Inheriting bad design: the new Gold’s Gym Web site

I’m a member of Gold’s Gym.  As a franchise, individual gyms need to fall in line with a bunch of larger-than-them corporate decisions, which I seems to include the website, which, unfortunately, has been recently redesigned.

The old website was not great, but I could see all of the group exercise classes for the entire week on one screen.  There was some spatial problems (monday’s 10:30 am class did not line up horizontally with tuesday’s 10:30am class), but important information class (name, time, instructor) was present with no clicking necessary.  The schedule was always wrong during holidays, but the correct information was appended to the top of the page, explaining that on this or that day all classes except these were cancelled.  A hack, but the correct data was available.

The New Web Experience

  • The calendar doesn’t launch in a state that necessarily displays today’s information.  Usually I, personally, receive a screen that gives me the schedule starting a few days back.

wrongday

  • All of today’s classes are not presented in a readable manner on one screen, nevermind the full week’s.

week

 

dayview

  • There is less information than before.  Instructor information (which, anyone that has ever taken a class in anything realizes, is an extremely important piece of information) is no longer available, in any view.

moreinfo

  • Like before, the schedule is incorrect on holidays.  Unlike before, there is no indication that this is the case.  Two days ago, because of this I drove to the gym only to find I had missed my class because the published information was wrong.  Today, assuming the same, I called (called! on the phone!) to get the schedule, and was routed through an automatic answering system that gave me more incorrect information about hours, dumped me in a department I didn’t want to be in (personal training), and gave me no exit option back to the main switchboard number or to talk to a human being.

todaymaybe

So what should my local gym do? What should they have done before the site even went live?  Assuming (like for many of us) they have to fall in line with branded experiences provided by someone else, what are the options for avoiding horrible user experience like this?

P.S. You can explore the gold’s gym web site’s schedule of classes for yourself here: http://www.goldsgym.com/redmondwa/calendar/

 

 

Smallest library ever?

Found on facebook: “Today we put up our Little Free Library! I’m excited to get our official registration to add the finishing touch but hope that all the walkers in our neighborhood will like and use it! ”

(http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151228757702990&set=a.46148132989.72579.675632989&type=1&theater)