A new homepage for Zen

Conor, Product Manager.

Zen, our community platform, has been serving hundreds of Dojos for several years now by helping them find mentors and manage their events. It has grown from a small experiment to a much bigger project, and because big projects need a bit more structure, we’ve spent a few weeks giving Zen a much needed homepage for parents, champions and volunteers when they log in.

Say hello to the new zen homepage!

A parents dashboard


Why did we build a dashboard?

First of all the community told us to; such as Remon and Bill on our forums.

Secondly we knew that the experience for returning users wasn’t structured enough. Often you might end up on the search page, when you already have a Dojo, or you would only be shown the events and not the other things you can do (links to projects, badges, news/forums etc.). This obviously needed to change.

So what’s changed?

For attendees

For attendees we now confirm the most important points first, if you are booked into the next event or not. If you are, we confirm that, if you are not, we push you to book your ticket to the next event. Besides that we show attendees examples of projects they can do in their own time, badges their kids might have and news from CoderDojo HQ!

For mentors we currently point you to your next event as well, but we are talking internally about how to provide a better experience for mentors on this dashboard and on Zen generally.

For champions

We have all the above for champions. Additionally we added events based statistics so you can see how many young people and mentors you have booked into events. We also added a sidebar section which is currently a very early version of statistical and reporting tools we have built for you, currently we just show your total ever ninja numbers and their gender breakdown. We would love to know what else you would would like to see here!

If you are a new champion we also added some guidance to creating events. So when you start a Dojo you immediately have a page that explains 1) events, 2) all the amazing projects we have and 3) the amazing community and news from around the world. We hope this will orientate new clubs a lot more and help them be more active in the global community and use all the tools we provide.

This is only the beginning!

We built this very quickly so some things are more basic than we envision they will be in a few months. However, we wanted you to be able to access it as quickly as possible. For example we tried to get a feed from the forum in but we had some difficulties so had to postpone that feature. What we have now shows off more of what we do and helps structure the site more, but our ambitions for it are far greater and we need as many people as possible to be part of that future!

So if you’re a regular Zen user, just log in. The link will be at zen.coderdojo.com/home/ if you want to go directly there.

Please send us any feedback you have to [email protected] or in the forums. This is just a beginning of a longer journey, we hope you come along with us!

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