MotorsportReg Feature Updates- May/June


November 12, 2014 by Brian Ghidinelli

Many people don't realize but we make changes to MSR all the time - as frequent as multiple times per day.  Each update adds or improves the service and fixes bugs.  Many of these changes are small in nature so when Jennifer asks me, "What did you do recently?", it can feel like there's nothing newsworthy to pass along.  Thankfully I have a number of significant changes which makes writing this update a lot easier!

Updated Check-In Screen

More and more organizers are bringing laptops and tablets to their events and checking their participants in online.  From the day we released this, organizers started asking to add additional fields to support their particular on-site processes but no two requests were the same.  At the same time, we wanted to not just have on-site check-in, but motorsport on-site check-in.  


Previously the check-in window loaded just a brief summary of the registration details.  We observed some organizers skipping the check-in tool because they found themselves clicking in to every registration to confirm details or make changes.  This slowed down their check-in lines.  

Now, the entire registration is loaded with a check-in widget at the top which provides helpful prompts, especially for less experienced registrars:

  1. Confirm the participant's identity, membership, license, etc
  2. Record what page of your waiver pad they sign or if they have an annual waiver
  3. Make any notes as appropriate for later reference

Although not displayed here, when a registrar checks in a participant, we capture the timestamp and the name of the registrar in an audit log which can be included in reports.  This helps track down who did what should the need arise.

With all of the registration data visible, verifying or making changes is immediately at hand combining the speed of check-in with the completeness of the full registration screen.

Check out our check-in stats on this updated blog we wrote about usage.

Super Fast Registration Editing 

The new check-in screen, however, presented a user experience problem.  Making changes to a registration might require submitting multiple forms where a registrar could lose work in progress like check-in notes or waiver details.  Best case scenario the registrar repeats the data entry; worst case they don't notice and the information goes uncollected. No bueno.

Fixing this required completely re-engineering how the registration screen edits details.  Previously each section of the page would submit a form which would process the request and then reload the entire registration.  Now we submit and refresh only the part you're changing which means the rest of the page doesn't have to be reloaded and your screen almost instantly updates with your changes.  It happens so fast, it can look like it didn't work so we added in-page notifications for success and error messages.


What's awesome about this change is that it doesn't just speed up on-site check-in, it speeds up every single registration change you make before, during and after an event!  

Send Test Emails

How many times have you sent an email blast only to receive it and realize, "I forgot the registration link!" or "There is a misspelling in my subject line"?


While you're composing your next message, click the "Send Test Email" button as shown in the screenshot and you'll instantly receive a copy to the address listed in the "From" box.

Side note: Did you know the "email" button when viewing a report lets you email the people in the report rather than email the report?  We changed it to the longer-but-more-clear "Send Email Blast to these [people]".

Your New Organization Page

As part of our calendar overhaul earlier this year, we created a new organization hierarchy that lets you browse through the hundreds of clubs, racetracks and sanctioning bodies listed on MSR.  Coming soon is the ability to add your own logo and overview text as in this SCCA Starting Line example:


K&K Pre-Printed Insurance Waivers

We've added some love lately for large car clubs to pre-fill insurance waivers with legibly printed names for BMW CCA, Audi Club and PCA.  If you are a K&K insurance customer, you can find a new detail report for your events in the United States.  Remember, they still have to be printed in color, but you'll never have to try and figure out what those scribbles mean when you need to find a signature.

Reserved Numbers: Assigning for Members

Reserved numbers for a series are often restricted to members only.  We've made vetting this easier by adding the membership status icon and member number to the number assignment screen so you don't have to click through to check their status.  Pair this with our automated membership verification and you're good to go!

New Report: Available Numbers By Class/Group

When event day comes, you need to know what numbers are still available so number change requests or walk-ups can be sure they won't be getting a duplicate.  If you have an aircard or Internet at your event, simply register them on MSR and you'll never have a problem.

If you are offline at your events, we've added a new report which lists available numbers by class or group using the rules of your number pool.  Look for it under the "Detail Reports" section.

The Diaries of the Internet: Heartbleed, DMARC, Chrome 34

Aside from the women, fame and glory of running a small software company, there are downsides (cue melancholy "E! True Story" music).  For everything that goes right in software, there are an equal and opposite number of fails that burn otherwise productive daylight.  We keep most of these from your eyes but there are a few worth mentioning:

Heartbleed - a vulnerability in the software that protects data sent over SSL (what makes that lock icon light up in your web browser when you access a secure page) required half the Internet to upgrade servers and reissue SSL certificates.  We had minimal exposure on a test server which we immediately patched, and refreshed our SSL certificates to be on the safe side.

DMARC - this swept the Internet by storm when Yahoo decided to no longer accept mail from a address that didn't come from a Yahoo server.  Since most of our organizers send email from their personal Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo addresses, we now send the email from an address with a Reply-To of your address.  This satisfies the robots at Yahoo (and other ISPs) and still ensures that replies come back to you.

Chrome v34 - Google Chrome is our favorite browser but a recent public release had a Javascript bug which broke key functionality on MSR.  We saw it pop up in a beta release and thought to ourselves, "Surely, they'll fix that before it goes live".  A few weeks later we found ourselves replying, "They didn't.  And don't call me Shirley."  A temporary workaround and an update from Google put things back the way they were.  We still recommend Chrome as one of our preferred browsers.

That's all the good stuff from the last two months - if you would like to see more frequent product updates, let us know in the comments!


Topics: Features

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