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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Trip Planning Page -- Feedback Request

    Job One at RTA is providing sufficient advice and resources so that you can plan your own roadtrip. For a while we thought we would create software that assisted in this process, but after spending a few thousand dollars in R&D money, what we decided is that what we really provide is first-hand, practical advice and support.

    Today, we have published a new version of our roadtrip planning page and we are looking for feedback, from you, about how the page is organized and, more importantly, what we can add to make it useful to you.

    In the next few weeks we will begin to offer RSS feeds from services reporting current weather and road conditions and will be adding other services as they become available.

    As you may already have seen, there are hundreds and hundreds of pages on this site providing tips, suggestions and local intel about places all over North America and our continual challenge is providing the means for you to navigate to those pages that have the best information for your particular query.

    Eventually, we will transform this site so that many more of the web pages are fully dynamic and enable you to contribute directly to the expanding knowledge base being created by roadtrippers just like you on a daily basis. In the meantime, what can we do to make your time here more valuable to you?

    Thanks,

    the RTA Editorial Team

  2. #2
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Layout, and other things

    Mark,

    I like the information available via Road trip Planning page. Lots of useful information there. The only concern I have would be the layout. That is a large amount of information, and to someone who already feels like they're 5 feet underwater with planning their trip, it may just look like a list of links.

    An idea might be turning the main road trip planning page into more of a landing page, using some expandable menus a visitor could expand menus to locate a specific topic, and upon clicking on that sub menu, are taken to a page with the list of the available resources and more detailed synopsis of what that resource is.

    Just my 2 cents.

    -Brad

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Thanks for the ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Arizona Brad View Post
    I like the information available via Road trip Planning page. Lots of useful information there. The only concern I have would be the layout. That is a large amount of information, and to someone who already feels like they're 5 feet underwater with planning their trip, it may just look like a list of links.
    Just to be clear, you are referring to the one that is there now? The old planning page had even more internal links -- we have cut that one by about 50%
    An idea might be turning the main road trip planning page into more of a landing page, using some expandable menus a visitor could expand menus to locate a specific topic, and upon clicking on that sub menu, are taken to a page with the list of the available resources and more detailed synopsis of what that resource is.
    OK, I thought that was what we created here, this time. Um, I guess we need to re-think this again.

    Thanks,

    Mark

  4. #4

    Default

    I don't recall seeing the previous page (there really is so much info on this site!!) but I'd perhaps agree with Brad that there's a little too many links and not enough actual info on that page at present. As has been said, the content is there, it just needs to be presented in a way that enthuses the reader.

    I'd possibly be inclined to push column four (on the right) down the page a little and create a full width top row across columns 2-4 containing an introduction to the aim of the page and some text to draw the reader into the page itself, rather than immediately firing them off to other areas of the site. Try and encourage them to bookmark that page and use it as a base point to explore the other areas.

    Maybe a slightly editted version of how to plan a great roadtrip would be a good candidate for inclusion in that place? And a couple of small photos possibly?

    I very much like the idea of a list of RSS feeds but, depending on how many are available, maybe they need to be on a seperate page or pages?

    Just my thoughts, all meant constructively.

  5. #5
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Improved

    I do recall seeing the old roadtrip planning page, and that was a lot more like a directory than what is there now. It is an improvement over the older version.

    If I find any examples, I'll pass them along... i've been knee deep in trying to get a Access Database program go from working well on a desktop to working well on the web!

  6. #6

    Default

    Actually I just remembered the Internet Archive site and had a look at the old version.

    The new version is a vast improvement, in my opinion, 2/3 of the way there, I reckon! ;) One thing I did like about the old page was that there was that there was more white space but that is purely personal preference I think.

    Good work, keep it up!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default OK, another version is up today

    We just put up a new view of the Trip Planning Page today.

    I am going to build a RoadTrip Planning FAQ and am seeking your ideas of the kinds of questions that we ought to be providing answers to.

    Obvious Ones:

    1) Does RTA charge for trip planning:
    No. All advice is provided free of charge. This is an advertising-supported website.

    2) Will you plan my road trip turn-by-turn for me?
    RoadTrips start (and sometimes finish in YOUR brain) and we will assist you by providing tips and ideas that you may use to create your own perfect trip.

    Please, provide a few more questions for us!

    Thanks!

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Keithville, LA
    Posts
    638

    Default LA-San Fran - Vegas

    We get asked about this so often that I'd suggest creating a link to some of the better threads on this topic from the road trip planning page.

    Laura

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Use the sticky one

    Quote Originally Posted by lhuff View Post
    We get asked about this so often that I'd suggest creating a link to some of the better threads on this topic from the road trip planning page.
    Laura, good idea. In the interim, the Moderators use the "sticky" function to find some of these oft-repeated threads. So, for your use, if anyone asks about this popular route -- here is the thread we refer them to with the suggestion that they scroll to the second post in that thread.

    But a list of threads about popular routes is a great idea for the FAQ. Any more?

    Mark

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