Enrollment in the Boy Scouts of America is declining, with the numbers down each year for the past 12 years. Volunteer leaders of local packs need to communicate to prospective families, who have many activity choices, why Scouts is a worthy program to join.
In a volunteer role, I designed a website for a specific unit to help with recruiting, with the idea the concept could be rolled out and adapted to other units.
• Research within the BSA, as well as among current parents.
• Personas to reflect who would use such a site.
• User stories and user flows.
• Wire frame and wire flows.
• Content strategy and writing.
• Beta word press site for user testing.
The BSA has good marketing materials, studies, and data that shows they have a great youth program. My research shows that information is not getting seen by prospective parents. Parents looking into joining scouting find a local websites for their neighborhood pack, which are geared toward providing information to current families.
The research included speaking to prospective parents, and parents already enrolled. Prospective parents need to know basic information about the program; who can join, what scouts do, when they meet, why scouting is important, and how to join. This will help them weigh the benefits against other programs.
The Competition – Sports
Sports are the biggest competition to Scouts. Families have a limited amount of time, and often sports programs are chosen over scouting. Sports can have demanding schedules, that don't leave time for Scouts. Scouts need to tell a story of how their program can compliment sports, and how their program is unique and beneficial to development.
Primary Persona: Nancy Jepsen – Prospective Parent
“I have lots of activities to choose from. If a program doesn’t look well organized I am going to look elsewhere.”
Story and Scenario
Nancy is interested in getting her son into Scouts. She is familiar with the brand, and interested in learning more. She has lots of choices for activities to choose from, so she is currently researching to see which is the best fit for her family. She is asking, why should I pick this program?
• Working mom whose schedule is unpredictable.
• Wants to get kids into some of the same programs as their friends.
• Likes programs to be well organized and see that they communicate well with parents.
• Needs to know what benefits Scouts has over other programs.
• Needs to know schedule.
• Wants to see a sample of recent activities.
• Wants to know costs.
• Wants to know who leaders are.
Bio and Demographics
• Age: 30
• Profession: Program Manager
• Location: Seattle, WA
• Family: Married, 2 children
Concept Map – Prospective Parent
Grouping of concepts a prospective parent may ask about as they investigate the Scouting experience.
Page Design Evolution
I designed a mix of content that conveys the appeal of Scouts to prospective users. I wanted to show the Pack is active and vibrant by using current content. This material also appeals to current members.
The initial design has a hero in the 1st position. The second position is an "about our pack," with short text and photo from from a recent event, and two CTAs. Design needs more content choices to drive the user down the page.
The second position now has a CTA button to pack calendar.
A "Pack FAQ" has been added in 3rd position, replacing the about our pack photo and text section.
The second position now has evolved with CTA buttons for news and calendar, those two types of content would appeal to both prospective and current members.
Wireframe and Beta Test Site
Testing and Success Metrics
Success on this project will be evaluated on site traffic, conversions of new members, and feedback on features from current member families. Initial feedback from families has been positive.
Update: At the end of the Fall 2017 recruiting season, ending Nov. 1, the Pack exceeded membership goals set by BSA office.
This project is currently in progress. A beta version of the site launched during the Fall 2017 recruiting season of 2017.
Pack will survey and interview families to determine usefulness of site when joining.
Incremental changes have been made, based on feedback and initial observations. Users were still asking how to join, indicating they needed a bit more information. A second sub-page was created, based on user comments. Separate sub-page will aid in metrics tracking.