Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
We’ve had no issues. We’ve always had a dry run before registration, and that’s critical. We open it up on April 14th, and we’re filled up two weeks later. Our participation has gone up over the years. It’s a massive input. We’ve never had any complaints. One of the things Trevor has done is send out confirmation emails, and we never had any problems with that.
Our registrar and some conveners used to send out emails constantly to parents. But then, of course, there’s always a whole bunch of parents with thousands of questions. We stopped all of that. Now we just say, “All information on the Toronto Maple Leaf’s day with our organization, which is on November 15th, will be on the website by October 15th.” That’s it. The conveners no longer have to work their ass off trying to answer questions from thousands of parents. That’s a soft one, but it’s an important one. We’re funneling the eyeballs to that site.
We won a bronze award from a website competition. Whether it’s a small or big organization that gave us the award, someone recognized that we have really good pages. I think that’s kudos to him.
GTHL said it looks great, but it’s not a big thing for them since they don’t need to market, register their kids, or send information. It’s a very passive page for them. It changes once a year when they change their coaches. What uber-competitive parents need to know is the name of the coach and the organization, so it’s quite different. They’re easily attracted to that website and need minimum information. But mine is way different.
How did The Story Web Design perform from a project management standpoint?
We would communicate through email. He’d show me dry runs. We’d go into his model, and I’d look at it and adjust. We’d be talking regularly on the phone. When we were designing it, we had calls nearly daily. He’d show me various methods and I’d dial into a certain website viewer that I could go through with hime. It was very interactive.
What did you find most impressive about The Story Web Design?
Timeliness, for one. Once I’ve submitted to him, as the webmaster, I have an expectation that I want that up in 24 hours generally. If it’s urgent, then within the hour. Sometimes, we’ve had a problem with the website, and he was very responsive that way. What impressed me with working with him is getting rid of clutter. He had the ability to see a clean look. He streamlined the design to just what matters. For a designer, that’s got to be critical to your success—what’s extraneous and what’s not, and to be able to convince me, the content provider, that it’s not necessary. He does it very smoothly and encouragingly, but also in a very thoughtful and well-reasoned way where I can’t say no. He’s just good at that, and that’s a real skill for him.
Are there any areas The Story Web Design could improve?
Because he knows nothing about hockey, sometimes I have to be super clear. For example, when I make a change that affects both Learn to Play and House League, I will not say in the text, “This should go in both the page of the House League and Learn To Play.” That’s not going to work. What I do, and we’ve learned through trial and error, is I’ll put the exact page. I’ll post and hyperlink the page, saying this is this and that is that. Since then, we’ve had no problems whatsoever.
What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with The Story Web Design?
Direct Trevor. He’s inquisitive and asks the right questions. He’s very flexible which is a strength and a weakness. He can go off in a way that he thinks is good, but that’s not quite your vision. The communication at the beginning has to be clear and upfront: this is what I’m thinking, and this is how I want to look. Sketch it out and come back to me with your ideas.
Have a good timeline. I want that constant feedback, and that’s the way we worked together. He was very good with that.
He’s not a hands-off person who will come back and wow you. I think that’s not quite Trevor’s skill—implementation and visuals are surely his skills. You have to be driving the bus with him in terms of vision; don’t just let Trevor drive the bus and come back a month later. That’s not going to work.