Running Rats site

The Running Rats have been active in Toronto for almost two decades, making them one of the more established running clubs in town, but their web presence was looking a bit rough. The user experience wasn't great: lots of content, semi-organized, not mobile-friendly. Plus, it had been put together using a build-your-own, no-code-required hosting service, which cost more money per month than a free run club should have been spending.

The first step in revising the site was auditing the content and seeing exactly why people visited. There were two main answers: potential members looking for a club to try, often because they were new to town or to running; and existing members, looking to see what that week's route was. Everything else was secondary to those.

Every page on the new site has a friendly call to action that brings new visitors to a page saying where and when the club meets. The Run Crew page clearly lists which members have upcoming duties and all near-future events, and all the weekly routes are listed with their distances, downloadable maps, and links to interactive mapsl

The new site is also, of course, fully responsive and looks great on a phone. It's mainly HTML and SCSS, with minimal JavaScript: the emphasis is on simplicity and speed, ease of maintenance and user-friendliness.

Since launching in summer 2019, in combination with a new push on social media, new club membership has surged; some nights now see upwards of thirty runners joining the group for an hour-long run. Many new members say they "found the club online" and were excited to try the group based on their web presence.