OLPLA.ORG

Type: Project

Summary

  • Website Design
  • Better Experience through the Member Dash
  • Automated Emails and Customer Service

Summary

The Oxbow Lake Private Launch Association (OLPLA) is a non-profit organization formed to serve riparian owners of Oxbow Lake with a member-only launch for boats and watercraft. I built the website, OLPLA.ORG, a member-only website for OLPLA members to schedule their launch times. This website took 4 months to build: Using WordPress, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP. Read more below on how I designed the OLPLA website, adding a member dashboard to manage launch time scheduling, and automated customer service for each member when they schedule a launch!

Website Design

  • Designing the OLPLA Website
  • Perfecting the home page for an easy experience
  • Member Dashboard and Email Support

Designing the OLPLA website

OLPLA is not just an ordinary website. This website is a member-only site with over 150 active members. Each member (house) member can schedule on the website to use the launch for their boats and watercraft. Below, I go into deeper detail on the design process for the OLPLA website!

Perfecting homepage experience

With 150 active and unique members, there are different aspects that the website needs to cover so that each member can have their own quality experience. To build this homepage, as it is the main navigation for desktop and mobile (phone) users. What is also interesting about this particular experience is that the launch is seasonal. This means that members are using the site altogether or at a peak level such as April 15th (launch opening day) and November 15th (launch closing day).

Below I discuss more about the analytics and the key aspects of building a site that is used by a diverse group of members.

But first, I will discuss the Design Thinking Process of building the homepage for the OLPLA website below!

1. empathize with members

I’ve lived on Oxbow Lake since 2021. By being a member of the lake, I understood the need to build a launch for the members/house owners on the lake. To build this experience correctly, I worked with the OLPLA board to design a website that matched the needs of the riparian. A private website, with secure scheduling, for a private lake launch.

Today, I actively participate in OLPLA board meetings and conversations with OLPLA members regarding the website and lake activities.

2. Defining the goals of the site

Pulling from my discovery during the empathize section, I now have my problem statement and goals for defining the OLPLA website experience:

P: A private website, with secure scheduling, for a private lake launch.

Goals: User-Friendly . Accessibility for All Ages . Private and Secure Accounts . News and Articles . Quick Contact Link for General Inquiry.

3/4. Ideate and prototype

To Ideate, I first proposed to the OLPLA board different design and theme ideas that would match the environment/understanding of our lake. I focused our conversations mainly on the homepage as the homepage is the directory for the entire site for scheduling, news and articles, and contacting OLPLA.

Prototyping: After brainstorming, concept maps, and revisiting the previous empathize, ideate, and prototyping steps, I proposed a website outline for the OLPLA Website and Scheduling System

Within a few weeks, I started to build out the homepage that you see to the left.

(some private information to OLPLA is redacted).

5. Test and publish

The homepage that you see to the left is the current version (2024). 

The homepage design consists of:

  • Landing/Front Cover with a CTA and video-background.
  • Welcome Notes
  • Quick Links to OLPLA Information
  • Schedule Plugin and Information
  • News & Articles (PDFs) Section
  • Upcoming OLPLA Events and Activities
  • Contact Form

The OLPLA website design is one of my proudest career highlights so far. Every summer, I assist with helping OLPLA friends and family safely schedule their launch times and enjoy their lake access and experience!

SCHEDULING MEMBER DASHBOARD

The OLPLA Member Dashboard/Panel is the central station for managing scheduled dates and information.

In This Member Panel:

  • Appointments Tab: Manage scheduled launch times. Launch times are marked as Approved, Canceled, or Rescheduled.
  • Profile Tab: Change Profile Information: Name, Email, and Phone
  • Change Password: Secure Tab to change the password associated with the user’s account.

This Member Panel is built by Booknetic Software. After purchasing the initial license, I customized the backend (PHP) to match the needs of the OLPLA members when scheduling a launch time on the website.

Automated Emails and Support

Email Confirmations and support

After scheduling a launch time on the OLPLA website, members receive their launch time confirmation (right image) with their launch date, start time, duration, and additional information that allows the member to have the full experience when scheduling a launch time.

The emails and website scheduling process is designed to give the members complete independence in scheduling and managing a launch.

Automated emails and support are just one of the many features that allow the OLPLA members to have a full experience when scheduling.

Emails: Canceled/Rescheduled

%

Site and Scheduling Uptime

Active Members

Launches

Scheduling Analytics – 2023

Analyzing launches

Looking at the Data from Summer 2023:

  • 154 Scheduled Launch Times and 14 Canceled.
  • Total Time Spent at Launch: 2D 3H and 20 minutes.
  • Peak Periods: April 15 (Dark Blue) – Opening Day.
  • Peak: End of October (Launch Closed on November 3rd).

Improvements to the scheduling

What went right: No hiccups for any members scheduling a launch time. This is due to the extensive documentation and ease of use when scheduling a launch time on the website.

What can be improved: Scheduling of launches on the website. As most launches are scheduled at the beginning and end of season, we can reduce traffic during peak times by simplifying and reducing the number of clicks it takes to schedule a launch. This will not only improve the user experience for members but also save costs for OLPLA.