.
One of the erorrs is the statement that Canoe Focus contains 'private sales'. This one particularly useful feature was relegated to the web at the last issue.
Mark

stroud149
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:44 pm
Location: Stroud

Post by stroud149 »

I thought The Canoeist had gone electronic only. So no longer a published magazine......

The new BCU website is certainly less user friendly, but I guess that fits with the BCU ethos.
I'd rather be paddling....

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24135
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Post by Mark R »

stroud149 wrote:I thought The Canoeist had gone electronic only.
Canoeist went electronic...and then went. It has ceased business unfortunately.
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24135
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Post by Mark R »

Steve B wrote:I've found half a dozen basic errors within 30 seconds of looking at it. It's not fit for public release.
I assume you are making that observation from a professional web design perspective, as opposed to the content itself.

It seemed an OK website to me...what bothered you about it?
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

User avatar
glynsmith
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:52 pm
Location: Derby
Contact:

aint websites brilliant!

Post by glynsmith »

Just spent 10 minutes going round and round in circles trying to find (and failing) where the club information is...
This is really depressing. What hope have got of attracting people to the sport if our governing body doesn't supply any useful information?

And don't get me started on the 'Search' facility.

User avatar
glynsmith
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:52 pm
Location: Derby
Contact:

Ooops!

Post by glynsmith »

Just found the Clubs. Silly me!
I'd followed the obvious 'England' link by mistake, instead of the @ABout the BCU' link.

Still, not as clear as it should be (at least to me), and far too many clicks to get to the info.

Hopefully, it's a work in progress, and they'll be looking for feedback from the paddling community.

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by Steve B »

guidebook wrote:
Steve B wrote:I've found half a dozen basic errors within 30 seconds of looking at it. It's not fit for public release.
I assume you are making that observation from a professional web design perspective, as opposed to the content itself.

It seemed an OK website to me...what bothered you about it?
Yes, it would take me more than 30 seconds to assess the content!

- Some link URLs appear in the status bar, some don't

- The "BCU HOME" link on the Canoe England web site goes to the developer's address http://www.creative-jar-dev.com/bcu/bcu ... late1.aspx instead of www.bcu.org.uk

- On my high resolution laptop screen, the body text has too little line spacing. (This possibly doesn't show on a normal screen)

- My perfectly ordinary IE6 (i.e. not a weird, little-used browser!) reports an error "Invalid property value". I haven't checked what is causing it.

- The link to Canoe England on the BCU home page links to another page where you then have to click again to get to the place you already asked for. Not an error, just bad design in my view.

- The file and folder names used in web addresses are important because people can read them, and in the case of a site like this they will want to publish them. So http://www.canoe-england.org.uk/canoeen ... late1.aspx is so bad as to be, in my view, unacceptable. (Mark, I know you will think this doesn't matter, that's why our career paths went in different directions!)

- "Member's login" tells me to enter my membership number and password. I don't have a password and there are no instructions to tell me what to do about it.

- Clicking the "email page" icon pops up a window with a "Page not found" error.

That'll do for now. Honestly, I found all those within a minute. Has nobody checked it before going live?

The appearance is a big improvement though.
Steve Balcombe

Yakingmad
Posts: 478
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 12:19 am
Location: Somewhere on the water (if there is any and I'm not working)
Contact:

Post by Yakingmad »

As soon as I saw it I was dissolusioned, I even emailed them to say it was not user friendly and the search results were not good.

If you have tried to use the e-shop it is hard work you can not put a search in it just says "result's none" so you just scroll page after page to find what you want.

Bring back the old website please!!!!
Swimming the way forward?

User avatar
Ryan Clements
Posts: 576
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:05 am
Location: Glasgow

Post by Ryan Clements »

Lets say you worked for the BCU, you'd probably have heard of the UKRGB- if you then read this thread, would you give it a high priority on the website?

The BCU is trying to raise membership numbers and revenue, I'm sure that they realise that the majority of paddlers who post on UKRGB are recreational boaters who don't feel particularly well represented in the work of the BCU.

Thats not to say I don't agree with much of whats been said; although I know zero about website design. I think it a matter of saving face!

Myself, I have refused to renew my membership for three years now despite being a member of the coaching scheme because I feel the BCU is out of touch with the values of modern/progressive boaters.

