Calgary Scrabble Group


New Site

Posted by Paul S on Tue January 19, 1999 at 0h00

Welcome to the new Calgary Scrabble® Group web site! I apologise for the delay in getting the new site operational. There was more work than I expected! In fact, the site is still incomplete in some less crucial areas (see next item).

This new site has been designed with several goals in mind, and I'd like to take a bit of time to explain these goals and generally introduce the new site.

Most noticably, a goal of the new site was a total makeover. The old text-based site was fine for content, but it just didn't carry the image of a modern web site. Now that the site has proven itself to be a success, I felt it needed a new design. The new site is more colourful and features more graphics. However, the graphical content has still been kept to a minimum to ensure fast page loading.

The second, though most important goal, is user-friendliness. With the old site, adding new sections made the site clumsy, as the main index page filled up with crudely sorted links. All navigation was done via the index page, with the occasional link inside a page to help in obvious places. News was crammed into the main index, leaving me little room for descriptive announcements like this one. Now, on this news page, I have as much room as I need, and I will soon archive news for future reference. To keep visitors alerted to new developments, however, the news headlines will be posted on the index page, as you probably already noticed when you first entered the site.

On this new site, the dynamic navigation bar on the left side makes all pages on this site just two or three clicks away. Information is sorted into intelligent categories, and when you get to a category's page the navigation bar will expand to provide easy navigation inside that category. You've probably seen this design on many other web pages. I like it, and think it works well, so I have chosen it as this site's model. Best of all, it does not use frames to mess up your browser window. By the way, you'll also see more links throughout the actual text in the pages for instant information access, which is of course what hypertext is all about.

From my point of view, the old site was also becoming a pain to maintain. Aside from the problem of finding places to put new information, the site was too annoying to work on from a technical viewpoint. This new site is much more comfortable for me to work on, and I believe that will translate into an overly better site.

The last goal is to expand this site's audience and overall usefulness. The original site was setup simply for Calgary club members and players wishing to come to Calgary tournaments. The goal of the new site is for it to become a starting point for any Scrabble® players interested in joining the club and/or tournament scene.

There's an entire section dedicated to new & prospective players, with special introductions to organized Scrabble® in general, and a tournament briefing for players about to play in their first tournament. This is information which I feel has been missing in the online Scrabble® world. There are lots of pages with raw information that assume people know what they are doing, but nothing to put this information into context for new players. While I wouldn't go as far as to call this site "Scrabble® for Dummies", I hope to provide a hand for new players to hold as they cross the bridge to the world of organized Scrabble®.

Of course, the new site also has plenty to satisfy those original target users. All of the old sections like the Ladder Archive and Tournament Results Archive are still here, and are better than ever!

This site has undergone rigorous testing using Netscape, IE, and even Lynx, but still may have bugs. On web sites, bugs are defined as both technical and cosmetic errors, so if something looks wrong, it probably is! PLEASE let me know of any bugs immediately! Also, I have a cable internet connection, so I am generally not able to tell if a page has too much stuff to load quickly at modem speed. If something takes too long to load because of graphics, please let me know! Of course, if something takes too long to load because of its text content, just sit back and remember that you're visiting one of the most detailed Scrabble® sites around.

There's just so much more to this web site that I can't devote anymore space to describing it. The best advice is to just start flying around using the navigation bar and explore it for yourself!