Broken Calendaring and Scheduling Experience

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ejarvi-p40
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Broken Calendaring and Scheduling Experience

Postby ejarvi-p40 » Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:11 pm

I believe the church recently hired some user experience experts. Here's a challenge for their team:

Situation:
User is told to use the ward website to schedule the building. They get a user account all set up on the ward website. They schedule it on the calendar. Ward website administrator, separate from the building coordinator, approves the calendar item. This gets emailed to everyone in the ward who belongs to the selected organizations. Coincidentally, the Wednesday night building coordinator receives this and wonders if maybe she doesn't have to do the calling anymore because she was totally out of the loop on the approval. In fact, only the calendar item was approved. Even though the person who scheduled the event thought she was reserving it, she wasn't. The calendaring and scheduling systems are orthogonal. The website administrator sees a problem brewing and introduces the initial user to the Wednesday night building coordinator, only to find out that there is some other unknown building coordinator for other days since it is a shared building. Discussion ensues as people try to reverse engineer the website in their heads with varying levels of success to figure out what's going on. The Bishop gets looped in. He then talks with the other Bishop to find out who it is. That other Bishop indicates he thought the ward website would handle building scheduling automatically on a first-come-first-serve type of basis, but apparently the website does not eliminate the need for someone to do this busywork administrative task.

I apologize if this situation description is confusing, living the experience in real time can be even more disorienting, especially for normal everyday users without a technical background.

It seems that all that's really needed here is a secure page that lists the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of the building coordinators. That would at least provide parity with the ward bulletin experience of times past. Even better would be to automate the whole process and free up a member to devote more energy towards some other form of personal ministry, like their family.

I am looking forward to seeing what the user experience gurus at headquarters can come up with to smooth out this experience.

seangates
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Postby seangates » Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:38 pm

ejarvi wrote:It seems that all that's really needed here is a secure page that lists the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of the building coordinators.


You can always add the Building Coordinator under the Leadership Directory > Other area. That is where we show that information.

Thanks,
Sean

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WelchTC
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Re: Broken Calendaring...

Postby WelchTC » Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:17 am

Yes, the challenges are very tough. Thanks for your analogy.

Tom

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bhofmann-p40
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Postby bhofmann-p40 » Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:33 am

We solved this problem by having the web site administrator be the building and calendar coordinator (usually the Executive Secretary). The Stake web site administrator puts that person's information in the system as the contact for resource scheduling for all wards in the building. We also share a building with another ward and we solved this problem by leaving all building scheduling to the agent ward which changes every year. This has worked well for us for years now. We only have to send an update to the Stake every year so they can update the contact information on the web sites.

margiestroble
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Building Scheduling

Postby margiestroble » Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:08 am

Our building scheduling person has been doing the scheduling via the webpage for a couple of months and it's working fairly well. We have it set up on the stake level where the brother that is doing it has been added to the 3 ward's webpages as a Stake Admin, but he is only over the building scheduling. That is all that he can see or approve of. In the Stake Admin area, when you are setting it up, you can click on which wards to link the scheduling to and it will put it on all of the ward's webpages that use that building. When people need/want to schedule the building, they can do it from their own ward webpage by clicking on RESOURCES and it will show them the calendar for whatever room(s) they want to schedule. It's up to you how you set it up, we listed all of the different rooms that can be scheduled and people click on whichever room or rooms they need. Each room has to be scheduled, not just one. Or, if you have a combination of rooms listed together, like for our building, the primary room and baptismal font are grouped together and the kitchen and cultural hall are grouped together. If nobody else has signed up for that day, time and room, they can place a submission and the building scheduling person can approve it. However, the building scheduling person has to log in on the Stake page as he has Stake Admin rights, not Ward Admin rights. If it were set up on the ward level, the person would only be able to do his/her own ward, or if he/she was entered as a Stake Admin, he/she would have to log in to each ward webpage individually to approve of their submissions. So, it is much easier for it to be set up on the Stake level from the beginning! Also, then everyone can see the whole schedule and not just for their ward. The building scheduling person just has one set of calendars to keep track of instead of checking multiple webpages and merging them into just one on paper. Easier on everyone!

The approved scheduling does not automatically go onto the ward calendar, that has to be done separately. It would be nice if that could be an automatic feature ... hint hint hint for something to be considered in any future updates .... :)

Anyway, the scheduling person when he notifies people that an activity at the building has been approved, he also tells them that they need to submit it on the activity calendar as well. We tell the members to wait until it's been approved before they submit it for the activities calendar, but they don't always wait.

That's how we've been doing it and so far, so good.

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bhofmann-p40
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Postby bhofmann-p40 » Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:37 pm

margiestroble wrote:The approved scheduling does not automatically go onto the ward calendar, that has to be done separately. It would be nice if that could be an automatic feature ... hint hint hint for something to be considered in any future updates .... :)


Yes, this is a drawback for us as well. Once the scheduler enters the resource data they have to turn around and enter it on the ward calendar.

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We also have central scheduling

Postby rclarkin » Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:41 pm

We also have the agent ward handle the scheduling, which works quite well. The only real issue that we run into is when members will create a ward (or Stake) calendar entry and mistakenly believe that they have also scheduled a resource.

We've made this request through the regular feedback channels, but the only real long-term solution that I can see working is to have a "resources" button on the calendar event scheduling page. Clicking this would display resources available for the selected date/time entered for the calendar event, from which the user could then select checkboxes for the desired resources. (All of the neseccary details could be inherited from the calendar event.) Another option would be to prompt the user with the option to reserve resources when they save the calendar event, and if they click "yes", take them to the resources page. (I prefer the first option.)

As a temporary solution, I would love to see the system warn a user when they save a calendar event that they must also reserve one or more resources, something like "Note! Saving you calendar event does NOT automatically reserve the building or other resources. To schedule a resource, click here or do so manually from the resources page." This would really help with inexperienced users! (If launching an alert like this, I would also suggest setting a cookie flag so that it only "nags" the user once per browser session.

Here's hoping that this is worked over in LUWS 2.0, as this is the function of the site for which we receive the most complaints.

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bhofmann-p40
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Postby bhofmann-p40 » Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:42 am

These are great ideas!


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