Content is king. That idea isn't uniquely ours, but we've always believed quality content is one major component of a good user experience. And it certainly helps to increase search engine ranking and user conversions. Creating relevant, successful and useful content is a pretty big part of a custom web development project. It's an even bigger part when your site includes community sourced content, so it's important to provide a good user experience for your contributors and evaluate often!
The Regional Arts Commission website redesign launched in 2013 with a complete overhaul of their community arts and culture calendar. With the help of Modern Tribe's The Events Calendar plugin, RAC created a more modern calendar experience for both visitors and contributors. The site launch included a campaign to educate their contributor community on the new process. Any approved contributor could publish their arts event directly to the RAC Arts & Events Calendar. While a lot of validation is automated, there was still a level of administrator oversight required to ensure events were added correctly.
When we kick off a new website project, we often rely on research to inform our user experience decisions. And, since the web is ever-changing, we also recommend regularly revisiting the data to make sure those decisions are still the best for a site's users.
So, two years after launching the site, the Integrity team helped RAC survey their event contributor community to find out what users liked – and didn't – about the website and events calendar. The survey resulted in a few compliments, several complaints, and ultimately, lots of constructive feedback.
Users had two primary requests: easier methods for entering their recurring events and more options for creating date and time variation within their recurring events. The request list from the survey coincided nicely with Modern Tribe's release of a new version of The Events Calendar, which delivered the date and time variation options users wanted. In addition to updating to the latest version of The Event Calendar to offer more recurrence variation options, we made a few adjustments to the entry point to streamline confusing areas and remove unnecessary options. We also made the decision to require admin review before publishing events to the calendar.
Since the updates launched in August, we've seen improved event data and fewer entry errors, and therefore we've received fewer user reports of inaccurate or confusing data. RAC will confirm the improvements later this year with a follow up survey of the event contributor community.
Check out the RAC Arts & Events Calendar to see how an improved contributor experience can positively impact content.
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