Challenging the ARRL on the Website

I originally started writing this back in September of 2010  and had left it as a draft, hoping that the ARRL  would quickly correct the flaws in its new website.

Alas that is not to be, and despite communications with some of the officers at the league,  including face-to-face conversations with them at Dayton, nothing much has changed.

The prior text based version was a daily favorite. Seldom a day went by that I didn’t have a look at it. Now I hardly ever look at the league’s website even with all the e-mails and feeds they put out to try and draw traffic.

Is this a case of more is less, of adding features takes away utility? Where the old site perhaps was a little bit behind in fashion, it was ahead technology–or at least the communication of technology. The new site has more Internet sizzle, much of which disguises or outright conceals  any actual content. Rather expect if the membership was provided the before and after hit count for the number of accesses made each day that the investment in the shiny new version may not stack up very well.

Not that one would recommend going back to the old version, but perhaps something a little bit more smart phone sensitive, low bandwidth sensitive, and higher content versus sizzle ratio, would go down well with all parts of the target audience?

What do you think?



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4 thoughts on “Challenging the ARRL on the Website

  1. Chris Bohn N0RZT says:

    I think you’ve found the wedge that’s most likely to effect change. The buzz these days is mobile-this and mobile-that. Many websites have created mobile-enabled websites (which means that they still have their bloated website, but the server detects whether it’s a smartphone that’s hitting the site and then displays a more spartan view that has all the same content but less blinky stuff). I’m in the process of overhauling my organization’s website… I was tasked with both updating the content and mobile-enabling it. Instead, I’m using the content-update to redo the non-mobile website to be more mobile-friendly.

    If ARRL does create a mobile-enabled website, there’s no reason you can’t view it from a non-mobile browser (for example and

    Alas, the more likely outcome (based on what I see others doing) would be ARRL releasing iPhone & Android apps that occupy precious storage space on our phones and do nothing but pull web pages from the ARRL website.

  2. Being in IT and delivering web sites professionally for many years, I wasn’t thrilled with the redesign either. Like you mentioned, I’m more about content and functionality than flash – just look at my own personal web sites. When it was first released and even today, I feel it is cumbersome and requires too many clicks to get to what you want. It’s also not well designed from providing a direct URL to many of the areas of the site. They also did a less than stellar job of handling the old URLs and properly redirecting, some of which I still find today.

    In the end, I can usually find what I’m looking for, but I always say to myself that it could be a much better experience.

    Happy Holidays!
    K2DSL – David

  3. WS4E says:

    The site is still a disaster. Its geared around PR and has almost zero to offer the actual membership.

  4. Jeff says:

    In this case the psychology of previous investment means that the ARRL can’t re-tool the site. The powers that be blessed the work and paid plenty of coin to have it minted the way you see it and to agree to change it now would be tantamount to admitting it wasn’t such a great idea – ain’t gonna happen!

    I’d be happy to cede this fight and challenge them to remove the adverts from the ARRL and Contest Letter’s… I’ve actually considered creating a text-only archive of both and making them available online. While that may chafe them a bit, I note that they do publish the ARRL Letter via Usenet in all its naked – and text only – glory so it would just be a rehash of that…

    73, Jeff KE9V

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