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Sunday Mail City-Bay

Running since 1973, the Sunday Mail City-Bay Fun Run is the state’s largest outdoor event of its kind, and with an annual turnout of around 50,000 people, has grown into a mainstay of the Adelaide social calendar.

Due to the steadily increasing number of registrants, and the growing complexity of registration information, the demands of the event had outgrown its legacy website. We were approached by the event’s organisers to strategically plan, design and develop a new website that better handled its ongoing expansion.

An efficient, effective website is central to the success of any event of this scale. More than just providing information about the event to potential participants, the website also collects and collates the entirety of entrant registration information, payments and race times. In this way, the website not only promotes the event, but plays a major role in its organisation.

We approached the task with a user experience focus, looking for any opportunities to streamline and simplify the registration process, particularly on mobile devices —a large percentage of its audience. Our goal was to create a process that took less than a minute to complete, which, given the complexity of registration information, was not without challenge.

With participants allowed to run, walk or wheelchair, alone or in groups, for 3km, 6km or 12km, the information collected was deceptively complicated, and the back-end of the website was carefully developed to effectively manage this.

We also made sure that the system provided as much automation and transparency as possible: for example, race numbers are now automatically assigned after registration, and emailed to the registrant; and at the other end, new group registrations trigger a notification that is sent to the event administrator.

Through careful consideration of the registration process, we were able to substantially improve the workflow for users, and City-Bay’s internal team.

The website features a custom-developed payment system that, as part of Westpac’s sponsorship of the event, is able to detect Westpac payment cards and offer automatic discounts and promotions.

The website was planned and built to integrate with a number of external providers, most notably, those responsible for collecting the day’s race times. Following the race, the website allowed for these third-parties to easily upload race times, and to then automatically publish these times to the website and provide entrants with their times via email.

Additionally, the website and emails offered one-click “Share” functionality to social media — thereby creating thousands of organic promotional Facebook posts for the event, allowing individuals to share their own individual race results within their own social circles.

Importantly, this website has been developed to ensure its usefulness not only for future City-Bay events, but also for other offshoot events such as its sister event, the Bay-City Fun Run.