About four months ago, we added the ability for our users to give their feedback on site functionality they wanted to see. Using a Uservoice widget, we tracked 14 areas where you wanted to see improvement.
1. Performance Calendar- We knew this was a much-desired feature so we began work on it a while ago. We want to get it just right so we don't have any specific date planned other than "coming soon."
3. More Statistics- Over the last few years, we've been gathering statistics and will make them public soon. A lot of interesting stuff!
4. Adding Locations to Reviews- Now that our new Shakespeare Directory is built and live, we can tie in our theatre profiles and locations to our reviews. Stay tuned.
6. Expanded Character Descriptions- Yes, we know we're missing many of them, but it was a monumental first step just to get them all into our system. Work will shortly resume on this and we have a surprise or two in this area as well.
7. New Look- There has been one design refresh since the site went live a few years ago. Since there have been too many improvements and changes to count since then, the site needs to be updated in order to accommodate these new areas. This is coming in the next few months.
8. Publishing Repository for Academic Papers- We have some big news coming in this area. Stay tuned.
9. Email Digests- This is related to a forthcoming forum upgrade and will be added.
10. Improve the Search Function- We can arguably say that our Power Search functionality is the best and most powerful search engine for Shakespeare's works available. There's a concordance, you can search by play, genre, poems, sonnets and more. It's hard to imagine how we can make it better, but we're already working on the next generation.
11. Add Kindle Editions- There's no doubt that the Amazon Kindle has made inroads into eBook publishing. It's a powerful combination of vast storage and ease of purchase via Amazon.com. However, there are deep issues that we feel impact the user experience as well as are unacceptable technical limitations. Amazon's developer support for the the Kindle is atrocious at best so, while we've had "acceptable" Kindle editions ready for over a year now, we can't bring ourselves to commit to a market that is suffering too much from its immaturity. Amazon also has the ability to wipe books from your device without your permission and uses DRM. With the advent of the new Sony eBook readers and a renewed commitment to the more open ePub format (which can be circumvented quite easily), there are more options on the horizon. We're watching things very closely to see what the next move will be. We were immediately ready with our Shakespeare application when Apple opened up the iPhone and we'll be ready when this sector shakes out.
12. More Monologues- Students and actors love monologues and our selection is pretty meager at the moment. But we have a new tagging system that will enable you to quickly select criteria for your monologue in order to help you choose the best one for you. More monologues will be added under each play sections in the near future.
13. More Foreign Language Editions- One of the hot topics at a recent Shakespeare conference was the ability to introduce non-English speaking people to Shakespeare, whether in the theatre or the classroom. In our Document Library, we currently have many plays in Spanish, Italian, Finnish, German, Catalan, and Slovak. More are on the way.
14. Shakespeare iPhone application- Our iPhone application is just over a year old and we have a very long list of improvements to add, including bookmarks. More to come.
While the website improvements aren't limited to these areas (we're constantly upgrading and improving everything from minor new features to tight integration), they give us a good idea of directions you want us to take the site. So, we thank you for your feedback and now we'll get to work!