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December 29, 2010

By: SpeakerRate Team

For some time, the SpeakerRate team has been planning and working on a new homepage and dashboard for registered users. We believed the homepage should more accurately portray the value of SpeakerRate for event organizers, speakers, and attendees as well as provide more relevant information such as upcoming events and talks, along with recent activity on the site. With these goals in mind, we set out on the redesign adventure and have completed it in time for the new year.

There are a few new homepage elements that are worth mentioning. 

First, we have integrated a search into the top navigation; this can be found on the left side on the homepage, and on the right on all other pages.

Second, the main focus of the homepage is providing a brief explanation of the value that different users will find in using the site. Event organizers (“organize”)can use the site to find speakers, get feedback, and promote. Attendees (“attend”) can use the site to get connected, find events, and provide feedback. Speakers (“give”) can use the site to build reputation, improve, and win gigs. We hope these brief explanations will provide clarity to new visitors interested in using SpeakerRate.

Third, we’ve modified how we bring relevant speakers, talks, and events to usersattention on the homepage. You will find a featured events console, which will provide important upcoming events. If you think your upcoming event should be featured, let us know. The “Speakers to See” console will provide information on an upcoming talk and the speaker of that talk. This should provide a great way for up and coming speakers to build some rep.

Finally, the homepage will also provide recent activity on SpeakerRate, such as ratings and comments. This should provide an easy way to know what talks are trending and to see what all the buzz is about. We think it’s a great new package and we really hope you like it. Now go check it out!

Not only have we launched a new and redesigned homepage, but we have also released a completely new dashboard for registered users. Our goal for the dashboard is to provide more value for users to return and continue using the site throughout the year. When you are logged in to SpeakerRate, the dashboard will be your default homepage. You will have quick access in the top right corner to your profile and the ability to sign out. There are several useful elements on the dashboard.

First, a quicker way to find speakers, talks, or events is provided in the center of the dashboard, along with a quick way to add talks. These are the best ways to participate on the site, and now they’re even easier to access. 

The second, is a stream of recent activity on the site. This will soon be more directed at the logged in user, so you can see specifically how people have been interacting with your talks or events, or just talks that you’ve also rated or commented on. 

The third element is a stream of featured talks, speakers, and events. This will provide information in a similar manner to the homepage, but you will now have the option,  under featured talks, of selecting whether you plan on attending the talk. This will not be broadcasted in any way, but can simply be used as a reminder to go back and rate talks that you have attended. If you select “Yes,” then the talk will automatically be added to the “Your Events” console in the right of the page. After the talk has occurred, a rating button will appear under that talk so you don’t have to go find it. This functionality provides an easy way to make your own schedule for an event, and to remember what all you saw. If you select “Maybe,” the talk will remain in your feed, with the ability to change your commitment. If you choose “No,” then the talk will be removed from the feed in your dashboard.

Finally, two small consoles on the right of the dashboard provide an easy way to let your friends know about SpeakerRate, and to stay up to date with what the SpeakerRate team is up to. You will have the ability to send your friends an invitation to check out SpeakerRate right from your dashboard. Just insert their email address and we’ll shoot them an email. Don’t worry, we won’t use their email address for anything but that initial email. Underneath the invitation console, you’ll find links to our most recent blog posts about cool new features, like this one. 

All in all, our team has put a lot of effort into making SpeakerRate the best place for event organizers, speakers, and attendees over 2010. We’ve seen our user base triple in size, and have seen the amount of activity on the site increase dramatically. We look forward to continued momentum and growth in 2011. We have no one to thank but you, our users.

Happy holidays!

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