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Geocaching HQ

Release Notes - December 2, 2014

53 posts in this topic

Read the previous Release Notes

 

Release Notes

 

Check out Geocaching.com's new and improved logged out homepage. We promise you'll hardly recognize it! (Hint: You'll have to log out to see it.)

 

We'd also like to report a solid round of bug squashing:

 


     
  • Fixed the Bookmark List deletion error.
  • Fixed plugin detection issue on Garmin Free Trial page.
  • Resolved state selection issue in the geocache submission tool.
  • Players with @q.com email addresses can now submit geocaches.
  • Fixed issue with usernames with 20+ characters in account settings.
  • Updated language in the geocache adoption request notification.
  • Changed default D/T for event caches from 1.5/1.5 to 1/1

Edited by Geocaching HQ
added information about default D/T for event caches
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Very pretty

 

But completely wrong.

 

It says 505 caches within 5 miles of my location. According to the search on my profile page, there are 40 caches within 8Km.

 

More than 1200% error?

 

I do like it, definitely better than the previous one. But if you are going to give out stats like that they should be at least vaguely correct.

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Very pretty

 

But completely wrong.

 

It says 505 caches within 5 miles of my location. According to the search on my profile page, there are 40 caches within 8Km.

 

More than 1200% error?

 

I do like it, definitely better than the previous one. But if you are going to give out stats like that they should be at least vaguely correct.

 

Well as you're not logged in it doesn't know where your home is, and must be using the reported geolocation of your IP address to calculate the centre of the search, which could be another town or city - but that's down to your ISP, not Groundspeak. For me it's centered on the next town and the reported 650 caches is pretty accurate for that location.

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True.

 

However, if they can't get the location accurately, why give spurious numbers.

 

They said 545 caches in Sydney and 505 within 5 miles of your location. If they can't get my location accurate to 200 km, for whatever reason, why not give real data like

 

XXX caches in Sydney,

yyyy caches in NSW

zzzz caches in Australia.

 

That's data that they know is accurate and just as likely to impress a visitor, no matter where in NSW they live.

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No fix to getting rid of "Recently Viewed Caches". Many of us find it very annoying. And we used to have a way to get rid of it. Please return that option. Though I won't hold my breath. But I will continue to curse when ever I run into it.

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So what I want to know is how did you get my location mostly correct on the not logged in page? Yahoo always wants to put me in Hood River, Oregon. Nice page.

Edited by jholly
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Check out Geocaching.com's new and improved logged out homepage. We promise you'll hardly recognize it! (Hint: You'll have to log out to see it.)

Or just open a private window in Chrome or Firefox. A lot less hassle than logging out (and having to log back in again).

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The new intro page do not work correctly with my Android 4.4 Smartphone on Chrome for Android.

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The new intro page do not work correctly with my Android 4.4 Smartphone on Chrome for Android.

 

I could not log in with Waterfox 33.0.2 (latest version) on Windows 7 until I disabled Javascript. The green signin button on the /join page does not work with my browser, which is basically a 64 bit version of Firefox and it follows the same version numbering as Firefox.

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The new intro page do not work correctly with my Android 4.4 Smartphone on Chrome for Android.

 

I could not log in with Waterfox 33.0.2 (latest version) on Windows 7 until I disabled Javascript. The green signin button on the /join page does not work with my browser, which is basically a 64 bit version of Firefox and it follows the same version numbering as Firefox.

 

The Sign In button doesn't work on my Tesco Hudl Tablet (Android 4.2.2 and latest Firefox app) either.

 

However https://www.geocaching.com/login/default.aspx works OK.

Edited by and1969
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Check out Geocaching.com's new and improved logged out homepage.

I find it striking that new geocachers now not only are invited to immediately download an app and immediately go for a cache but the page also seems not even to provide a link to the Geocaching 101 page. Only at the bottom you find a link to the (at least for beginner) rather confusing Help Center.

Is Groundspeak really convinced that driving Geocaching to be just an App ready to be played right away is the way to go?

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Why isn't there any hint that there is a website you can use without a smartphone and an app? To keep away all people that want more than an app and more than find simple traditionals?

