Federation of International Touch Website - Analysis

Federation of International Touch Website - Analysis

Introduction

At first glance, the Federation of International Touch website doesn't hurt the eyes. The off-white words on a darkish blue background are easy to read. The headings tabs to take you to each section are easy to read. The thought would be that these headings are self explanatory and would provide quality information about the topics.

Wrong.

I know the governing international body for FIT Rugby isn't rich and is most likely run by volunteers, but I think we could better.

WHAT'S TOUCH?

Starting with this section, I would have liked to seen a bit more on the main What is Touch? landing page. Here is a golden opportunity to have a fun video highlighting aspects of touch rugby that make it such a fun game that you can play throughout your life span. Currently, it is just two very short paragraphs that lack style. If I were someone who knew absolutely nothing about rugby or touch rugby, I wouldn't be any wiser on what the game of touch rugby is after leaving that page.

Moving on from the landing page to the Why Touch? page, the visual appeal of the website is lost slightly here. The font and spacing between paragraphs is not consistent. I find it distracting as a reader. The location of the graphic seems to be in an odd place. It intrudes upon the headings and body paragraphs rather than enhancing the page. I also feel this page could have a better graphic all around to show why people should play touch rugby, rather than in paragraph form.

The positions page is lackluster and really doesn't give a lot of information. A graphic showing where the positions would be located on the field would be a better option. The visual with description would help readers more fully conceptualize how it would look on the field. The graphic currently on the positions page does little to enhance reader understanding of how and where the positions play during the game. I have a very similar analysis of the Equipment to Play page as well. It is currently a page of text. Equipment is physical objects. It could very easily be shown by graphics rather than a wall of text.

The Referee Signals page is painful. I'm warning you now. I applaud the FIT web designers for taking the leap to add graphics, however, the graphics are very blurry, poorly lit black and white photos. I believe this page could have done a lot better with higher quality photos and/or videos of referee signals.

The Glossary page is what you would expect from a glossary. Bolded word followed by basic definition. What I don't like about the glossary page are quite a few of the definitions. If we are trying to grow the game of FIT rugby, these definitions do nothing to help a brand new player. I feel like this page could be enhanced by hyperlinking the word being defined to a video that could do a better job of visually showing what these words mean.

I currently have no beef with the rules page.

ABOUT FIT

Graphics. Graphics. Graphics.

That's about all I can say about this whole section and sub-sections. The graphics they do have in this area are not very uniform. I'm mostly talking about the pictures of the board members. I understand at the grassroots level the quality of headshots vary, but this is an organization that is promoting itself on a global stage. This is the head honcho of the FIT touch rugby world! There should be some requirements around head shot quality and standardization to maintain a stronger semblance of professionalism.

The organization of this section is questionable at best. We have snippets of history of the game that aren't in the history section. We've got the vision statement on the landing page without being labeled as the vision statement, and then the same thing again on the Strategic Direction page under the vision statement heading.

Overall, this section needs work.

NEWS

Looks good. Move along.

But really, this section is easy to follow and makes sense. It's got major news from all over the world on the landing page, and then the option to check out FIT news by geographic region on the navigation panel on the side. Simple.

Good job, FIT.

EVENTS

My first impression of the landing page is that there is a lot of information that could be transformed into some cool, easy to read graphics. That would be my first recommendation. Especially the classifications section.

I would have liked if each of the major events that they have listed in the navigation panel (World Cup, Youth World Cup, Trans Tasman, etc.) also had a landing page rather than just a drop down for what year you want to look at. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you are a brand new person to the sport, this site doesn't stay user friendly. Do you know what the Trans Tasman is? I play FIT rugby and I don't. It'd be nice to have a landing page with a brief description of what kind of event it is, where it is typically played, if it has historically been live streamed or if it will this time around, and when the next one is going to be. This is especially important since the World Cup is happening this July! I want to know how to watch!

RESOURCES

Formatting inconsistencies are abundant. The landing page is okay, but the rest are kind of squirrely. The way the pages are laid out are not reader friendly, in my opinion, and have odd gaps in the page. I would take an axe to this page and start fresh. More graphics, more consistent formatting, less super long pages of information.

ALMANAC & CONTACT US

The almanac is a cool feature and easy to see where all the information is if you are interested in the history of touch. However, I think this would be better suited as a tab under the history tab in the ABOUT FIT section. I'm not sure it warrants its own tab.

The contact us is simple and easy. I might put all of the contact information on one page to avoid having to toggle between pages, but it works.

Conclusion

Overall, the site is okay, but as much to be desired. Like I mentioned above, this is supposed to be the head honcho for growing our sport globally, therefore, I don't think okay is good enough. If we want FIT rugby to really take off, we have to do better. We can't put people off by having a sub-par international governing website. It doesn't breed confidence in our sport as a whole. I understand that money, time and effort all play a part in this and that you have to have someone willing and wanting to do the work. I will honestly admit that I am not that person. I am just a person who has a computer and an website analysis assignment. However, I do believe it would be beneficial to our sport as a whole to find that person and invest in stronger marketing and a better website.

Bryanna Kerbuski

Bryanna Kerbuski

Professional Student. Rugby Enthusiast.