By now you might have seen the blue banner at the top of Athlinks, announcing that Athlinks is about to launch a new website and inviting you to take a tour and share feedback.
Dallin Moon here and I’d like to introduce you to the new Athlinks.com. As the product manager for Athlinks, it has been awesome to get feedback from many of you, hear your frustrations, and learn what you like and love about using the site. I’m glad we now have better ways to stay in close contact with our athlete users. Ultimately, all that matters is that you get value out of Athlinks, you are proud of your results, and that you’re motivated to get out there and race.
In this article, I’ll guide you through the new Athlinks.com, describe some new features and remind you of some features we are bringing back. I’ll also go over some data we’ve been gathering from the Athlinks community, and what the future of Athlinks looks like.
Here we go. Let’s dive into the features.
Before this project started, we brainstormed and explored a lot of ideas. We tossed out the weird ideas and even put some really good ideas on hold. What we really wanted to do was focus the new website on what Athlinks does best: claiming official race results to a profile.
If you compare Athlinks to the myriad of other athlete services out there, we have carved out a cool niche as the authority of official race results. When talking to new members of Athlinks, they consistently refer to the “aha moment” when it dawns on them that Athlinks already has all their race results in one place.
With the new website we will build upon this. We want to go back to our roots and focus on you and your achievements. As we continue to work on the new site, it will be more personal and fun to use. This new design, which generally has received positive feedback, will set the foundation to be your preferred website in the endurance racing industry. We hope that every time you log into Athlinks to check out a new race, you say, “Wow. That’s cool.”
One thing the new website will do is get your results to you faster on race day. In a combined effort with our timing partners, many events have agreed to deliver results directly in Athlinks.
This is a game changer. Let me explain.
Traditionally you have waited weeks to be able to claim a result. We did this primarily because we genuinely respect event directors and didn’t want to funnel people away from their hosted results. Now, many events are hosting their results on Athlinks. This is how we will be able to present claimable results as soon as you cross the finish line. We are anticipating having 2-3 million race day results available on Athlinks in 2017.
I don’t know about you, but I think that is going to be awesome.
We will be working on making this as seamless as we can. One thing you can do to “auto-claim” your result in one of these races, is to register for the event with your Athlinks account. This will add you to the start list of that event, so we can connect your result with your registration automatically. Or you can find your result and press the claim button. Either way, the result is yours … immediately … and forever.
We’re also bringing back a few features that got lost over the past several months. Regardless of whether we have official results or not, the new website will bring back the ability to record your unofficial time. This way you can record your achievement. This process also helps us know which events have results requests so we can import the official race results. Win-win.
We’re making it easier to add yourself to an upcoming event.
Your results pages have been re-designed to be, what I believe, is the coolest place to view a result in the industry. Not only do we bring in your profile, we also connect results to people you are following. We include your time, pace, rankings, goals, splits, media, and comments. You won’t get that anywhere else but Athlinks.
We’ve also improved the overall searching functionality for events, athletes, and
unclaimed results. People are typically surprised when they learn Athlinks has more than 400,000 events, both historical and upcoming. Even if we don’t host the actual event registration, you can find almost any event and add it to your race calendar. Even better, Athlinks usually has a link to the event website where you can learn more and register there.
Now let’s quickly talk about some of the feedback you have given us over the past couple months.
Periodically, you may see a poll that asks you to rank how likely you are to recommend the website to a friend or family member. Overall, we have received 727 responses. All of these responses result in a Net Promoter Score of 36. What is that?
This score helps us determine how much value our members get from the site. A 36 is a good score but it’s not where we want it to be. We believe you will be a raving fan of Athlinks when we have a score above 50. Your feedback is critical to helping us build the features that will make you absolutely love Athlinks. Please continue to give us your feedback, good and bad. In the end, it’s your profile and your achievements that matter. Not ours. Tell us about it.
So what is the future of Athlinks?
The product roadmap for Athlinks has a lot to look forward to. Based on your feedback, there are a few things we know we need to do.
We need an awesome mobile app experience. Our first attempt at a mobile app toward the end of 2016 did not live up to your standards. That feedback was heard loud and clear. Since then, we went back to the drawing board, and we will be releasing a brand new mobile app in June, with all the features described above.
As we talk with endurance athletes and get feedback from Athlinks members, you’ve told us it would be great if Athlinks could help you answer two simple questions: what events did my friends do last weekend and what events are they doing this upcoming weekend? In the future Athlinks will introduce features that will inform you of events your friends and rivals are doing, as well as results from those events.
You’ve also told us you’d like more features around photos and videos to celebrate your race day. Particularly with the mobile app, we will be making it much easier to upload and share race day photos along with your results. This will keep your entire race day experience in one place. Your results page will also feature improved functionality for official event course photos you can’t get anywhere else.
The last thing I’d like to mention is that your experience could be much richer if we had course mapping and athlete tracking. For athletes you’re following on Athlinks, what if you could follow their progress live on race day? For events supported by our timing partners, you’ll be able to see their progress on a course map and cheer them on.
In all this, our greatest hope is that Athlinks matches the passion you bring each time you sign up and participate in a race. We’ve got some great features coming in the new website and we’re listening to you to know what to build next. Thanks for being loyal and enthusiastic and we’ll see you at the finish line!