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Made a Conference Schedule Better - Member Request!

About this Tutorial

Go through a fun sheet and make it better.

Video Transcript

 Hey Patrick. Yeah, this is a really nice sheet. I like what they've done with it, where they have all these times and it's all in one page and it's all view only. So like they can go make changes and  and the people that are viewing it can either, you know, go file, make a copy for their own or just use this.

It has a lot of buttons, it has a lot of links. That's on purpose because obviously like they want, you know, you go to, they want you to go to a Zoom link. They want you to go and get the, the documents. And then, you know, and then afterwards they want you to go to a virtual happy hour. And, you know, they have a lot of stuff they need to sort of put into one page.

But here's some things that I would try changing and there's a variety of reasons why they did it the way they did it and not the way that I would do it. Let me go through some, like a couple of design items that I think I would change immediately, and then I'll go through some of the like, general things I would do.

if the, and obviously I think there's some more context to this too. I don't think this is the only thing document they give you, I would imagine this is not the only document you have, this is probably just the schedule. So the second half of what I say is probably like, oh, if they're running this all on Google Sheets, this is what they would do.

So the first, the first half I'll talk about just design changes, and then the second half I'll talk about. , like useful change, use changes, I guess. So right off the bat here, I've actually made a copy just to make some changes to see if it like helps. So I, this is a weird thing. I would get rid of all four times.

Now this might seem impossible to do if it's review only or read only, but I would make it search.  time zones here. The reason is this, this takes a lot of takes a lot of space and it's a lot of data that you don't need to know. Like, it, it, it is a good reference, right? That that is the reference.

This entire thing is a schedule. So here's, so immediately I would do this. Obviously some, some functional problem with this is that you don't have right access. So what I would do is I would, I would functionally change this to like, you, you can get the copy and then make a copy. But again, like if you, if they're making changes on the fly and they want to have everyone on the same page, then they can't really do this.

Yeah, I, I understand. But I would try to somehow, so I would go one way or the other. I would either, Say this is the entire thing. Like if it's a schedule, then let's make the schedule like super easy to read, right? 9:00 AM boom here. And it doesn't necessarily like, seem easy to read for me at, in this way, right?

Like 12:00 PM in there on like separate lines. This break is bolder or like more colored than the actual event. I would absolutely take these breaks either away. And let's just make it white. And then I would bring some blue or some color into this, right? And even maybe, maybe even some blue into this.

 Make that darker. So that, you know, there is some difference right there. Like right now I just, for some reason my eye comes to the breaks immediately cuz they're gray. It's a bold, it's a bold text. So if I had to write break, probably do it all caps, not not bold. I'd probably do it like.

Nope, that's too small. Like as small as possible, but like also maybe like even a different font there, there's an interesting thing they use roboto everywhere. I would try to pick a couple fonts difference. Like one here. Let's try, I don't think this is gonna work too well, not bad. Maybe think even put that up.

. See, like get some hierarchy. So like, oh, I know I'm on on Saturday. Like, like . It's, it's funny, it, it's like the one thing that it is, is a schedule and it's like actually pretty hard to figure out like what time things are, even though it's right next to it, right? It, it is proximity. Break is at nine 30.

This breaks at 1115. This breaks at 1240 30. It's still like hard to read, so I would.  do that. I might even change. Okay, so this is a weird thing. If I know that these sessions are at certain times, like I don't need to know the session goes from 9 45 until 1115 or like, that's the actual information I need to know.

Not this session is at 9 45, 10:00 AM 10 15, 10 30, 10 45, 11:00 AM That is a little. Weird to me, right? Like I would maybe just pick out the times that you need and then show them and then have like four lines that say, here's the different Eastern one. Like, oh, actually that's what I would do. Wait one second.

So that's what I would do here is on the side, instead of a lot of texts and a lot of data on a table that have, you have to figure out what is, what time am I in? And then somehow remember that it's always the second. If I'm in central time, it's always the second one. Here. This gives you a lot more white space and shows you the times that you need to know.

This is, this is the only time you need to know. You don't need to know. This, and, and actually, funny enough, I think I know why they did this is cuz probably during planning they needed this. So like, it's a real big difference between, you know, they used this to plan the, the time and maybe absolutely.

I understand If they need to change times quickly, if they're like, oh, we need to move that back by half an. This is easier than, well actually, I don't know if it's that easier, like, oh, they have to like, go here or change it to one. It's probably same amount of time to fix it. I don't know. I wouldn't necessarily re like, this is a silly, it's an interesting idea.

I would wonder if there's some functional reason for it, but if there's no functional reason and they have set a schedule and they may have you. Conferences always change schedules for a variety of reasons. Whenever I go to a schedule, they always change them. So I would, this would also be easy to change.

