April 14, 2014 by Charlie Eisenhood in Livewire with 22 comments
Ah, scores.usaultimate.org. It was never a smooth user experience, it crashed during periods of high usage, and it was all around a bit of a clunky interface. But it worked: tournaments were there, scores were updated, and, all in all, it was a pretty good way of quickly seeing what happened at a tournament.
It was badly in need of an upgrade, but it worked. Oh, how I miss it.
USA Ultimate began the process of rolling out a new Score Reporting system during the middle of the college season. Abruptly, scores.usaultimate.org was non-functional, and tournament directors, players, and fans were ported over to the old version of the system, scorereport.net, as USAU worked out the kinks of their brand new system. Scorereport.net was not ready for the changeover and there were a lot of issues for the first two weeks, as doing basic tasks on the site was not possible. There was a lot of frustration with the timing and rollout of the switchover
Now, right before the Series, USAU has launched their new tool, play.usaultimate.org. It is, in its current state, a total disaster.
Needless landing pages clutter the space, visualizing results is nearly impossible due to the formatting, pool play and bracket play are on separate pages for no apparent reason, and trying to track results from this weekend’s college Conferences is tedious (and, in many cases, impossible, as scores are simply not listed).
This is not a finished product nor is it close to being one. It needs extensive user testing and feedback; there is already a Reddit thread calling for some sensible adjustments to help improve the tool.
If it were me, I would fully scrap what they have right now. It’s bad, and you can’t bandage it up. Rethink the design from a user perspective and get a bright young software developer to build out a beautiful, mobile-friendly tool that keeps the good elements of the old score reporter while adding in some of the things a new version would need (reliability, search functionality, a good calendar view, a good map view, etc.).
There appears to have been little thought put into how players and fans would actually use the new Score Reporter system, and we are left with what I would call a major downgrade from the clunky, but useful scores.usaultimate.org.