new equity website

  • Katharine Kavanagh

    Actor

    hey guys, just wondered what people's opinions on the new site were? I didn't know it was coming, and seeing as I was on there the day before I had a big old surprise last night when I logged in to find this new spangly (and dare I say it - stylish!) design!

    Also seems a hell of a lot easier to navigate in my humble.

    Did take a while to register which was unexpected - luckily I had my equity card to hand, but think it's nice to see the union moving with the times!

    Well done anyone who was involved!

    xx

    • 22nd Aug 2007
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  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    I think it is a) easier to read and b) slightly faster to upload information from, which is all to the good. But I still think the layout is unhelpful. On the one hand, we have big drop down menus which offer some, frankly, irrelevant information for most people who are likely to log in - Advice for Agents, for instance - are the main visitors to the Equity website likely to be agents, let's be honest?

    At the same time, all the really vital information (on helpdesk contact numbers, branch office details, rates, membership benefits etc.) is hidden away under the small, and innocuous, looking 'site map' banner. I agree that, with a basic knowledge of web technology, you would probably work out - 'If I can't see something there's an immediate link to, then I'll have to view the site map,' but really, shouldn't these kind of links be prioritised anyway?

    Also, a bone of contention I always have with the Equity website - I know that Equity produce useful booklets for the actor, like 'Advice and Rights', which Tracey was mentioning only the other day. I know, because I've seen copies of it. Why is there no sign - up on the page offering the opportunity to request booklets like these? There's room for a form allowing you to tell Equity how brilliant the service is! Surely making these kinds of 'advice pack' as obviously available as possible makes huge sense.

    • 16th Aug 2007
    • 1
  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    The details on what Equity rates are needs to be up front, really bold- I can't find it yet. Perhaps one big sheet of the rates would be handy, then places like CCP or film schools could just give a link to that page and newbies can get to grips with it.

    • 16th Aug 2007
    • 2
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    Why not let Equity know that these services are required, you two?

    With the new site there is scope for downloadable information and forms.

    But unless you let them know, how will they know you need it?

    A simple email to Louise Grainger will no doubt get your request included in the web site promptly.

    Alan

    • 16th Aug 2007
    • 3
  • Mark Rathbone

    Actor

    Don't like it very much, the job search pages are much more laborious to use than before and try as I might there seems to be no way I can be proficient in more than one accent. Whichis a bit beeezarre. And as for getting changes made to a site quickly I doubt very much that that will be the case.

    • 16th Aug 2007
    • 4
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    At the risk of being a moaner, ( ande I am planning to go to the workshop on Equity next month- I have reserved my place) it is only different in appearance and nothing else.

    For me, the benefit of CCP is actually the fact that as performers, we have a community here which supports each other wonderfully. This is what equity should be striviung for with the website which still feels mechanical, cold and stand offish... I dont know how but there should be a forum and there should be a way that people can get questions answered onlione etc.. this sort of thing would improve it tenfold.

    • 16th Aug 2007
    • 5
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    There is a certain young lady on this forum who got the chance to test out the beta Equity website; and she really did give a huge amount of commonsense advice - on the prototype; and put my efforts to shame!

    Well done that lady!!!

    You know who you are...

    XXX

    • 16th Aug 2007
    • 6
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Words cannot express how bitterly disappointed I am by the new Equity website. Great promises were made in the Equity magazine, and when Christine Payne the Equity General Secretary and Martin Brown Head of Communications came to our Annual General Meetings.

    I could say a great deal but most of all this site lacks a search button, as it is extremely time-consuming to find vital information and this is one of the many things I put in my 3 page report when asked by Martin Brown to have a look at the new site and give my opinion.

    So if you're are an Equity member who is as disappointed as I am please let Martin Brown the head of Equity communications and membership support, know what you think. His e-mail address is [email protected]

    Please note this is just my personal opinion, and of course if you have positive comments to make am sure Martin would appreciate hearing these to.

    You may also wish to check out the Bectu website, it's so easy to find things on this site. Vist: www.bectu.org.uk

    Cheers

    TRACEY

    • 16th Aug 2007
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  • Dan Gregory

    Actor

    My card isn't in my wallet! Can't access jobs page anymore. Now where did I put it???

    • 17th Aug 2007
    • 8
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    I will do that, Alan.

    • 17th Aug 2007
    • 9
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I'm with you there Dan....I THOUGHT my Equity card was in my wallet but thurns out that one's from 06 and has NO card number...I don't even remember getting a new one. Consequently, I can't access any information, or the the jobs listings.

    And as there was absolutely no warning of these changes, I'm not too happy about it.

    I'm sure they will iron out most of the other kinks tho xx

    • 17th Aug 2007
    • 10
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I've just registered on the sitre, and sent an email to Martin listing the problems that I'm having.

    I agree that they should have sent us information about the changeover before it happened, so that we could all be poised over our keyboards the moment it changed! Equity seem to be able to send enough bumpf out about elections, so why not this?

    • 17th Aug 2007
    • 11
  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    Went on the other day and had an awful time trying to log in - phoned Equity who explained that I had to re-register but to only put in my number - not the letter that goes before it as they were having problems with the site. The jobs section is more laborious and I have to scroll down a long way to get to links as they seem to be spaced out much further.

    • 17th Aug 2007
    • 12
  • Katharine Kavanagh

    Actor

    mark18 - I had that problem too, but it seemed to work for me when I clicked on one accent, then when I wanted to add another I held down ctrl as I clicked (not shift - that just highlighted everything!)

    don't know how that would work on a mac, but if you're on a pc is worth a go

    xx

    • 17th Aug 2007
    • 13
  • User Deleted

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    I think the new site may be suffering from 'access overload'. It took me two goes to register, and then when I tried to get into the jobs section the screen wouldn't open. Have given up and am off to the pub!

