Founded in 1998, The L.A. Racing Dragons are a 501c3 not-for-profit competitive dragon boat paddling club.
This is our longest ongoing project. It was created in 2000 as a static website primarily to share photos and update schedules. Over the next 12 years, DynaWebWorks has redesigned The LA Racing Dragons website using the latest technology available on Ruby on Rails 3 and is a clean slate reboot of the website. It has been custom built from the ground-up to maximize the team's presence on the web while streamlining management tasks. While the homepage has improved iteratively, the secure side of the site has undergone a complete transformation with a new user interface and improved data management and analysis.
While most projects tend to over-emphasize the visual appeal of the website, the ease of access to content is of much greater concern. Larger websites like this one, are torn between two or more different needs. On the one hand, the website needs to be easy to access for existing membership with a steady stream of updates and interactivity. On the other hand, the website must capture a new audience and provide whatever information the public might be seeking without having to spend any time figuring out how the website works.
This organization had unique requirements. It needed to have a full authorization system to differentiate standard members from their directors, captains, and coaches, with each having unique access to the team data. The membership needed a complete financial module integrated with access to the team resources including a series of team specific mailing lists to streamline communication and guarantee privacy (something that could not be done using Yahoo Groups). Additionally, members are tracked for attendance, fitness and completion of waivers streamlining the organizations day to day activities and providing a wealth of data-mining to inform them of how to plan for the future. A brand new feature in version 8 of this site is a graphical view of fitness data over time tailored for each individual member, displaying their score in relation to the minimum, maximum and average of the team by gender. Coaches have a wealth of specialized analysis tools to assist in tracking the teams fitness progress and to better understand which variables produce the greatest return on performance.