I’ve been looking through my blog posts of the last few years - it doesn’t take all that long, blogging is the thing that seems to have fallen away somewhat in my life as TZ editor - searching for one post in particular: the previous incarnation of the one I am writing right now. An introduction to the new TrainingZone. And here it is, from all the way back in December 2012. This puts our development cycle pretty much bang on three years (our previous, positively prehistoric TrainingZone was last updated in 2009) which seems to be the industry standard. Good to know we’re keeping up with the Jobses.
Reading over that post, some things amuse me (my use of parentheses around the terms ‘user experience’ and ‘app’) and some things impress me (it seems we were on the right lines a long time ago with regards to video, responsive and to some extent registration), but mostly it’s good to be writing a post like this again, knowing that we’re embarking on the next stage in the TrainingZone journey. Shonette Laffy, our godsend of a community editor, covered the functionality aspects of the new site pretty well here and here, so I thought I’d focus on feeling.
So how do I feel about it? Excited, expectant. Our dev team operates in a very different way to how it did in 2012, with almost an entirely different staff. The team are now much more than a few front and back end developers, with UX (no parentheses necessary these days), designers and project managers all playing their part in constructing a platform that serves content in a much more tailored way (I’m not getting any more technical than that), and will hopefully provide members with a more personal experience when they use the site. Each piece of content looks a lot nicer too (cleaner text, better use of space for a start), so this should improve the experience for members too. But above all the nerves around migrating content, populating the new site, fixing broken links, the unknown quantities of change and the rest, it really feels good to transform, to innovate and to create something that will serve the community better.
To paraphrase part of my previous post: Is it finished? Of course not. This isn’t a piece of art to be admired from a distance - this is a large step in the middle of a series of smaller ones. Change is constant.