I think it's important to ask ourselves- what would we do? Sure, redesign the website. But then thats not the BIG problem is it?

User avatar
boater rich
Posts: 913
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2002 2:47 pm
Location: Gloucester
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 1 time
Contact:

Post by boater rich »

One of the very simple errors on the links, UKRGB points to the wrong, very old website. How ling since you moved from go.to/theguidebook ?

Rich

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by Steve B »

guidebook wrote:It seemed an OK website to me...what bothered you about it?
Continued...

First time I've used the Search. I wanted to find a reference to the BCU Handbook:

Image

I also tried "bcu manual" with the same result.

And...

Bottom right of the page are links to "Terms . Privacy . Contact . Accessibility . Credits". Terms, Privacy and Accessibility all point to the Home page. Where, needless to say, there is no such information.

Mark, this is not me being a professional web designer and trying to pick holes in it. It is an absolute shambles, an embarrassment.
Steve Balcombe

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by Steve B »

Just clicked on Coaching (on the top menu) then "Award Synopsis and Syllabi" because the obscure spelling mistake (should be "synopses") caught my eye, yes I admit that is picky. But what greeted me in the left-hand menu? "START TESTS" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Click it and the same mistake is in the heading of the Star Test page.

I'm not going to post again on this subject. I'll make this my final comment: in the real world, if a website were published with this many basic errors, somebody's job would be on the line.
Steve Balcombe

User avatar
StoneWeasel
Posts: 4430
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:46 pm
Location: Cornwall
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by StoneWeasel »

Steve B wrote:in the real world, if a website were published with this many basic errors, somebody's job would be on the line.
I Certainly agree and have seen develpoers dismissed for less, if any profesional developer had anything to do with this site they really should be very very ashamed of themselvs. I am not a profesianal web developer, I am a profesional compilable language programmer who plays around with a bit of web development and even I would be wholey ashamed to put my name to that site.

User avatar
Adrian Cooper
Posts: 9773
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2002 2:26 pm
Location: Buckinghamshire
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 18 times

Post by Adrian Cooper »

It was pointed out to me earlier that our canoe club would not respond to the search. You would think it was simple, you enter the post code of the house next door to the club , click search and it lists all the clubs in the area except ours. They reason I found out was because it was searching for the post code of the club's contact, in this case, me. I live some 15 miles from the club so I am not listed as local. If I search against my own post code, I get the response that the club is 0 miles from my house, how convenient. That will save me a drive on Sunday!

It wouldn't be so bad but the club contact changed earlier in the year to someone a little more local which might just have given a result.

As a club, we rely on referrals from the BCU website, or our own, for most of our new members. If this is not sorted, it could be a problem for us next year.

User avatar
Pete C.
Posts: 1076
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 7:16 pm
Location: Chester
Has thanked: 1 time

Post by Pete C. »

I also tried "bcu manual" with the same result.
Result? I presume that means you're using Explorer. If you use Firefox or Netscape browser, you don't even get as far as being able to use the search engine.

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by Steve B »

Just tried Firefox 1.0 and Netscape 7.1, the search facility functioned in both (but found nothing of course). Something must've been fixed I guess.
Steve Balcombe

shore-thing
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 7:46 pm
Location: Poole
Contact:

Post by shore-thing »

This is'nt the great new site our money could have paid for. Poor content and bad visual and design. When you think of all the great images and emotions that our sport gives us, is any of this mirrored on the homepage. No, it's dull.

I found the structure of the site as complicated and confusing as that of the BCU itself.

At first glances it doesn't seem to be built with any major web accessibility issues in mind either. Ironic, or just the BCu's normal stumbling block?

Zoe Newsam
Posts: 1426
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

Post by Zoe Newsam »

What an awful website. It has very little useful information on it, and some of that is well out of date.

Compare it to www.canoescotland.com - much more user friendly, interesting and attractive. Hmmm, the BCU being bettered by the SCA, now where have I heard that before???

Zoe

User avatar
waverley610
Posts: 574
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 7:54 am
Location: The Copthorne hundred

Post by waverley610 »

Steve B wrote:I've found half a dozen basic errors within 30 seconds of looking at it. It's not fit for public release.
I can't renew my membership in mozilla or internet explorer;
Maybe that's a good thing, not an error!