 

Very misleading to my opinion. At least include something like 'follow these 3 steps OR login and start at the website to see what's up and a useful link to Geocaching 101, not a link to email-request.

 

Or is it meant to transform geocaching to something very simple and restricted like the m game and do away with all the possibilties now available? Leave behind the old europeans who stick to their gpsr and prefer also more variety, including more complex multi caches and challenging riddles?

Edited by AnnaMoritz
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Why isn't there any hint that there is a website you can use without a smartphone and an app?

Sort of agree. The number of people who have a standalone GPSr and don't know about geocaching is probably quite small, however. So if you're promoting it to users with smart phones, why not push the app?

 

I will say that the new home page does look very nice.

 

It reminds me of the update to the home page of that QR scanning geo-location game that I cannot mention by name. This one has that beat by including video.

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Why isn't there any hint that there is a website you can use without a smartphone and an app?

Sort of agree. The number of people who have a standalone GPSr and don't know about geocaching is probably quite small, however.

 

Having heard about geocaching does not necessarily mean having it ever tried.

I think that among the 50+ and in particular the 60+ generation with an interest into hiking there are still enough who

own a GPSr, but never have tried geocaching.

 

Many of those who mainly are attracted to the outdoor aspect, will not feel attracted at all by the new webpage design. I guess it would have kept from

looking into the site if the site looked like that back then.

 

 

So if you're promoting it to users with smart phones, why not push the app?

 

Why does it have to be either or?

 

I will say that the new home page does look very nice.

 

I find it awful.

 

It reminds me of the update to the home page of that QR scanning geo-location game that I cannot mention by name. This one has that beat by including video.

 

Oh well, I find that whole m site and all what is behind it awful.

Edited by cezanne
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I think that among the 50+ and in particular the 60+ generation with an interest into hiking there are still enough who

own a GPSr, but never have tried geocaching.

Again, it's a matter of market size. In the 50+ and older demographics, how many hikers own a GPSr but don't geocache? I don't know either, but assuming Groundspeak marketing did a credible job, this is probably very small compared to the number of smartphone owners who don't geocache.

 

So if you're promoting it to users with smart phones, why not push the app?

Why does it have to be either or?

Make it appear more complicated in the beginning, by presenting too many choices, and you'll have fewer people willing to try it out.

 

I will say that the new home page does look very nice.

I find it awful.

 

I find it visually appealing and attention grabbing, and if I'm logged in, I don't need to see it, so it doesn't affect me directly. What about it do you find to be awful? Think of this from the viewpoint of someone who's visiting geocaching.com for the first time.

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So if you're promoting it to users with smart phones, why not push the app?

Why does it have to be either or?

Make it appear more complicated in the beginning, by presenting too many choices, and you'll have fewer people willing to try it out.

For those of us not concerned with the bottom line, this may actually be desired. I'd far prefer a smaller number of educated* newbies than a larger number of uneducated newbies.

 

I have no problem with them pushing the app, since that seems to be the unstoppable wave of the future anyway, but there needs to be more education of new users. Whether it's prior to pointing them to the app, or within the app itself, there needs to be more guidance.

 

*used in this context as being educated about at least the basics of this particular website and geocaching in general

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Again, it's a matter of market size. In the 50+ and older demographics, how many hikers own a GPSr but don't geocache? I don't know either, but assuming Groundspeak marketing did a credible job, this is probably very small compared to the number of smartphone owners who don't geocache.

 

Of course the number is smaller than the number of smartphone owners that do not geocache (a huge number of people).

However, among the first group there might be more who are willing to become dedicated geocachers who do not quit after having hidden 2 caches aftre having found 10 and having got bad feedback.

 

Make it appear more complicated in the beginning, by presenting too many choices, and you'll have fewer people willing to try it out.

 

However it will exclude a lot of people who will not even continue any further.

 

I would not continue to read if the first step is "1. Download the free official Geocaching app."

I do not own a phone to which I can load something.

I would not sign for an account as the new page makes the users believe that geocaching is an activity for smartphones with GPS (like intercaching e.g.).

 

 

I find it visually appealing and attention grabbing, and if I'm logged in, I don't need to see it, so it doesn't affect me directly. What about it do you find to be awful? Think of this from the viewpoint of someone who's visiting geocaching.com for the first time.

