Sunday, 26 October 2014

VolvoOceanRace improves their Website!

VolvoOceanRace organisation has listened to the comments of their website visitors and has improved their VolvoOceanRace website, on top of that VOR has announced more improvements to come.

This is very good News and indeed signals that VOR cares about their passionated followers. It listens to the comments and when recognised the strengths and correctness of comments, implements to let the arm-chair sailors enjoy their Website even more. 

The 2 improvements that I noticed is the improvement on the main page with the addition of some Keywords, dates, and symbol for document,video etc in the tiles, that before were nice meaningless flipping pictures. At least now it can be seen easily, what tile to click to get more details on that subject, be it that I still prefer a chronological list  for the video's and documents; like Youtube has and also you can find in my blog under the VIDEO tab on top. 
The 2nd improvement on the content of the Watch Log. Now I learn a lot more on the Boats performances, strategies and most of all an interesting view on the situations ahead with the forecasted wind systems. Kudo for this improvement, which is now becoming a real competition with Mark Chisnell weekly blog

What is more to come?

A more pronounced place for the information on the Race. It sounds that simple. The VolvoOceanRace is a "RACE", and the most important information at this time of the event is the race-information: dashboard, wind-data, watchlog, prewies and leaderboards both for the present Leg as for the Overall VOR event.
Till now the data is hidden, difficult to find or not existing. 

In a Sailing Race, what is it that You want to know?
  • What route to sail, with important milestones, marks
  • What Boat to use
  • What Teams participate
  • The progress of the Race once started
All is on the Main Page VOR Website on the Top Menu, indeed,.....except RACE. 

So here is my proposal 
RACE get its own Place on the VOR web
Under the  RACE button, one should find all information relevant to the progress of the VolvoOceanRace, for the actual Leg as well as for the Overall Classification.  Such as the info , mentioned above. 

The VolvoOceanRace Website has a simple Dashboard, too simple imho. It also has a VirtualEye dashboard that is far better and compares to other sailing tracking screens, e.g. Volodiaj Tracking/
VOR should consider either to do away with the simple Dashboard and only have the VirtualEye, which might give some problems for weaker computers and tablets (?) as it requires to not common Unity add-on, or to make some relevant improvements on the Dashboard. 

Improvements, wind direction, wind vanes on screen, relevant wind pattern
 My proposal is to replace the Seawater Temperature in the bottom right Weather box by the Wind Direction of the leading Boats. The Wind direction makes Sailors understand the race and make boats win or loose distance; the Sea Temperature is nice to know but does not contribute to  the Boat preformances. If it is to give some scientific tint on the website, I would propose to add the Wind Direction and Sea Water salinety data. 
This box shows also an animated wind pattern around Alicante ? That is not at all relevant once the Boats sail in the Southern Atlantic. So I propose, forgive me the rough cut-out in the image above but I am sure VOR webmaster can do a better job, a dynamic wind pattern centred a little ahead of the Leaders of the VOR Fleet. Anymation is nice, but eat bandwidth and could be static image of wind systems that is updated with the 3hrs update on the Leaderboard. 

What I as armchair sailor do miss, is the coordinates for the Boats? Not in the Dashboard, not even in the detailed information if you click on the Boats. Yes, I know it is available , hidden in the details of the Boats in the Virtual Eye. 

I propose to make boat coordinates visible in the Boat details in the Dashboard as well .

Boat Coordinates added

 This is just my contribution to help in improving the VolvoOceanRace Website. Now doubt other site-visitors have other or better ideas. As VOR has indicated that the Website needs improvements and have shown to listen to comments, I invite You to come forward with your good proposals to VOR org., such that together we can make the VolvoOceanRace Website a better One.

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