    • 17th Aug 2007
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  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    The best thing about the new Equity website; is the new home page; which urges members to write to their MP; to get them to sign Early Day Motion 1598... to stop up-front fee scams - by taking prosecutions.

    Well done Equity!

    **;~))

    • 18th Aug 2007
    • 15
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    I'm sorry to say that I have been on to this website and found it the easiest thing I have ever had to do to get all the stuff I could ever need by just looking for the area it was in, clicking on the link and then clicking on the sub menu as it came up!

    Maybe it's the fact that I have my card with me and could enter all the numbers I'm supposed to at the out set. Maybe that's all you need to do if you're having problems.

    I've accessed the JIS. It's far easier to read the jobs and move on without having to scroll down through endless trivia about the part to find it's meant for a one legged midget with playing age 9-11 years! And the links work straight from the page rather than having to write it down enter it and then await the slow process of finding that the computer doesn't like the link you typed in.

    All the information, contracts, advice etc is available striaght from the page.

    Downloadable and contact with the relevant office if you have queries that the page doesn't cover.

    So what is the problem?

    Is it the fact that change/familiarity is an anathema to some people? Or are you just griping because it's another thing to try to slam Equity about?

    I knew about this change 6 months ago. I didn't know the exact date that it would happen. But I assumed that it wouldn't go 'on line' without testing. Now it has been tested and brought out for use it is only fair to see if it works profoundly by extensive use and, of course, 'tweaking' where neccessary. The website designers and administrator have assured Equity that it is quite possible that some areas, on inspection, will need to be modified. But this will not affect the overall efficiency of the site. It doesn't need a complete overhaul.

    For those of you who actually get of your backsides and visit your Branch meetings, you would also have known that this was happening! It was also mentioned in your Equity Journal. Did you bother to read it? Or was it dumped like a Staples catalogue?

    I'm just so surprised that you spend all that money on your membership every year and still don't even try to get everything you can out of the service Equity supplies! AND IT'S FREE to all members!

    Everyone seems to be going on about how much everything costs. 'I can't afford this..' or 'I can't afford that...' And yet when presented with an opportunity to get something...something you're entitled to...that comes free with your membership you ignore its relevence with some kind of disdain. Yet when something crops up like this, for example, you have to bleat about 'Not being informed!'

    Well, if you took the time to read about your Union, you would know it. AND LOTS MORE!

    Get involved with YOUR UNION! You own it. Without the efforts of the members who DO get involved it would not exist.

    • 19th Aug 2007
    • 16
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I think you're being a bit harsh Alan.

    Yes it's frustrating that people don't read the Equity magazine. Perhaps that's because younger people have grown up with the web and like to find information quickly on their computer.

    I notice that now the new Equity website has all the back copies of the Equity magazine's which is really good. However there is no search facility. So even if you have avidly read every article in various magazines at the point you want to find something again it's very hard to find it. This is something I tryed to do only two days ago. I notice there is now a site map which is a help but I am sure the addition of search button would make things so much quicker. And it's worth bearing in mind that many of our Equity members will be grabbing a look at the Equity website in their lunch hour or even paying premium rates to access the Internet from Internet cafes. If you're not very familiar with the workings of Equity then the layout is not easy to follow nor is it as yet user-friendly.

    Now I'm sure Equity staff and an Equity Council will endeavour to improve the website and take on board any constructive criticism we have. But I don't think Equity members on Cast Call Pro should be berated for finding it difficult to logon or difficult to find things. This is their experience of the new Equity website and useful criticism.

    Also to be fair if people criticise the layout of the new Equity website job information section, then perhaps this is not about the fact that they do not like change, but more to do with comparing it to the way the job information is laid out on web job information services such as catcall pro. So again the criticism is valid and of value.

    Within Equity everyone has the right to express their opinion and vote. If the majority of people are very happy with the new Equity website and feels nothing needs changing then that's fine. And it's also fine if the majority of people feel there is room for improvement and they pass their suggestions on to Louise Grainger or Martin Brown. Then if the same suggestions for improvement come up time and time again, then I'm sure Equity's senior management team will take this criticism on board and we will see those improvements.

    That's what I like about Equity the opportunity to debate things and affect change for the better.

    Cheers

    TRACEY

    PS: I was very pleased to read that one young man is going along to the workshop on Equity next month, so you see people do get involved with Equity if there given lots of gentle persuasion.

    • 19th Aug 2007
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  • David Corden

    Actor

    I feel I have to agree primarily with Tracey on this one, but in stronger terms.

    Aside from the improved security on the registration/ log-in system (which some people evidently are having trouble with) and the slightly faster loading times on pages - I think the thing is bloody awful.

    It's amateurish (not simple or classic)and messy in it's design. I'm too angry about it to articulate any further on what's bad about it.

    While I would normally join in wholeheartedly with you Alan to wave the Equity flag, you must also remember the outrageous cost of this venture and that the cost of basic membership has risen by 40% over the past 5 years in order to cover this sort of thing.

    And, Tracey, "the opportunity to debate things and affect change for the better."??? As members, idealistically, yes, but what about the staff who are supposed to implement the changes debated by members and then ignore it?

    • 20th Aug 2007
    • 18
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    Tracy and I have been discussing this in PM terms, David.

    We have both agreed that it is not as good as it could have been even with all the money that has been thrown at it.

    Feed back to the SMT is required about this through Council and Regional Committees as well as individual replies.

    • 20th Aug 2007
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