 

Of course I do not need to see it and if not someone had told me about the new design I had not noticed it. I commented on the impression the new design would make on me if I were a new user.

I prefer very simple designs, with not many colours and in particular no moving elements. It makes me very nervous if things are moving around. If I want to watch a video (hardly the case when visiting a web site), I will click on it.

 

The message that there are 543 caches around Graz is incredibly stupid.

 

I could continue, but I stop here.

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I would not sign for an account as the new page makes the users believe that geocaching is an activity for smartphones with GPS (like intercaching e.g.).

OK, I agree with that. A link like "click here to learn about geocaching without a smartphone" or a 4th icon that says "No smartphone" would be nice.

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I would not sign for an account as the new page makes the users believe that geocaching is an activity for smartphones with GPS (like intercaching e.g.).

OK, I agree with that. A link like "click here to learn about geocaching without a smartphone" or a 4th icon that says "No smartphone" would be nice.

 

Exactly - one visible link to point out that there is a also a "non smartphone" option would be very welcome and this is also what the postings of hynz and AnnaMoritz have at their core.

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I would not sign for an account as the new page makes the users believe that geocaching is an activity for smartphones with GPS (like intercaching e.g.).

OK, I agree with that. A link like "click here to learn about geocaching without a smartphone" or a 4th icon that says "No smartphone" would be nice.

 

Exactly - one visible link to point out that there is a also a "non smartphone" option would be very welcome and this is also what the postings of hynz and AnnaMoritz have at their core.

+1

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I can verify that the Garmin 30 day free trial is working again. Thanks, guys.

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Changed default D/T for event caches from 1.5/1.5 to 1/1
I have to agree with comments in another thread that suggested that it would be better to default event caches to T1.5. Some events are held in wheelchair-accessible venues. Other events are not. Erring on the side of T1.5 is better than erring on the side of T1.0
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I would not sign for an account as the new page makes the users believe that geocaching is an activity for smartphones with GPS (like intercaching e.g.).

OK, I agree with that. A link like "click here to learn about geocaching without a smartphone" or a 4th icon that says "No smartphone" would be nice.

 

Exactly - one visible link to point out that there is a also a "non smartphone" option would be very welcome and this is also what the postings of hynz and AnnaMoritz have at their core.

As someone who is not tech friendly (as another implied of the "older" crowd), "no, or non-smartphone" means to me that I could play without a smartphone, using the GPS on my regular, non-smartphone.

Even I know that's not so.

- But I do agree that there should be a link on the home page (not something that should be searched for along the bottom somewhere...) stating that the hobby is also played with a PC and a handheld GPSr.

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I see the style of some of the graphics on the Profile Statistics page have changed.

 

I'm a little confused by the graph line variables for Finds Per Month and Cumulative Finds Per Month. My FPM marks on the left side are by multiples of 60 but Cumulative FPM is 1000s. Checking another user with lots more finds than me shows their FPM in multiples of 500 but their Cumulative FPM in multiples of 4000. I know the left side numbers on those graphs have always scaled based on the number of Finds the particular user had, but my FPM used to be 50/100/150/200. Maybe I'm just a decimal-headed weenie, but I would much prefer that both the graphs to always be set to increments using 5's or 10's (50/100/etc or 500/1000/etc) instead of other numbers (60/120/180/etc or 4000/8000/etc).

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No matter what I try on the Garmin Free Trail page the "Detecting Plugin" just keeps on spinning. It works just fine when I use the "send to GPS" function on any number of caches I sent to my Garmin GPSr.

 

Any ideas?

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I have a problem,both my 2 computers are connested but only the one opens the website,can you help please,we are struggling for the last 2 days to open it on the one computer,thanx franmarie

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I have a problem,both my 2 computers are connested but only the one opens the website,can you help please,we are struggling for the last 2 days to open it on the one computer,thanx franmarie

 

similar situation here

 

all worked well on Monday 15 December 2014

 

starting Wednesday 17 December 2014, I have not been able to log in

 

trying

geocaching.com

or

geocaching.com/login

gets

The page cannot be displayed

Cannot find server or DNS Error

 

trying

geocaching.com/seek

goes to the correct page

clicking "sign in" on this page gets the same error message as above

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The last 2 posts describe a local network problem. Try rebooting your computer and your router.

