Camping Reservation Service: Notifications
In the past year, BC Parks established a program of ongoing design research that provides direct access to feedback from the people who use our services. We regularly share what we learn from our research sessions on this blog.
In December 2022, we conducted usability testing with people who volunteered to take part in design research with BC Parks. In this post, we share what we learned about a new feature in development called Notify Me.
Using the Notify Me feature
BC Parks wanted to learn how campers feel about a new feature in development called Notify Me.
This is a high-level summary of our research findings on the new feature in development called Notify Me.
What were our key findings?
People instinctively knew what the notify me button was for and felt the explanatory text and button was easy to see on the page.
People understood what the steps in the process were to set a notification. They understood that the notification was for an entire campground, not a specific campsite.
” It’s not practical for me to ask for a notification for particular campsite.”
Participants understood notifications would be sent via email, but all stated they would rather be notified by text message.
“I’m not looking at my emails constantly, but I would receive a text right away and something like this would be very competitive. Text would be ideal because I could just click into it right away and book it.”
People could easily find their notifications under their account in My Notifications.
Some people felt, on seeing the Notify Me button, that this would be a service you would need to sign up for. They expected to see a full explanation about this feature before signing up.
People knew how to book a campsite after receiving a notification about an opening.
Some people wanted to be able to book directly from the My Notifications page, rather than going to the map first.
“I do want to be able to pick my site, but I’m also moving as fast as I can because I know other people are doing this as well.”
People were unclear if you would be notified only when sites matching your exact request became available or if you would be notified if there was availability partially matching your request (for example, if two of the five days requested became available). People wanted to have an option for both.
Participants were overwhelmingly positive about the Notify Me feature.
“If I would have had this last summer it would have saved me a lot of grief!”
“I think Notify Me would be a great idea.”
“I think this is a positive improvement, and I think every time you can make a positive improvement on a system, you’re making headway.”
More design research posts
Interested in design research at BC Parks? Don’t miss these posts:
- To learn how design research works and what research we’ve done during the past year, read A Year of Design Research at BC Parks.
- To see our findings about how people use the BC Parks website, read What do BC Parks visitors want from our website?
- To find out what people think about the camping reservation website, read How can we make it easier to reserve camping?
- To understand how policies affect visitors, read How do the booking window and no-show policies influence camper behaviour?
How can you take part in our research?
Start by participating in one of our live surveys!
- Camping reservations survey – Have you made a camping reservation for the 2023 season? If so, we’re eager to hear what you think of the new site. Take the survey.
- BC Parks website visitor survey – During the past year, we have listened to hundreds of people who helped inform the creation of a more user-friendly, accessible, and inclusive online experience for BC Parks. The new website launched at bcparks.ca on January 30, 2023, and BC Parks would like your input on using the new site. Take the survey.
- Volunteer for one-on-one research sessions – We are always looking for people who would like to take part in our design research activities. If you’re interested in one-on-one research, you can sign up using this form.
We contact people from our (very long! we’re chuffed, thank you!) volunteer list at random, so we can’t promise that we’ll be able to talk to you for this type of research.