Registration for Chicago Park District classes needs an overhaul

by Blagica Bottigliero

If you are one of thousands of Chicago parents AND adults, you know of a fantastic resource: The Chicago Park District.  The CPD puts on a series of classes all year long - and they are uber accessible in price.  Every season, parents get ready to register online and attempt to snag one of the few precious spots available for the given class they would like to sign up for. Once those online spots fill up, Chicagoans can wait in line and register in person. 

Easy to understand. Fast clicker gets the spot. Got it. However. 

The user experience of the Chicago Park District's implementation of the 'Active' technology for online registrations is plain bad. I decided to take screen shots of the process and walk you through how precious seconds are lost when you attempt to sign up your kid for class. Yes, we will be those parents who will be in line at 3 or 4 am to get their daughter enrolled in Kiddie College. 

I attached screen shots of the long process you need to click through various screens and get your kid registered. 

  • First you have to add the class(es) to your cart.
  • Then you have to select the child(ren) you want to take the class (or adults too).
  • Then you see your class, price and description. This causes you to speed read the fine print to make sure everything is done right.
  • After that, you go to the cart and see the class again.
  • From there, you come to a screen asking you to check off on consent.
  • Then you get the credit card selector screen. You pay.
  • Nope, not over yet.
  • Then you have to click a box that states you are over 13 years of age.
  • Finally, you hit 'continue' to purchase the class and hope it goes through.

Let's say you and your spouse decided to work as a tag team and sign up a kid for class? You both get in? 

The Chicago Park District charges a  FEE for CANCELING a class out of their system. Even after this is done within minutes. You have to call them up, explain the situation and pay a fee to get the double class removed from the system. 

When I booked a CPD room for my daughter's birthday, I needed to move dates.  That date change resulted in a $15 fee. 

I am thankful for having the Chicago Park District and its hundreds of programs available within footsteps, but the process and fees to attempt to sign up are pretty bad. Some friends reminding me that those parents who don't have access to a computer or Internet also lose first dibs on sign up. 

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