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I found this thread while looking for the reason for the new homepage. I had explained geocaching to an acquaintance a couple of weeks ago. When I do this one of the things I always say is go to geocaching.com to find out all about it. I got an email today from them saying that the geocaching page only wants to send them to the Google Playstore and does not explain anything. So I looked, had to be logged out) and yes they missed the video link which explains a little, but in general they were correct. I had to manually send them this link: http://www.geocaching.com/guide/ so they can explore the game. So I think the people here that are pointing this out are correct. At least for families like the one I tried to get interested in the game, who are maybe not the most tech savy and just want to find out about geocaching, the new page is not great. I know if you just Google "geocaching", in addition to the homepage link, underneath is a link to "geocaching101". But I think most people who search will just click the main link to the homepage and get taken to the page for downloading the app.

 

On edit - Funny but the next new thread I went to read seems to illustrate this problem. http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=328560&pid=5457095&st=0entry5457095

 

If you look at post #8 in that thread, it looks like the non-cacher tried to find out about geocaching after accidentally picking up a geocache. When they went to the home page, they thought they had to download the app to figure out geocaching, but then they could not figure out what to do with the app.

Edited by Cheminer Will
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Check out Geocaching.com's new and improved logged out homepage. We promise you'll hardly recognize it!

Yeah, I hardly recognize it. I hardly recognize geocaching on it. In fact, I don't recognize geocaching on it at all.

 

"Watch this video to find out what geocaching is." (Apparently the gc.com staff has forgotten how to write. Or thinks nobody reads. Even though there's a lot of guidelines you need to read. Or are all the guidelines being converted to video?)

 

"Download this app to find out what geocaching is."

 

"There are 247 geocaches within 5 miles of where you aren't."

 

"Sign and date the log book. Don't bother writing anything about your experience, either there or in your unmentioned online log."

 

This sort of misdirection -- direction by fashion -- is the reason all the caches I own are now PMO.

 

The one good thing is that apparently the "create your free account" form requires an email address. Whether the email address is verified before account creation, I did not test.

 

Edward

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The last 2 posts describe a local network problem. Try rebooting your computer and your router.

thanks for the tip

I gave it a try - several times

(just my computer - I do not have a router)

sadly, it did not seem to have made a difference

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The last 2 posts describe a local network problem. Try rebooting your computer and your router.

thanks for the tip

I gave it a try - several times

(just my computer - I do not have a router)

sadly, it did not seem to have made a difference

 

I suspect the problem is to do with the redirection to https, which is done for the first two pages, but not for the third one (which works).

 

try using the complete addresses:

 

https://www.geocaching.com

 

&

 

https://www.geocaching.com/login

 

and see if that works.

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Check out Geocaching.com's new and improved logged out homepage. We promise you'll hardly recognize it!

Yeah, I hardly recognize it. I hardly recognize geocaching on it. In fact, I don't recognize geocaching on it at all.

Until just now, I didn't understand what all the hubbub was about. I thought it was just the login page that was changed.

 

...then I tried logging out to see what it looked like...

 

Whoa! They changed the front page!

 

<sigh> :(

 

If it wasn't clear before that smartphone users are the new primary target audience for Groundspeak, there can no longer be any doubt. There's a brief mention of smartphone apps, but no mention at all that there are any non-smartphone methods to play the game. Also, the "There are X geocaches near Y" would only reliably work on smartphones. For the majority of computer users, this will yield incorrect results. In my case, because I'm currently looking at this page from my office at work and our internet traffic is routed through one of our other offices, it's telling me about caches 100 km away.

 

Even if you can accept that the game is being gradually migrated to a smartphone-only game, there are other major failings with the new front page:

1. There are no links to any of the pages where new users would need to be sent, like Geocaching 101, Videos, or the guidelines.

2. The wording on the front page seems to imply that all you need is the free Intro app, with no mention that this app is fairly useless for anything beyond the most basic caching and you need to pay for the full app if you really want to cache (similar to a bait-and-switch).

