Redeveloping the OpenActive website

We’ve started the process of redesigning and redeveloping the OpenActive website, and as part of trying to do this openly we’d like to ask for your initial thoughts.

Please note that this article was previously written for the OpenActive blog as part of my role on the project as an Open Data Institute Associate, and is recorded here for posterity.

For anyone reading this who may be new to the world of open opportunity data (or who needs a brief ‘previously on OpenActive’ refresher), here’s the story so far:

OpenActive is a community-led initiative of sport and physical activity member organisations and individuals, using open data to help people get active. We’re working on areas like:

  • Improving access to opportunity data (data about where and when sport and physical activities happen)
  • Helping people to make things with data, to meet society’s digital expectations
  • Developing open standards
  • Building data literacy within the sector
  • Working collaboratively to evoke change across the sector

OpenActive is stewarded by the Open Data Institute (ODI), supported by Sport England and formed of member organisations and individuals in the sport and physical activity sector who share a vision to help people get active by stimulating use and innovation with open data.

The OpenActive website

Our website is openactive.io. It was intended as a quick and basic online presence built to meet quite simplistic needs, but as OpenActive has progressed we rapidly found emerging challenges with the current design and tech setup.

Non-technical team members have struggled to make changes due to the workflow involved, content elements have been tricky to scale effectively, and the information architecture and journeys within the site no longer fit the way that people want to use the website. Outside of OpenActive I regularly review websites to make recommendations, and in doing this for openactive.io I noticed that improvements that could be made to the overall accessibility and performance — which are incredibly important when making our work as usable and accessible as possible.

As such, we’ve started an exciting Discovery phase to help inform the development of the new site, and we’d really appreciate any thoughts that could help us better meet the needs of the OpenActive community.

Send us your thoughts

We’re really interested to hear a little bit about:

  • Your situation and where your views are coming from
  • What you think the site should be for, what you need from it, and why
  • What we could be doing better

Please fill in our online survey to share your thoughts. We’d value as much information as you can share to help us make the site work for you and others with similar expectations. We may follow up with some interviews if you give us consent and are happy to be contacted for a further chat. If you’d find it easier to email your thoughts to us, please send them to hello@openactive.io.

Our next steps

We’re gathering insights about how the site can support the ODI team responsible for coordinating OpenActive activity and will be reaching out to members within the OpenActive community.

We’ll soon be publishing a tender to commission the redesign and redevelopment, and will engage with people interested to carry out the work.

Finally, we’ll keep the community updated on our progress, including how we factor in long-term sustainability and future changes to any decisions being made about our website and online tools. If you’d like any more information about this project or OpenActive in general, please send us an email at hello@openactive.io as we’d love to hear from you.