Beaten To The Punch

Friend and colleague Railbird has beaten me to the punch with her current post about NYRA’s Curlin’s Corner.

It’s great to see them trying! Actual marketing coming from NYRA is definitely forward motion of the welcome variety. However, the implementation leaves a lot to be desired. Perhaps this is like their 2yo campaign, they’re all heart but they’re not switching leads and they need a lot more schooling the in the gate.

If I had NYRA in my imaginary internet training barn, here’s what we’d work on…

1. PDFs Are Not Interactive.

The only thing PDFs are really good for are take aways, got something you want someone to print out? That’s when you use a PDF, but things like the nice image of Curlin with the riff on a map (Fan’s Guide to Curlin) would be better suited as a little flash thingie where the user can roll over each area to be shown the the info (you know, interactive).

2. Pop Ups Are Bad.

There’s a reason why every browser comes with pop-up blockers… to block them. People block them because they usually contain annoying, ugly unwanted ads. Content belongs in parent window of the browser… it’s ok to make a mini site with individual sections for pictures, race replays, etc. Not everything has to fit in one page.

3. Embedding Videos – all the kids are doing it.

It’s easier for a user to view all the videos on one page. When you have a list that points to another site, the user has to toggle back and forth between the list and the window with the videos. Make it easy on them, give them one page with all of the videos embedded, it’s not like he’s raced THAT much.

4. Check Your Work!

Not all people viewing your site are using the same browser as you. They don’t all have the same screen resolution either. In an ideal world your site should look roughly the same in every browser/platform combo but at the very least the images shouldn’t be broken in any combination!

If they’re serious about training we think they can improve next out. They act like they wanna run so we’re keeping an eye on them!

Update: NYRA is training forwardly as they’ve addressed their issues in Firefox. Keep up the good work!