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Online UC Agenda falls short for me - let's brainstorm improvements

Question asked by sgoldman on Jul 21, 2014
Latest reply on Jul 31, 2014 by dscheirer-esristaff

The toughest thing for me at the Esri User Conference is making sure I'm using my time as best as possible, and hitting as many sessions as I can. Having easy access to the Agenda is key to this. I always go over it ahead of time, and mark a bunch of "possibles", but there are always multiple sessions in many timeslots that I'd like to attend, and it often comes down to other factors, like who I end up bumping into, and the conversations that ensue. I like to have some potentials marked, but I also like to have live access to the information so last minute choices can be made.


The current online Agenda is certainly better than no online Agenda, which was true only a few years back, but I think it has the potential to be much more useful without too much work. I'm not sure if this online version was new this year or not, but I don't recall it being available 2 years back when I last attended.


I'd like to have folks comment on if they liked it or not, and what ideas they have to make it work better for them. Hopefully, with some thought out discussion, Esri folks will then re-work it a bit.


My criticism is that this version is not very easy to use on either my desktop for pre-planning or on my iPhone for live access.


For one, they included a map widget in the agenda. We're all map geeks, so it's cool to have a map of the convention center room locations, but it shouldn't be an always-there part of the Agenda web page. For the most part, as you are going through the sessions and decided which to go to, location of a particular session is irrelevant as there is ample time between sessions to get from end-to-end. Maximize screen real-estate for the Sessions grid, and make the map an optional window to pop up.


Additionally, it has a scrollable area inside the main page. On the iPhone, this creates dual vertical scrolling, which is difficult to navigate. I think a single page list would work much better. There could be collapsable areas for the days, and then also for the time-slots. Then additionally, the full info for the session could be a collapsable area. This way, all content is on a single web page. No dual content areas, no popups, etc.


The Pocket Agenda is useful, and I'm glad they stopped printing the large Full Agenda to save trees, but the Pocket Agenda doesn't have the details on each session, which is critical for the paper sessions especially, since the session title offers little in the way of really understanding what the 3 presentations will cover.


An easy Search function is critical, and the existing site did fairly well here, but could be better.


What other ideas are out there?