 

Can someone at Groundspeak explain to us why the old home page (ie. the one logged-in users see) was no longer adequate? Or was this just another case of web-development-ADHD where things needed to be changed just for the sake of change? Assuming that most changes are meant to be an improvement, can you explain how this new page will improve the experience of new users and improve the game as a whole? As far as I can tell, new users will be given a completely incorrect and incomplete impression of geocaching, and the rest of us will have to deal with even more inadequately-informed new users going out and finding our caches.

 

If I introduce anyone to geocaching, I certainly won't be sending them to this page. In fact, I'd actually tell them to completely ignore the front page, because they'll get the wrong impression. I'll send them a direct link to Geocaching 101, because that will at least give them some information about the game.

 

It feels kind of strange to think back and realize I defended quite a few of Groundspeak's decisions as recently as a couple of years ago...

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Check out Geocaching.com's new and improved logged out homepage. We promise you'll hardly recognize it!

Yeah, I hardly recognize it. I hardly recognize geocaching on it. In fact, I don't recognize geocaching on it at all.

Until just now, I didn't understand what all the hubbub was about. I thought it was just the login page that was changed.

 

...then I tried logging out to see what it looked like...

 

Whoa! They changed the front page!

 

<sigh> :(

 

If it wasn't clear before that smartphone users are the new primary target audience for Groundspeak, there can no longer be any doubt.

 

Can someone at Groundspeak explain to us why the old home page (ie. the one logged-in users see) was no longer adequate? Or was this just another case of web-development-ADHD where things needed to be changed just for the sake of change? Assuming that most changes are meant to be an improvement, can you explain how this new page will improve the experience of new users and improve the game as a whole? As far as I can tell, new users will be given a completely incorrect and incomplete impression of geocaching, and the rest of us will have to deal with even more inadequately-informed new users going out and finding our caches.

 

It feels kind of strange to think back and realize I defended quite a few of Groundspeak's decisions as recently as a couple of years ago...

 

That page wasn't mobile friendly.ph34r.gif

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Wow! What a mess this website is becoming. I have told several people to just go to the website and type in their zipcode to see how many caches are all around them. Guess that won't work anymore. Thought someone was nuts when they told me what the website looked like. Finally figured out that I had to log out to see what they were seeing. It's terrible. What are you folks thinking?

 

Guess I won't be promoting Geocaching much anymore unless someone has a smartphone. Where can they even get instructions for using a handheld gps. Are you trying to drive all of us oldies away from the site? It sure seems like it. Either get a smartphone and the app or don't geocache. Feel sorry for a newbie trying to figure this site out.

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Why isn't there any hint that there is a website you can use without a smartphone and an app?

Because gc.com doesn't sell browsers.
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Looks pretty good, but if you choose the Dutch language (Nederlands), you get twice the same option

 

Sign Up and Login have both been translated to "Aanmelden". The Login button should be in Dutch "Inloggen"

 

Thanks!

 

Cheers

Lieuwe van der Bij

Twijzelerheide

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Sign Up and Login have both been translated to "Aanmelden". The Login button should be in Dutch "Inloggen"

 

fixed in next release.

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geocaching will never be "smartphone only".

The concept is GPS coordinates. As long as there is content on the website, it will always be accessible and usable by non-smartphone users.

Now how they market it, of course, may become entirely (indirectly) smartphone. They will of course try to sell their mobile app. Groundspeak doesn't sell GSP devices. Unless manufacturers strike a deal with them to aid with revenue, geocaching.com will always promote the smartphone app.

 

But you will never require a smartphone in order to go geocaching. It's a technical impossibility as long as gc.com has visible listings and is more than just a landing page.

 

Which is also of course not to say that the website experience for non-mobile users can't be improved.

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geocaching will never be "smartphone only".

The concept is GPS coordinates. As long as there is content on the website, it will always be accessible and usable by non-smartphone users.

 

Most of these non-smartphone users who do not already have an account, will however be scared away by the site.

Have you looked at www.geocaching.com without being logged into the site?

 

There is a difference between marketing the geocaching app and scaring away any new non smartphone users.

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geocaching will never be "smartphone only".

The concept is GPS coordinates. As long as there is content on the website, it will always be accessible and usable by non-smartphone users.

 

Most of these non-smartphone users who do not already have an account, will however be scared away by the site.