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by Steve B »

I've just tried to use the BCU web site - first time since the above discussion. It's down, and the reason is that both the nameservers are timing out. That should never happen! I do hope members' money isn't being handed over to this incompetent bunch.
Steve Balcombe

Debby
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 6:26 pm
Location: Brighton

Post by Debby »

The site is back up.

But it is a poor site, badly designed with little user friendliness to recommend it. It also seems to suffer from little testing before going live. Clubs that are affiliated to the BCU (for decades) have disappeared from the list, but if you supply email feedback to correct the issues it goes in to a black hole never to be heard from again. However most users wont realise that they wont be able to find local clubs as they wont be able to find the club search and if they do they will only succeed if they know the postcode. I was trying to find a club in Abingdon, as I knew a friend was paddling there but as I don’t live in the area I have no clue of the postcode therefore I could not find the club.

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by Steve B »

Down when I tried it again a moment ago.

This: http://www.dnsstuff.com/tools/lookup.ch ... k&type=ALL shows both nameservers timing out.

I'll try again in the morning.
Steve Balcombe

Debby
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 6:26 pm
Location: Brighton

Post by Debby »

Steve

Intersting. I can still access http://www.bcu.org.uk However as I use an ISP that has triggered DNSstuff rate limiting system I can't access DNS stuff. I wonder if we are using different proxies or cached pages? Don't you just love techology? Stops one getting bored :-}

DannyT
Posts: 212
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 7:35 pm
Location: Cardiff

Post by DannyT »

Steve B wrote:
Bottom right of the page are links to "Terms . Privacy . Contact . Accessibility . Credits". Terms, Privacy and Accessibility all point to the Home page. Where, needless to say, there is no such information.
Just tried that bit, And yes it does direct to the Main page. But it also gives pop-ups with the pages in.
Some of the pictures dont show up for me, but that may just be my pc.
Search engine doesnt work, I agree.
And I cant find some things because it isnt clear. But it looks alright.

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by Steve B »

Debby wrote:I can still access http://www.bcu.org.uk However as I use an ISP that has triggered DNSstuff rate limiting system I can't access DNS stuff. I wonder if we are using different proxies or cached pages?
DNSstuff pages are not cached, but a cached DNS would explain why you still get the BCU web site, that would make sense.

I've noticed before that my ISP (Eclipse) seems to get changes of this kind very quickly. Presumably they use more conservative (is that the right term?) caching.
Steve Balcombe

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by Steve B »

DannyT wrote:... yes it does direct to the Main page. But it also gives pop-ups with the pages in.
That's interesting, I didn't see any popups. It's 2006 (well almost), web designers have to expect that many people will be using popup blockers, and this is a newly-designed site so there is no excuse.

Of course I am only guessing that this might be an issue, because the site is still down.
Steve Balcombe

Yakingmad
Posts: 478
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 12:19 am
Location: Somewhere on the water (if there is any and I'm not working)
Contact:

Post by Yakingmad »

No, it is still no better, I have been on the BCU website today trying to get some info.

The links for most of the stuff still don't work, it tells you there are pdf's available to download and there is no link to them so you can't get the info. The search engine sends you in circles or comes back with no result found.

I clicked on the coach's bulletin board, what a suprise that did not work either. You can not download the endorsement pdf's http://www.canoe-england.org.uk/canoeen ... ItemId=656 the whole site is a shambles.

They should take this site down and put back the old one till they have this one working properly, or scrap it all together.

User avatar
Ros
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:57 pm
Location: Hitchin, Herts

Post by Ros »

It was pointed out to me earlier that our canoe club would not respond to the search. You would think it was simple, you enter the post code of the house next door to the club , click search and it lists all the clubs in the area except ours. They reason I found out was because it was searching for the post code of the club's contact, in this case, me.
We (Baldock canoe club) had a letter from the BCU sometime in the autumn asking us to supply the postcode of our meeting place or 'home water' - I presume this was in order to improve the search facility. There was an email address to reply to given in the letter, which unfortunately I can't remember. I don't know if they actually updated their records / improved the search based on the new info we gave them.
We previously gave the BCU the name and address of a long-term club member living a mile or so from where we meet and who doesn't expect to move house / emigrate to Thailand / become otherwise uncontactable in the near future. He isn't actually on committee but is happy to hand mail on / receive phone calls from potential new members etc. This works better than updating the club contact details with the BCU every year.

Ros

Post Reply

Return to “Whitewater and Touring”