A report on the work carried out on our website and other club IT in the 2016 Calendar Year and our technology plans for the year ahead.
We launched our new front end design in June 2016, with a custom built design replacing the old proprietary design. The new design is designed to be fully responsive and adopts a mobile first approach – This means we design for mobile first, and then focus on the desktop experience.
We achieve this by using the open source Bootstrap CSS and JS Framework to provide our responsive framework and then build our own custom designs using CSS around that.
The redesign has now been live for six months and in the time since has seen seven iterative updates covering CSS, JS and page layouts.
Analysis with Google PageSpeed has uncovered areas of work required to make our website faster and more usable. We have followed as many of the recommendations as possible, though still struggle with poor server response times, which are sadly beyond our control.
As part of the redesign project, the club logos were redrawn as vectors. Graphics are now also produced for Twitter and Facebook, for example our Nationals Medal Tables.
Secure and club controlled email communications have been overhauled with the introduction of G Suite (formerly Google for Work). The new platform also allows the committee to securely work collaboratively on shared documents. Further information about the new email system will be announced in the new year.
Design and UX Design research will be carried out in the new year and analysed in conjunction with analytics data to identify further improvements which are required.
There will however be no further major changes to our website until after July 2017.
We aim to introduce Online Membership Services at a later date in the next calendar year. This system is still being built, and we have currently completed major work on the user account system which will underpin the platform. Subject to significant technical work and regulatory requirements being met, this system will allow online payments for galas and monthly membership fees, though these plans may be subject to change.
Work is currently paused on this major project until after July 2017.
With the introduction of new collaborative tools (G Suite), we will be introducing standard letterheads for paper based club communications as soon as possible.
Updated parent/member communications will soon be made available. These messages will be sent from a club email address, and not personal accounts of committee members.
The committee will be encouraged to carry out club work using the G Suite platform (which encompasses Google Drive and Docs). This will help us keep data secure and comply with Data Protection Legislation.