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.
Identifying the Issue
Current Experience – When a perspective family searches for a unit to join, they most likely will be directed to local website built by volunteers. There are currently no standards for these sites around content or design.
Conducting research with scouting leaders and parents we identified the most frequently asked questions. I asked users to find answers to these questions using examples of local sites. Users had difficulty.
The Competition – We did the same exercise with a site from a youth program that may be a competitor to Scouting. The exercise demonstrated that competitor sites were easier to use.
Research identified key questions families needed to know:
What is the cost?
What do you do?
When do you meet?
Who can join?
How do you join?
The BSA has good marketing materials, studies, and data that shows they have a great youth program, however 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 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.