Alberta Gymnastics Federation levels up on its web presence
Routines may be the norm in gymnastics, but when the Alberta Gymnastics Federation came to Mugo for a website refresh, the last thing it wanted was a routine update to its digital presence.
The governing body for gymnastics in Alberta wanted not only to add some flair to its aging site, but also to make it easier for both staff and site visitors to accomplish their goals online.
The member-based organization was working with a five-year-old site that had gotten cumbersome for staff to update and confusing for users to find what they needed. Plus, it wasn’t optimized for mobile devices.
The organization wanted to be able to highlight events on their homepage without having to call a developer, but the site wasn’t set up for them to do that, so site visitors had to dig for the latest updates.
And after years of patchwork updates leading to design inconsistencies, the Federation also wanted a more consistent look throughout the site.
Mugo refreshed the site’s design with an eye to modernizing key features and simplifying the user experience. Key elements of the redesign included:
- Homepage features: We implemented a grid design for the homepage that enables staff to easily manage featured items. The Federation wanted to be able to highlight events on its homepage, so we also created an events feature box and automated the posting process so that selected events could be set to automatically display there. In the back-end, a homepage grid admin UI enables staff to edit the homepage using a simple grid view with drag and drop tools. The grid allows for flexibility in the homepage layout to feature a combination of horizontal and vertical design blocks.
- Navigation menus:Three layers of navigation menus had made it challenging for users to find and get to the pages they needed. Mugo simplified the navigation into a primary and secondary menu.
- Social media channel integration: The Federation wanted to share its social media updates on its homepage, so we integrated its Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels.
- Responsive design: The new responsive site displays fluidly on all screen sizes.
Alberta Gymnastics also needed a solution to better manage and display its events calendar. Individual managers had been maintaining their respective events in Google calendars, and each had to manually re-add every event into the site’s CMS. We implemented the Mugo Calendar to consolidate event listings. Now each manager has their own calendar right in the CMS, so events only need to be entered once.
The Mugo Calendar offers some advanced features such as:
- Categorization: The calendar allows content creators to categorize their events, and allows users to filter their view based on categories. Categories are colour coded, and each category is managed by an editor at The Federation. Editors have access only to their respective categories.
- Maps: When event managers enter the location of their events, the Google Map API automatically pulls a map into their event listing.
- Featured events: Event editors can simply check a box to have their events be featured on the homepage in the Events column.
- Event recurrence: Event editors can set their events to automatically recur at regular or irregular intervals
- Listing downloads: Users can download events listings to their personal calendar, whether it’s Apple, Google, Outlook, or otherwise.
New site features
After the successful redesign, Alberta Gymnastics requested some new features for the site, which Mugo was able to build and implement. These included:
- E-commerce store: Mugo built an e-commerce store that enables members to order supplies such as chalk and badges. Prior to the online store, members had to mail in a form with a cheque. Now they can pay for their purchases through PayPal and staff can receive and fulfill orders immediately. A smart order form adjusts the price based on the location of the buyer, and whether or not they are a member of The Federation. It also automatically adjusts shipping costs as required. Site managers can see all pending orders in a back-end dashboard, and can add and define new materials with specific pricing criteria.
- Insurance claims processing: Alberta Gymnastics provides insurance coverage for its members, but claims traditionally had to be printed and mailed to the insurance company. Mugo implemented a more efficient process by building a claims processing portal that enables members to access the forms they need and submit them online. The web application had to achieve two main goals: allow all Federation members to submit and manage an insurance claim without having to log in and/or create a user account, and allow the insurance company to manage, process, and assess claims submitted by Federation members. Read more about our insurance claims web app here.
- Course evaluations: Mugo built a mini site for Alberta Gymnastics Federation certification course evaluations through which applicants are able to submit certification requirements and payment for their evaluations online, and evaluators are able to submit feedback.
Development workflow best practices
To provide a transparent and secure development environment, we also implemented a set of development best practices including code versioning, a staging environment to test changes before they go live, as well as a ticketing system to track all change requests and development processes. This provides the Federation with a recorded history of changes, so it can trace the evolution of the code or roll back the site in the event of issues.
We also migrated the site froma shared hosting situation to a new host where Alberta Gymnastics could have its own virtual server.
Alberta Gymnastics Federation’s site is easier to use for staff and members, and more effectively enables the Federation to serve and engage its community. The site has become more of a unified hub for resources and member services, and allows staff to save time on admin tasks.
The Federation plans to continue to work with Mugo to develop new features and iterate on website enhancements.