And then these breaks just are glaring. So yeah, I would take care of the break. I would do this if it's, if you can set the time or set if you can interact with it. . Then another thing I would do is I would get rid of these, cuz this seems a little useless. Like, or less not useless, like no use, but like less use because it's hard for me to read this and it's hard for me to understand that.

Like if, if you wanna visit the virtual, if the virtual lo lobby is important, then it shouldn't go on the right sideways. It should go right here. Maybe during the break enjoy our virtual library. And at the end maybe have like an beginning, a middle and end to this. So like, here's the event and then have, keep the conversation going here.

And I don't know where this links to, but maybe if this is important, then make it, putting it on the side on the right is a little bit busy and it makes it very busy and it seems like. Somebody was like, we need to have this five times and having it five times is gonna be a problem, so let's have it once over here on the right.

Like this is, seems like a solution to a problem of it's too busy. Like perhaps they had prior to this, had these items like here but then they're like, oh, we want everyone to go to the happy hour. So like, put the lobby over here. But like, if the lobby's so important that you do need it, then I. Maybe make it a, instead of a break, like literally maybe instead of the text break, I would say go visit the virtual lobby.

Like, like, make it a part of all of this, right? We, we read from top to bottom, left to right. So top to bottom is where we're going here and then left to right. So this is the least important thing, so why even have it? But if it is important, then yeah, bring it here and put it, make it part of the discussion or make it part of the schedule.

. This is a little bit thing, a little bit of a design thing that I only learned like recently looking at other great sheets is these links, okay, so links in Google Sheets typically look like this and they act like this, but you can sort of style them more in a more interesting way. You can do. This is what I have enjoyed doing most of the time.

Let's use not red, but we'll use red for now and see this. Actually, that red looks fine. What was the doc? They have this like green color red. Yeah, they have red and green in there in this logo. So this is not bad. So what the only issue is, oops. You have to give it space. So like, if I did this for all of these, let's do this again.

It doesn't necessarily help make this a button if they're all like this, right? No, not, not too bad. But what I would do is each of these, I would, and, and this messes up their schedule here, but I would add a li add box lines around each of these. And so give them some gap. You can actually wait, actually, we can try another way.

This is what I like doing too. Go to white. So instead of, . Yeah. So these look like nice little buttons instead of necessarily just links. And having each of these, right, I guess this is very important that there's these five categories. And they had a before here, sorry, one.  before they had these lines, right?

And typically like gray and gray and white and black, you were gonna have these lines. They did it in an interesting way, right? They, they hid the grid lines at first, but then they were like, we need lines to separate these things. But actually you only need colors. Like you need the colors create the lines.

You don't need to add the lines. So that's what I would do. I would color this up a little bit. And I would give more white space all around. Like I said, break, put some color in there, change all the breaks. See now we're getting some nice, oh, and then I would, I also work with the hierarchy. The hierarchy right now, there almost is none.

it's all one font. Rebo, roboto, roboto. This welcome is welcome here again, I'll, I'll talk about some structural, like some functional changes later, but I would make, I would figure out like what is actually important. Like I would size up these names. Here. I think I did it here. Yeah, I did it here.

So this is all 13. I can even do like 14, probably make it nice and.  and then they have this interesting thing, right? They facilitators as bolded, and then the names. I would make those smaller actually, even though that seems like an important part of the pro. The thing I would make it smaller just to give more hierarchy.

Yeah, and like these, at least these buttons, they don't seem very important. So I would make, but I think they are important, so I would make them colored or a different, even different color like. I dunno. Actually don't know right now, but you might know, like if they should be a different color,

try something here. I don't know if this works. Oops. I cannot tell if that works. That probably looks worse. Cuz now, well they are supposed to be separate, so if these, they're supposed to be separate, maybe even doing something like this. , they may make this boulder and then this. This, this is again, and so yeah, you get a little bit of different no, we don't need to use that color.

We can use a nice white, if this is darker. Actually we can make it a little darker there. That actually looks super nice, like these are separate. They have lines because they're different colors. And our eye is drawn to each one, whichever one we need. Instead of let's go back, let's make a look.

Everything's white, everything's this greenish color. And now we have a nice white and blue white as an actual break. Instead of a bold colored break, we have a white, like white space break. I'd change both of these to white as well.  Clean it up a little. So yeah, now my eye is drawn to, oh, meetings.

Like this is the thing, this is the thing I want to see, right? I would move, change this. I wonder if I can do this paste format,

right? And now my eye is like, oh, these are all the meetings. And then the secondary information. What time is it? But again, I would change it to this, this time. . Okay. And then I guess the other thing I would do is I would make this document like four or five tabs. Right now it is only one. And, and I totally understand functionally why that is, is like they only want to have to go and update one place if any changes happen.

Probably only one person worked on this made this there's a little bit of an issue with the view port here, like in mine at least. I don't know if others, like, I tried. Push the data as small as possible, get into like the smallest view port possible. And so again, I would take all of this stuff out, but also what I would do is I would add a couple of I would add a couple of tabs.

