8th August 2019
A simpler future for events in our community platform
Today we’re launching a simpler event ticketing system for Dojos worldwide. Those who use the CoderDojo platform regularly will now find it easier to create and manage events on it.
Managing Dojo sessions is central to the CoderDojo community, which is why this has always been a key part of the community platform. The platform’s event function was built to give Dojos the tools they need to run successfully from the start. Dojos having their upcoming events on our platform opens them up to many more people and makes onboarding new volunteers easier. All these people help grow and sustain both individual clubs and the wider CoderDojo movement.
Understanding our platform users
To find out how Dojo volunteers like you actually use the event interface we built, we studied hundreds of created events and talked to dozens of community members. What we found was that, while the event creation interface has dozens of complex features, more than 95% of Dojos only want to know who is turning up to their next session either as attendees or volunteers. The dozens of other features made creating events a lot more complex. They also made it harder for us to provide efficient support to you.
That’s why we decided to take things back to basics.
What’s added in the new interface
Before this update, creating an event was very complex by default. It also got a lot more complex if you added any extra features. To create the new version of the interface, we removed all the rarely used features, so the interface now fulfils the needs of the vast majority of Dojos, while being much more simple to use.
The new interface automatically copies information that is likely to be the same for your events from your Dojo profile and from your last event into new events. Therefore, most events you create will just need a new title and date, and then you can immediately publish them. This makes our event creation interface faster than any other platform for creating events for you Dojo!
The complexity of the old system was too much for our small team of web developers to support. The simplicity of the new interface is something we can provide support for for many years to come.
What’s removed in the new interface
We have removed several customisation options. This means any Dojo champion using the new interface can create events within a few seconds.
Customisation of tickets
More than 90% of clubs didn’t use the features for customising events by using sessions or ticket types, so we removed these features. This makes it much faster for you to create events, and much simpler for Dojo attendees to book tickets.
If you are one of the community members who did use these customisation features, we ask you to try using the new interface for a little while and then give us feedback about how the changes affect you and your Dojo members.
From talking with champions, we know some Dojos used the recurring events feature to try to counteract how complex and slow the old interface was. As it’s now much faster and easier to create events, we removed the option to create recurring events. We decided to do this because, though only a handful of Dojos used this feature, half of the event issues volunteers contacted us about were in relation to recurring events.
If you create many events for your Dojo and you find that the new interface does not meet your needs, please let us know so we can talk about how we might be able to provide a solution for you.
We’ve removed the option to create private events, as private events were confusing for people looking for events to attend. Moreover, only a few clubs used this option, and the ones among them that we spoke to often hadn’t realised the effect it had.
‘Approval needed’ was a feature that meant that the Dojo champion had to manually accept the invitations of anyone trying to book into an event before attendees received their tickets to attend. If you had set up events with ‘approval needed’, it made event management very complicated for you and did not have much benefit. Therefore, we’ve also removed the option to approve tickets. Since the interface gives you the contact information of everyone who books an event ticket, you can always reach out to people if you need to let them know they cannot attend.
The old interface is still available
In the new interface, you can select to use the ‘Advanced options’, which will bring you back to the old interface. You may need to access the old interface to edit events that you set up using advanced options that don’t exist in the new interface. Please tell us if you have any issues with this.
We will maintain the old interface for 3 to 6 months while we test and tweak the new interface depending on feedback from the community.
With the new event creation interface, we’re giving most Dojos much better tools and support.
However, for a few Dojos, including some that have been running for a long time and are cornerstones of our community, the new interface may cause disruptions. Please reach out to us if you and your Dojo are negatively affected, and we will talk about what we can do for you.
Fundamentally, this update is about starting a conversation with you in the community. We started by creating the simplest possible version of the event interface that we could dream of. Now we want to know what works for you and what you really need from the interface to run your Dojos month on month, year on year. Our goal is to build a more useful and sustainable platform for you that we can support for many years to come. We hope you enjoy using it.