Advice sought for improvements to DCSki
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Scott - DCSki Editor
July 4, 2001
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,117 posts
Hi gang!

Later this summer, I plan to begin making several changes and improvements to DCSki, as well as refreshing resort profiles for the upcoming winter season.

Here's where I need your help. I want to know what you like about DCSki, what you hate about DCSki, and what suggestions you have for improvements or additional features. Many of the features you see on DCSki today are a direct result of past pleas for suggestions!

Here are some specific questions I have - but do not feel that you have to limit your comments to these questions.

(1) Do you like the general layout and structure of the home page? How often do you visit the home page in the winter?

(2) Do you like the general layout and structure of news article pages? Currently, article pages are divided into three columns. The leftmost column contains a main menu and small ad; the middle column contains the meat of the article; and the rightmost column includes various other links to recent headlines, events, etc. Although this layout packs a lot of information onto the screen, I'm wondering if the third column is distracting. After all, most people read articles from top to bottom - they don't bounce their viewpoint to another column on the right to read unrelated information. This is how most news sites do it, but I might move the additional links to the bottom of the page. Do you find the third column useful?

(3) Do you find ads on DCSki to be useful or irritating? How often have you clicked on an ad? DCSki wouldn't be possible without the support of some great advertisers, and I am trying to find ways to make ads more useful to advertisers *and* readers. Would you find it irritating if ads became larger (with more useful info in them) as opposed to the standard page-top banners? As a reader, what would make ads more valuable to you?

(4) Two new features this past winter were real-time ski condition reports and weather, including DCSki's unique "snowmaking conditions" estimator. How often did you use DCSki to check on ski condition reports (the raw statistics - not through firsthand reports or message forum postings)? To check on weather? How can I make these features more useful?

(5) Would you like to be able to customize DCSki's home page so you can choose what resorts it should report info on (conditions, news articles, events, etc.)?

(6) Have you ever tried using the DCSki Lodging Finder to locate info on lodging properties at resorts?

(7) Do you use the DCSki Bargain Tracker to locate info on good ski deals?

(8) Would you like to see more western or New England information on DCSki, in addition to its strong regional focus?

Thanks!

- Scott

myrto
July 15, 2001
Member since 10/4/2001 🔗
259 posts
1) Do you like the general layout and structure of the home page? How often do you visit the home page in the winter?

Yes I like it and I visit it daily.

(2) Do you like the general layout and structure of news article pages? Currently, article pages are divided into three columns. The leftmost column contains a main menu and small ad; the middle column contains the meat of the article; and the rightmost column includes various other links to recent headlines, events, etc. Although this layout packs a lot of information onto the screen, I'm wondering if the third column is distracting. After all, most people read articles from top to bottom - they don't bounce their viewpoint to another column on the right to read unrelated information. This is how most news sites do it, but I might move the additional links to the bottom of the page. Do you find the third column useful?

I think the 3 columns works fine

(3) Do you find ads on DCSki to be useful or irritating? useful
How often have you clicked on an ad? several times

DCSki wouldn't be possible without the support of some great advertisers, and I am trying to find ways to make ads more useful to advertisers *and* readers. Would you find it irritating if ads became larger (with more useful info in them) as opposed to the standard page-top banners?

I am a reader of Dcski and an advertiser (STohlmanauto.com)and I think the size of the ads is perfect. I think if you made them bigger it would only piss off people. I think they are big enough to be effective now.

As a reader, what would make ads more valuable to you?---save us more money!!
Maybe have them run promos for getting lift tickets or gear for free or discounts

(4) Two new features this past winter were real-time ski condition reports and weather, including DCSki's unique "snowmaking conditions" estimator. How often did you use DCSki to check on ski condition reports (the raw statistics - not through firsthand reports or message forum postings)? To check on weather? How can I make these features more useful?

I found that I used them often but I also would end up clicking on other weather links.
So maybe just having several weather links would just as useful and could also be another source of income.

(5) Would you like to be able to customize DCSki's home page so you can choose what resorts it should report info on (conditions, news articles, events, etc.)?

No navigating around is a good way to stumble onto new things.

(6) Have you ever tried using the DCSki Lodging Finder to locate info on lodging properties at resorts?--

Yes. However it is the weakest link.

(7) Do you use the DCSki Bargain Tracker to locate info on good ski deals?

Yes. I hope people get more involved because that is really the only way to track down all the deals out there.

(8) Would you like to see more western or New England information on DCSki, in addition to its strong regional focus?

New england and N.E. Canada could be useful but I would seperate that and possibly make that info more postings based.

Thanks!
You are welcome, keep up the good work!
- Scott


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Roy
July 30, 2001
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
(1) Do you like the general layout and structure of the home page? How often do you visit the home page in the winter?

I like the layout. In the winter, I visit almost daily, except when I'm already planning to ski that day.

(2) Do you like the general layout and structure of news article pages? Currently, article pages are divided into three columns. The leftmost column contains a main menu and small ad; the middle column contains the meat of the article; and the rightmost column includes various other links to recent headlines, events, etc. Although this layout packs a lot of information onto the screen, I'm wondering if the third column is distracting. After all, most people read articles from top to bottom - they don't bounce their viewpoint to another column on the right to read unrelated information. This is how most news sites do it, but I might move the additional links to the bottom of the page. Do you find the third column useful?

no opinion

(3) Do you find ads on DCSki to be useful or irritating? How often have you clicked on an ad? DCSki wouldn't be possible without the support of some great advertisers, and I am trying to find ways to make ads more useful to advertisers *and* readers. Would you find it irritating if ads became larger (with more useful info in them) as opposed to the standard page-top banners? As a reader, what would make ads more valuable to you?

One reason I like this site is the ads are not intrusive. There also is not a million of them on the page so it doesn't take long to download. I do click on some ads depending on what I'm doing. Going skiing at the particular mountain or looking for new equipment at ski chalet. I would probably click on the ads more if they advertised a discount ski ticket or something enticing like that.

(4) Two new features this past winter were real-time ski condition reports and weather, including DCSki's unique "snowmaking conditions" estimator. How often did you use DCSki to check on ski condition reports (the raw statistics - not through firsthand reports or message forum postings)? To check on weather? How can I make these features more useful?

If I was going skiing in the next few days, I would use these features to help determine which mountain I was going to. To make it more useful, you could link to the forum where members have posted first-hand reports. That's were I inevitably made decisions.

(5) Would you like to be able to customize DCSki's home page so you can choose what resorts it should report info on (conditions, news articles, events, etc.)?

I don't have time to customize. I like it the way it is.

(6) Have you ever tried using the DCSki Lodging Finder to locate info on lodging properties at resorts?

Yes but nothing was appealing. I stuck to day trips.

(7) Do you use the DCSki Bargain Tracker to locate info on good ski deals?

have not used.

(8) Would you like to see more western or New England information on DCSki, in addition to its strong regional focus?

I like the fact that the focus is regional. I actually travel a lot (8 ski days out west last year). Even then, I was checking DCSki to find were I was skiing when I got home. The occasional articles of people's ski trips out west, New England, and even overseas are great reading and I enjoy them very much. In fact, I'm interested in writing about some of my trips to other places for the site (especially if I can have the same luck I did last season). For other regions, maybe have links to the regions with links to the ski areas (stowe.com, A-basin, etc.)

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