Have you looked at www.geocaching.com without being logged into the site?

 

There is a difference between marketing the geocaching app and scaring away any new non smartphone users.

+1

I don't believe most though, but many might.

We started out as GPSr users, but CJ had a blackberry with Trimble at the time too.

I'd think quite a few who'd, "take a look" with a PC are the same.

Computer users who happen to have someone with a smartphone in the family.

Not knowing, sure looks to me to be a smartphone-only game.

Sure, scare 'em away...

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Agree that most will not be scared away, just many. But there is no getting around the fact that the page you are directed too when typing in "geocaching.com is designed only to get people to download the app. What would help is if the link at the top of that page: "What is Geocaching? (75 seconds)" was an impeded video box rather than a text link.

 

Even better would be if the landing page for unlogged in people was the one I now give out on printed business card sheets of paper to curious people: http://www.geocaching.com/guide/

That page tells you what geocaching is and how to get started.

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geocaching will never be "smartphone only".

The concept is GPS coordinates. As long as there is content on the website, it will always be accessible and usable by non-smartphone users.

Most of these non-smartphone users who do not already have an account, will however be scared away by the site.

As others corrected, many, not most; and sure, but that wasn't the point in my comment.

And any many/most estimate we throw out there will be entirely arbitrary and not backed by any direct statistical study, facts, or evidence; objective (not just 'well know I people...'). Groundspeak may have that, we don't. They also know how much they intend to focus on and weigh specific demographics.

Even so, that point - that the design of the website appears to favour smartphone users - I do agree with.

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Even so, that point - that the design of the website appears to favour smartphone users - I do agree with.

 

It could still favour those users while adding a single sentence/link on the new front page that links to something for non smartphone users.

 

Right now the process reads as

 

3 Steps to Begin Your Adventure

 

1. Download the free official Geocaching app.

 

Our free apps for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone use your phone’s built-in GPS to guide you to geocaches.

2. Choose your geocache.

 

Pick a geocache and then use the app to navigate to its location.

3. Share your experience.

 

Once you find it, sign and date the logbook, re-hide the geocache exactly how you found it, and share your experience online.

 

Why do you think that someone without a smartphone and without having guidance from another cacher should ever create an account at the site?

 

That's not about preferences and whether the site looks nice for certain users. It's something very basic. The fact that there is a way without smartphone is not mentioned at all.

 

The fact that GS does not even comment on this issue makes me sad.

Edited by cezanne
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It could still favour those users while adding a single sentence/link on the new front page that links to something for non smartphone users.

Sure. I agree.

 

Why do you think that someone without a smartphone and without having guidance from another cacher should ever create an account at the site?

Why do you think that they wouldn't? Do you know that every single new user who has joined since this layout was published has been a smartphone user? If not, then your argument is subjective. Not incorrect, but an opinion. I'm sure you'd agree =P

 

That's not about preferences and whether the site looks nice for certain users.

Probably a grammatical misunderstanding, but whether the site looks nicer for certain users isn't a preference. The design does favour smartphone use over non-smartphone use. But I'd wager that not every single smartphone user likes the design, just as I'd wager there are numerous non-smartphone users who actually do not mind the current design. And that, also, is my subjective opinion.

 

The fact that there is a way without smartphone is not mentioned at all.

...which does not mean that no non-smartphone user will ever join.

 

As I said, the design promotes smartphones in geocaching. Thus, it's very likely, if not a certainty, that there are more smartphone users joining than non-smartphone users. Even so, the game will never be, and can never be, exclusive to smartphones, as long as the website is usable without requiring a smartphone.

 

The biggest point:

-> Apart from Groundspeak's promotional material, geocaching itself (as well as the website) is device agnostic.

 

The fact that GS does not even comment on this issue makes me sad.

There are many, many things GS does not comment on. It makes me sad that Groundspeak is vilified every time they don't directly comment on any one person's criticism of some feature or design they don't like.

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Why do you think that someone without a smartphone and without having guidance from another cacher should ever create an account at the site?

Why do you think that they wouldn't? Do you know that every single new user who has joined since this layout was published has been a smartphone user? If not, then your argument is subjective. Not incorrect, but an opinion. I'm sure you'd agree =P

 

I'm pretty sure that non smartphone users joined the site, too. My question was why someone without any guidance by a cacher and without having had encountered geocaching in some other context

would choose to create an account.

