Introducing User Accounts

Until now EntryCentral has always worked on a no-account basis where users signed-up for things by inputting their details each time they signed-up for something, assisted by a Remember Me checkbox.

Users liked this approach because they didn’t need to potentially reset a password upon every visit to sign-up for something. However, there are also a few drawbacks:

  • There was no way for you to go back and change e.g. your “Estimated Swim Time” answer, despite maybe 6 months passing between signing-up and the event date. You needed to email organisers with these changes, and they needed to  change your sign-up for you.
  • When signing-up another family member, users sometimes forgot to change all of the details from the Remember Me values, so family members were sometimes allocated into the wrong gender or age category for the event.
  • When moving to another browser or device, previous Remember Me details were not available there.

Nowadays with the emergence of Password Managers and “Sign-in with Facebook” methods, the reasons for not having accounts have simply disappeared over time.

You may now create an EntryCentral account, and here’s a rundown of the main features:

Store and reuse personal details for you and others

A user account will store your own personal details and optionally any other family members under 18. A person under 18 must have Terms and Conditions accepted on their behalf by a parent/carer, so they cannot have their own user account.

You may also store the details of other non-dependant persons over 18, and an organiser can choose whether or not you can sign them up for things, or whether they need their own user account.

Once you have set up an account, you can set it to allow “Sign-in with Facebook” and/or “Sign-in with Twitter”

Review your historical sign-up details

Once you create an account, we will track the history of your sign-ups you make while logged-in.

Organisers are sometimes asked e.g. “Which card did my refund go on to?”. Organisers were never able to answer that question, but Account Users can now look that up for themselves.

Change your answers to organiser questions

Organisers are often asked e.g. “Please change my Estimated 400m Swim Time”. You can now change this yourself, up to the organiser’s selected change cut-off date. Organisers can choose whether to Allow/Approve/Disallow changes .

  • Allow – accept Change Request without restriction
  • Approve – accepts Change Request with Lead Organiser approval
  • Disallow – no changes allowed

Where a Change Request causes a difference in price (e.g. change of mind about a paid-for event t-shirt), there is an accompanying card transaction, either a payment or a refund.

Since the user creates the Change Request as a change to what they originally signed-up for, the user always pays the Service Charge for any card transactions arising with changes.


Image courtesy of FontAwesome

Account setup process

  1. There is a new Login menu item on the system. On the User Account registration form, set your email address, Username and Password
  2. You’ll receive and click the link in confirmation email, this step confirms your email address and that you are able to receive email from the EntryCentral server.
  3. You log in to your new account and you’re shown Person suggestions based on previous sign-ups for your email address, to save you a lot of typing while setting up the account

Changes to the EntryCentral sign-up process

The Sign-Up process remains unaffected for users who don’t have accounts, although some organisers may choose to disallow sign-ups from these guest users.

For Account Users, the Person Selection screen replaces the Personal Details screen. The Person Selection screen shows whether each person on the account is eligible to sign-up for the particular event or membership, and then continues the sign-up just as before. A person might be ineligible due to e.g. age restrictions for the event.

For Account Users, only Forename, Surname (and Allocated Entry Number, for events with auto-numbering) appear in the email receipt. Other details are password-protected on your account.

About Ian McLaughlin

Software engineer, has-been triathlete

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