Equally addressing diverse audiences


Project Overview

With two diverse audience streams, the existing site was proving unfit for purpose and was confusing for those trying to find information about racing events. Entry forms were causing issues and the site was not attracting younger participants or spectators.

  1. The home page targeted regatta participants at the expense of the spectators
  2. Spectators were only given brief details of race events on secondary pages
  3. Racing entry was problematic, unreliable and time-consuming
  4. The readability of the site menu was challenging with the placement over the header sliders
  5. There were a lot of call to actions without much organisation
  6. The design was lacking a sense of excitement and fun that would attract a younger audience
  7. Website maintenance was difficult and time-consuming

The Challenge

Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta is a once a year event comprising a variety of races from everything to radio controlled boats to wind-surfing to classic yacht racing. The race is in a numerous locations and with it only being on one day a year, there is a short time frame for getting information out to competitors and spectators. AADR needed to update their website to be able to reach both audiences efficiently and with clarity. Racing entries needed to be hassle free and reliable and AADR was interested in attracting a younger audience to increase participation.

AADR required a complete website redesign which involved moving platforms from AirSquare to WordPress. I planned, designed, and built the site working closely with the Media & Communications director. Site management training was provided by myself.

The Solution

Since the two audience streams were of equal importance, it was key to direct visitors to relevant information from the start. AADR was keen to split the banner on the home page and a number of variations were created before settling on a simplified version with one choice for each audience.

On the home page, large colourful icon buttons were used to direct visitors to key information and curated FAQs gave quick details.

To attract a more youthful audience, a bright cheerful contrasting pink/red colour was used in tandem with the blues from the logo. Instagram posts were added above the footer to encourage viewer engagement.

The font from AADR media was used in the headings to create a consistent visual link. This was paired with a simple, classic, readable sans-serif.

In order to present information in easily graspable chunks and to make it easy to find relevant content, the participant and spectator sections were expanded into several pages. By doing this AADR realised they had a wealth of information to provide to both audiences.

For the participants TopYacht was integrated to manage race entries and provide race results. This reduced the previous complications with forms, payments, and admin. Links to MySail were added to facilitate matching crew members with yachts. Weather information was provided via Windy.com.

For the spectators, the schedule was available online or via a download. Locations of the event, which took place in various locations, was available via an interactive map and a downloadable pdf. Links were provided to companies offering on-water viewing options as well as links to other Auckland Anniversary events.

The Results section, previously a link on the bottom of the homepage, was given its own page in the main menu. Each race type became a category making it easy to find results for each event.

The Result

After a session of WordPress training, my client has been able to completely manage and easily update the website.

Entries are now reliable and simple for participants and AADR. Results are accurate and are accessed via a link updated on the website.

Spectators were able to access event information from their mobile devices or by printing out details to take with them. Additional event details meant they could make decisions about how and where to spend the day.

Content readability and organisation was greatly improved.

After the new website launch, the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta had the the most participants they've ever had!

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