 

It seems pretty strange to me to create an account at a site which talks about downloading a phone app when one is not owning a smartphone and does not intend to buy one.

 

Probably a grammatical misunderstanding, but whether the site looks nicer for certain users isn't a preference. The design does favour smartphone use over non-smartphone use. But I'd wager that not every single smartphone user likes the design, just as I'd wager there are numerous non-smartphone users who actually do not mind the current design. And that, also, is my subjective opinion.

 

I agree, but I tried to say something else. What I'm concerned about is not that the design favours a certain group of people and not that certain people do not like the design.

 

 

The biggest point:

-> Apart from Groundspeak's promotional material, geocaching itself (as well as the website) is device agnostic.

 

But that's no reason for not being very unhappy with exactly that promotional material.

 

There are many, many things GS does not comment on. It makes me sad that Groundspeak is vilified every time they don't directly comment on any one person's criticism of some feature or design they don't like.

 

Not to mention a non smartphone approach is well beyond your examples and it's an issue far beyond the level what I (or anyone else) likes or does not like.

 

 

Cezanne

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I'm pretty sure that non smartphone users joined the site, too. My question was why someone without any guidance by a cacher and without having had encountered geocaching in some other context would choose to create an account.

Do you know the reason they even came to the website in the first place, if not by guidance from another cacher or an encounter with geocaching in another context?

Do you know that their source had absolutely no information or hint that geocaching can be done without a smartphone?

If not, then that's as subjective a viewpoint as the opinion about the site design's effect on new visitors.

 

So my question would be, "why would someone without any guidance by a cacher and without having had encountered geocaching in some other context even come to the website in the first place?"

In order for such a person to not sign up because they're led to believe it's smartphone only, the source would also have had to imply that it's a smartphone only game. And there is absolutely no way to test that universally. The website allows you to sign up without having a smartphone or the official app. If I didn't, and I was interested in geocaching, I would still sign up - and then find out that I can go geocaching without a smartphone. (other websites have a similar implication from their new visitor landing site, and I've still signed up out of interest) (but yes, that's just me)

 

So. Once again, the website and Groundspeak's promotional material do indeed favour smartphones as the tool of choice for geocaching (and are quite candid about that) - which as a pastime is itself device agnostic.

 

I'm completely in agreement that the website design should be more welcoming to non-smartphone users, and at the very least imply that it can be done without a smartphone. But I can understand why they're promoting the smartphone app prominently. It's a revenue source. Revenue comes from users who buy the paid app (not who buy gps devices), and users who become premium members regardless of the device they use. Oh and embedded website ad space.

 

In order to start geocaching, a person needs a gps device. Guess what someone coming tot he website for the first time is most likely to already own? A smartphone.

They probably believe they get more new players by saying "all you have to do is download the app to go and find your first geocache, and here's how!" than by saying "you can find a geocache using a smartphone or dedicated gps device. Sigg up now even if you don't have one yet"

 

I'd be willing to bet they went with pushing people (or leading by the hand) to take the next step under the presumption that they can, than stating passively how they can start when they'd like to. Which isn't to say those are the only two choices - and precisely why I'm your side about improving the landing page in some way so that it doesn't seem like it's implying it's a smartphone-only game.

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Do you know the reason they even came to the website in the first place, if not by guidance from another cacher or an encounter with geocaching in another context?

 

One of the reason I can think of is that someone finds a trackable with the text "Track this at geocaching.com". Sometimes they fall out of a bag or get lost some other way. It would be nice that these persons can notify the owner of said trackable they have have found it.

 

<cynical>For Groundspeak it's more profitable that people buy new trackables when they get losts. It's in their interest the trackables get lost and are never found again.</cynical>

 

Tc

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One of the reason I can think of is that someone finds a trackable with the text "Track this at geocaching.com". Sometimes they fall out of a bag or get lost some other way. It would be nice that these persons can notify the owner of said trackable they have have found it.

Well that's a whole different issue, wherein the trackables element of geocaching.com could be argued to have a prominent presence on the landing page as well :P

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