Minimum one, I would do an intro tab and I would say, this is the event. This is the schedule of the event. Here's how this schedule works. So I would add a whole tab here, just.  here. I would have a video maybe, or a description of like, you're gonna go and find all the information here, your times are here.

And then I would, like I said, I would let someone sort of copy this and then be able to change. I, I made this times chart here. It just took their chart, put it on a separate page, and then made this so that it's like you can just change it to the, your schedule. And this is just using an index of this.

You can do something.  maybe, I don't know what else you can do, but you can do index. And then I switched the column by whichever one it is. So Eastern is the first column, central is the second column. Mountain is the third column. Pacific is the fourth column, and here is the first column is Eastern, second column central, and so on and so forth.

So that you get each of these and I gave it a little bit of white space. I combined, I only made it two columns here instead of four. So this gives it a little more space. You have a tiny bit more space. Can't even make it like smaller here. This, you can make smaller. And so what happens is like you get more information here.

I would also try, I don't know if this would work too well, but these schedules, like this is schedule for Saturday, Sunday. . Oh, that's it. Two days. So I would do those two separate days cuz I literally, at first I was confused. I, I thought it was a one day conference until like five minutes ago and I was like, looking at this.

I was like, where, where is the second day? That matters a lot actually. This is like a weird thing that matters like, , when you see this, i I you mi you might have gotten, again, you might have had had context of this, you might have been like given this from some other place. But if not, if you're like, oh, I'm gonna attend this event and I like forgot everything, I would want as much information in this document as possible so that I would only have to check this if I looked for the schedule and I would say, okay, here's the intro.

All of this stuff is really, really, , but it's like stuck at the top. And so your view port is down here. I would switch this up and have this schedule up here and have this down here so that when you scroll down and you don't see all this, cuz like the most important, the most important thing of a schedule is to show what time and when things are.

And the fact that like, it's one item here and then as you scroll down it's well how much percentage is this? This is probably 30. No, 40% of the. Screen is meant for the event itself, which is a little odd. No, sorry. 60% of the screen is like meant for like the event itself when it should be like 80, 95%.

So or maybe I can do this. Okay, so I would flip this header and so that you see this stuff here cuz like that's important to know what event it is when you have this.  link and sponsors. But once the moment you wanna like see what events are happening, like everything should hide away. And you should see the events in that, in the events only.

And this seems counterintuitive, right? You were like, like the, the creators of the event are like, no, we wanna show our sponsors. We're grateful for them. We want to show them we want the name of the event to be seen every, everywhere. But like when you're in the event, you don't care what the name is, you know what the name is, and you want to just deal with this.

So like, now see, like right now it's like 60% of the screen is the event. But once I go into the event and I'm in here, 90% of the screen is the event. And that's really, really good. And now these shared files out the shared files. So I thought it was like a separate I thought it was a different thing.

Okay, so this is also like a functional thing that I don't know if they are prepared to do, but I always see hashtags of events on Twitter, and I find them useless of zero use, but I wonder. , they could change this to a Twitter intent link and put this next to, or underneath each of these events and have someone like put a little button here that says like, I'm attending this event, are you?

And like, help people connect by creating a Twitter intent that says, I'm at the meetings by discipline at blah, blah, blah. Are you there? And so like they, you can make it like a useful connection tool on.  I would use a Twitter intent link because you know the name. You can like programmatically, like change the name of the event that they're at and then just copy and paste that link everywhere here.

And I would make this way more interesting.  virtual happy hour should be very, very happy. Again, this is a very functional tool and I understand why they like did everything they did here. But I think they can do a little more interesting design, obviously. And then I think functioning, functional design, they should absolutely like switch this out and then make these different pages.

So now obviously this doesn't make sense, right? If I'm scrolling through here, this is not the schedule. So I would make these two. Two dates different. So Saturday and Sunday. And then put a little intro. So I would have an intro tab that says, here's the event. Everything about the event and the schedule, not everything about the event.

Right. You have some information somewhere else. And then I would have Sunday, Saturday, and Sunday. . And then I would also make it available for people to copy. So that's like super easy just to put the copy at the end and say, Hey, make a copy, or here's, here's the updated version. And and then also I would have all four of these as different tabs.

So I would say sat Saturday Eastern, Saturday Central, and that would be like eight tabs. And I understand why someone would not think to do that, but like if you aren't able to edit it, then this doesn't make sense. But I would then do this instead of having all of these. So this is much cleaner. I think that's it for now.

Happy to do more if you need it. If you want it and let me know if you have any questions about anything. I said obviously I don't know anything about this event, so I had to sort of pick and choose some easy to figure out things. But if you know more about the event and.  had any issues with the event schedule, let me know.

And it'd be interesting to see if there's some solution to some problem you had as a, you know, attendee or someone at the event by.