Test Your Organizational Skills; Win Fabulous Prizes

By Hugh Powell
July 18, 2008
Benjamin M. Clock website redesign organizational skills Image by Benjamin M. Clock. His artwork is on display at the Lab through October 14, 2008.
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Yes, it’s true, and no, Round Robin hasn’t been hacked by spammers. We really want your assistance in a short exercise that will help us organize our new website. And as an incentive, we’re awarding prizes.

So far on this blog, we’ve asked you about website features. Now we’re thinking about structure. For example, if you came to our site looking for advice about attracting hummingbirds, or where to see a Crissal Thrasher around Tucson, or how to get to the Lab to see our latest art opening – where would you look? Which menu would you click on?

We have our own ideas, but we’re not the site’s main users. That’s why we’re asking you. We’re hoping you’ll volunteer 15 minutes to help us in an online exercise.

Here’s how it works: We’ve collected the names of 50 pages that will likely be part of our next website. We’ll show you them on your screen, and ask you to drag the names into categories based on how they relate to each other. This isn’t a test to see if you can get a “right answer” – it just lets us step outside the Lab and look in through your eyes. Along the way, we’ll learn how people associate parts of our website, and we’ll learn whether some of our page names are misleading or meaningless.

If we get enough response, we’ll be able to put the site together in a way most people will find natural. So to boost participation, and as a small thank-you, we’ll award prizes to three respondents selected at random.

UPDATE: This contest ended on Monday, July 28. See an upcoming post for a wrap-up and announcement of winners. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Please click here to start the exercise. Thank you!

And the prizes*** are:

As an alternative to any of the prizes, you may choose a one-year Lab membership (or renewal), complete with one year of Living Bird magazine and BirdScope newsletter.

We’ll be conducting this exercise through 12 noon Eastern time, July 28, 2008. We’ll have the drawing and contact the winners by July 29.

***Needless to say, Lab staff and their families are not eligible for prizes. In fact, if you work at the Lab, we’d prefer that you don’t participate – your prior knowledge of the website could skew our results.


No Comments

  • Andrea says:

    That was a really interesting exercise! It was actually kind of fun. :-) I think it’s a great way to get feedback and to get an idea of how people could best utilize your website.

  • Hugh says:

    Thanks for participating, Andrea. Over the weekend we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of people who have volunteered their time on the exercise. Thanks to everyone (and good luck in the prize drawing next week! )

    We’ve also had a few spurious comments added by people who don’t seem interested in contributing to the conversation. We’d just like to remind everyone that we’re grateful for any and all comments as long as they are topical and polite.

    We’ll remove comments that don’t fit that description, if only so the rest of our readers don’t have to wade through them. Thanks again for reading and participating – Hugh.

  • makaila says:

    i love northern cardinal’s! I think it’s

    awesome that you have stuff about them!

    and I think you should put out more bright colors on your web page.also there

    should be more add’s for people to come

    to this web page.



    p.s I am only 9 years old.

  • Birdfreak says:

    That was one of the coolest web apps I’ve used and a great way to get feedback now and in the future.

    That type of user interface would be great with the new Bird ID tool – where you could drag various attributes of a bird or select several birds from a list to compare them, etc.

    Just make sure it runs quickly for those that may not have high-speed access.

    Also, the ability to have an online life-list on the personal pages (assuming they are created) would be a nice feature too, using the same sort of drag and drop (and save) functions.


  • JIM says:

    :) This is so birdish!:)

  • D Morin says:

    Hi, I still intend to do the exercise because I love this site, but I am curious if Canadians can participate in the prize winning?

  • Hugh says:

    Hi D – we’re all North Americans here so yes, Canadians most certainly can participate in the prize winning. Thanks!

  • JIM says:

    Are Mourning Doves going to be all over the website,Hugh?

  • Hugh says:

    @Jim. While I appreciate your enthusiasm here at Round Robin, I do need to remind you that comments should be on topic and should contribute to the discussion in some way. I’m glad Mourning Doves have such a good friend in you, and I assure you they’ll have their place on our new website. But please don’t leave any more comments that consist of cut-and-pasted text or the like. If you do, I will continue to remove them so that other readers can more easily follow the discussion. Thanks again to everyone who is participating.

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