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Case Study: Bournemouth Sevens

November 19, 2008

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As a short case study, I have decided to test the usability of Bournemouthsevens.com. The website is built by Diamond Sports Events in house team, and is used to promote the rugby festival which is the largest of its kind in Europe. As a user I attempted to do the following:

– Be convinced and then enter a team into the Open Cup Tournament (Sale)

On arriving at the websites home page, I am greeted by a slideshow of images from last years tournament, which places more of an emphasis on celebrity than anything else. For this type of product however, it bodes as a positive device, with many players or potential visitors excited at the thought of meeting their heros. If I was however automatically convinced to enter a team, there is no immediate option to do so. This would be an ideal device to have on the home page, however, it is only two clicks away with ‘Teams’ and ‘Apply to Enter’ the links to follow. The simple link ‘The Festival’ provides direct access to information about the weekend, however the lenghty menu format is tough to work through. There is a sense that the website has been designed with the intention of appealing to an incredibly broad audience, however as a sales tool to attract playing teams, I would deem it a success. 7/10

– Find out about how Bournemouth Sevens works within the Community (Information)

Next on the agenda is to find out about how this Tournament supports the local community. Simply put, how easy is it to find new information? From the home page, I can only assume that if the information is available, it will be located under the ‘News and Info’ section. Once navigated, I found that there were several links that could have applied to what I was looking for, and eventually, realising that all the information I was after was hidden under several different links. Still, it was all located with one individual hub page which at least ensures the information can be retained together. 6/10

– Locate the Press Release, Sponsorship and Last Years Winners Sections (Navigation)

Finding the following pags in sequence proved difficult, starting off with being unable to find any press releases. However, sponsorship was easy to find as current sponsors are featured all over the site, and even provided with their own main hub under menu heading ‘Sponsors’. Initally I believd previous winners of the tournament to be located under the news and info section, however, they are actually tucked away in the teams section. However, both ‘Results Archive’ and ‘Hall of Fame’ cover the same issues and coul easily be combined. 6/10

Overall, as a device to promote the tournament, it works great. By combining a range of information with vast imagery, it promotes a positive party atmosphere. I cannot help but sense that the site has been designed with the intent of appealing to far broader audience however, which at times makes understanding it increasingly difficult.  The design is exciting to the average  man, but for those with a keen eye and understanding of digital, it doesn’t have the most dramatic impact.

Final Thoughts – Bournemouth Sevens, even after one year, has risen to unprecedented levels of success. So for the sake of this, a seperate corporate site would provide a great tool to sell VIP passes, sponsorship and much more, without cluttering the general visitors and players side.

Have a look for yourself and give me your thoughts…

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