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Notes for Teachers

...and everyone else...

The ESAA website was originally created in 1997 way before most current pupils were born! The internet had only recently been made available and facilities to create websites were primitive. After 16 years, it was time to update it to work better in the modern era.

The new website is designed to be simple to use, and easy to find what you are looking for... even with big sticky fingers on small tactile screens. There are still a few features which are not yet operational, but these will be activated over the next few weeks as time permits.

We've structured it into 4 or 5 sections, each of which will remain consistent within the website so where-ever you are, you will be able to find your way back to where you want to be.

There are 3 basic page styles

  1. The home page - this is where you arrive when you type www.esaa.net into your browser. You can click (or tap) any event or activity to go straight to the most relevant information for the current year. Once there, you can select different years to view historical information about the selected event or activity.

    The home page has 4 main sections:

    • Top right, you'll find help buttons, contact buttons, and links to social networks.
    • Left side, you'll find a box showing all the latest information you need to know.
    • Middle, you'll find event and activity boxes - click or tap them to go straight to what they show.
    • Right side, you'll find a box showing what you've missed!
  2. Introductory pages - these appear when you click on any event or activity on the home page, and give you five important sections:

    • The title at the top left, showing you what year and what event or activity you are looking at. You need to check that you're not looking at earlier years if you want to work with this year's details. A common error is to try looking at the Competition Progress page for the wrong event - the Track & Field Cup is not the same as the Cross Country Cup!
    • A menu on the left, with buttons allowing you to navigate around the current event or activity within the currently selected year.
    • A space in the middle, showing all the keys points you need to know for the currently selected year.
    • A space on the right, giving a brief description of the event or activity.
    • A section at the top, giving you options to navigate through the years, and get back to where you were.
  3. Detailed information pages. These will normally present you with the following sections:

    • The title at the top left, showing you what year and event or activity you are looking at.
    • A menu on the left to allow you to navigate between pages relevant to the currently selected event or activity in the currently selected year.
    • A section at the top, giving you options to navigate through previous years' details relating to the currently selected event or activity, and to get back to where you were.
    • A space to the right of the menu giving the details that you want to read, however this may be also split into multiple columns where appropriate.

Page size

Modern web browsers now give you the facility to change the overall size of web pages to suit the screen size you are using. The website has been designed to work best with a screen width of at least 1260 pixels. Many modern browsers will automatically change the size to suit the current screen format, but you can also manually change the size of the display by pressing cntrl + or cntrl - (multiple times if you like) to enlarge or reduce the display as you prefer. You can return to the basic screen size by pressing cntrl 0 (that is zero, not oh).

Old browsers

The new website is designed using the latest programming features available. Many of these won't work on old web browsers, or will work but with limited facilities. If you are still using an old web browser you really do need to update it, not just for this website, but to protect your computer from all the new dangers which regularly circulate around the internet.

If the home page doesn't display with neatly shaded backgrounds, nicely rounded picture boxes, and menu buttons with rounded corners, then you need to install a better browser! The new website has been tested on the latest versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer.

Don't forget to scroll!

Because the navigation buttons are bigger than they used to be on the earlier website, it is all too easy for you to see the menu, and think that is all there is... Don't forget to scroll down the page to see if there are more menu options! Likewise, don't forget to scroll across to see everything that might be there.

Use of new tabs and new windows

The new website has been designed for easy access with touch-screens, but some of our features don't work very well with them, and some features are very difficult to use without a conventional keyboard and mouse.

In particular, all the workings of the Track & Field Cup, Cross Country Cup, and Combined Events administration systems rely very much on drop-down menus and require a lot of typing to enter athletes' data. Currently, this is too difficult and too expensive to re-structure for touch-screen use so the features will open in a new tab in your browser. Although you could possibly use the features by touch, it is assumed that you will normally access these features using mouse and keyboard as before.

At the moment, we open these facilities in a new tab to preserve your place within the new website so that you can continue to navigate the new website without losing your login status in the administration systems.

Similarly, a lot of our pages are in PDF format and come from other sources which are outside of our control. These will now be displayed in an new tab - some new portable browsers can't cope with PDF files being embedded into a web page. We will gradually re-introduce these documents so that they are embedded into our web pages, but this will take a bit of time because we need to test on so many different sorts of web browsers now.

Data usage

The new website includes more pictures than the previous version, so the amount of data transmitted will be a bit more than before. This won't be an issue for anyone using a fixed line internet connection, but if you are using a mobile device with a limited data bundle, you need to be aware of the added data usage. We will shortly be introducing an option to restrict images using a cookie, but in the meantime, you should find that mobile web browsers usually have an option to switch off images to save time and data.

Earlier website information

For anything pre-2013 you will be directed back to the earlier website version which will open in a new browser tab. That is the limit of the integration between the new website and the earlier website - there are over 13,000 files in the earlier version and it is wholly impracticable for us to change them all to match the new look!