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Everything Dumb About Scoutbook (And How to Fix It)

In this thread, I will start compiling a list of everything that is just plain dumb about Scoutbook, and some suggestions of how to fix it.

  1. The “Home Page” after logging in is dumb. Upon logging in, you land at the Home Page, which consists of links to My Dashboard… and 8 other things that I’m betting almost nobody ever clicks on. In fact, I would bet that if you ran any analytics on Scoutbook usage, at least 98% of the first clicks on the Home Page go to My Dashboard. Solution: Replace the Home Page with the Dashboard and nest the other links somewhere in the Dashboard.

  2. Once you get to My Dashboard (the useful page where everyone is trying to get to - see item 1), the links to your troop/den and sons is under a tab called Administration with a “gear” symbol. First, let’s get something straight: the universal meaning of a gear symbol is “Settings.” So why are you using a gear symbol? Second, why is any of this nested under a tab called Administration? Again, just like you did on the Home Page, you have needlessly nested the useful stuff under a tab.

  3. The “Connection Manager.” Ooh boy, this one’s a doozy. The Connections Manager doesn’t actualy manage connections. Instead it controls which leaders have the adminsitrative access rights to do which things in Scoutbook. Which is a really good capability… but why are you calling this Connection Manager?! How about… Control Administrative Rights? Or literally anything else that intuitively guides people to understand where to go to change admin rights.

  4. There needs to be a quick report for Leadership positions. In fact, rather than having to make a report, it would be nice to just be able to click on a roster of scout leadership positions. (Remember, BOY-led troops).

  5. The calendar. When creating calendar entries, the default invitees assigned to a particular Event Type make no sense. Why on earth are Parents not automatically invited to Troop Meetings? Do you really think parents don’t need to know about Troop Meetings (or virtually any other event)? Makes no sense. Also, it would be nice to be able to set default reminders rather than having to set the same reminders time after time every time a new event is created.

I’ll add more as I think of them. I would encourage others to do the same. Scoutbook shouldn’t be this bad and non-intuitive.

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@BradMirakian - thanks for this post but it seem off from courteous and kind…perhaps I am reading incorrectly

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1-2. I mostly agree, at least that it’s too many clicks to get to the stuff we care about.

  1. It actually is a connection manager. It allows you to add connections between youth and adults.

  2. On the troop roster page it lists all of the positions of responsibility under each scout’s name. Are you looking for more than this?

  3. I think some people prefer not inviting the parents because it throws off attendance stats. A parent will still get event reminder emails for anything their scout is invited to. Default reminder options would be nice. If you use the repeating meeting options in the feature assistant extension, it’d reduce the number of times you need to set them.

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  1. If you use Roster Builder, you can create your own custom Scout leadership rosters.
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  1. The report builder feature. While useful for customization, the exact same feature was built into ScoutTrack and everytime you logged in you could see every scout in your den when every requirement they’d completed, in an instant. No need to run a report - the info was there on the screen before you already. My pack is seriously considering moving back to ScoutTrack because of all the issues with Scoutbook and extra features that aren’t used.
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Are you suggesting you want every single piece of profile info to display on the screen every time you look at the roster? It would seem that would really crowd the screen. Also, the roster builder adds a printer friendly version.

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agree 100% with 1 and 2. i made myself a den admin of all the dens to fix most of #2. and yeah… the gear icon is for settings :slight_smile:

#3 i agree isn’t all that clear. @jacobfetzer “connections” doesn’t make logical sense for parents to me either. why would i call a kid’s parent a “connection”. “Manage access to scout”

  1. reporting needs a lot of work. it’s a nice start - but needs more options and reports.
    for starters:
  • kids who have no parent linked
  • parents who have not logged into scoutbook
  • a list of what mandatory requirements are left for a kid to rank up
  1. the most important change to calendar is to add “delete”. The calendar items still show up after the event… i mean… i was looking at it this morning it was showing me den items from October…

  2. Ability to “not approve” and remove items from the “needs approval” quick View

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sometimes blunt truth is the nicest thing you can do for people. tiptoeing around doesn’t get problems fixed. I agree the title could have been “everything i dislike about”

@JeremyCastleberry - I sgree that being blunt is sometime the approach that works, but yeah better phrasing would improve it. I agree that there are many things that could be done to improve the user experience, but all need time and testing to get to production side.

yes. I agree. I do that kind of work for a living. However - is there a wish list of future features published somewhere? is there a list of things devs are looking to change and why? not that i have seen. So you end up with posts like this.

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The BSA does not make the development backlog available.

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right. so for all we know - these very topics will eventually get settled out. we just don’t know.

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Certainly not a copy of everything. But when you login to ScoutTrack there was one main screen that was used and seen every single time you logged in that was key and had beautiful usability. Showed the Adventures for every cub scout and you could expand to see the individual requirements and it was also the screen you use to mark everything off. One stop shopping. Image attached. ScoutTrack

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Because of copyrights and such, Scoutbook will not be copying exactly what a competitor has. The discussion is more productive in terms of features you’d like to see and how they benefit you.

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I want to see all the scouts in my den at the same time with all the requirements for their rank at the same time, showing which scouts are missing which requirements. And ideally be able to log requirements from the same screen. Going to run a report to see who’s missing what or else clicking on each of 14 scouts one at a time is not value added. I should be able to glance down the list of all scouts in a den and see who needs what.

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Jennifer,

This is the point of Report Builder. You can save a report that shows you this data and run it any time you wish. You can use Quick Entry to mark requirements complete for multiple Scouts. If a Scout already has the requirement complete, marking it complete with Quick Entry will not change the completion date.

Scoutbook will not be updated to show you this data each time you log in. The number of database queries required to produce the data would slow Scotubook down to a crawl. Getting it on demand allows for better system performance.

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Yes, I am aware of those features and am using them. Still takes about 2-3 times longer than in ScoutTrack, is not as user friendly, and there’s a steep learning curve. “Getting it on demand” means running reports several times each time I login to Scoutbook… and each report takes minutes to run and slows Scoutbook down to a crawl. I’ve yet to see anything in Scoutbook that is as user friendly for a den leader with a big den as what we used to use. There aren’t any additional features in Scoutbook that makes it worth our while to use. We’re already in discussion about abandoning Scoutbook and going back to what works, works well, and works consistently.

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@JenniferSorbello - this is not an airport, no need to announce your departure :slight_smile:

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To the calendar / events: when we add a Scout to the Troop, ask if they should be included on existing event invites. Better yet: a default in the event setup that makes the event open / seen by all members of the troop.

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It would be nice to automatically roll through all the achievements in the awards, merit badges and ranks. For example, if you earn the fishing merit bade, it should update that fact in Complete Angler. If you’ve earned the First Aid MB, it should show up in E-Prep rather than having to input it separately. The same can be said for the Nova and Supernova awards, etc.

My guess is this change would encourage Scouts to reach for other awards, if they realize they’ve already done the work for them.

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