Reset Rating: B (11.5/15)

By: Katie Short


To reserve park spaces for weddings, athletic fields for a game, or picnic tables for a birthday party, the process is complicated. It requires phone calls and walk-ins — not at all Gov 2.0. But! The San Francisco Recreations and Parks website offers an online process to reserve an indoor space, and it is actually shockingly Gov 2.0-friendly.

Accessibility: 2.5 out of 3

The site is reasonably accessible. But it’s in English only…not a new problem for these supposedly Government 2.0 services…

Ease of Use: 2 out of 3

Functionally, the process is intuitive, except for the part of the reservation form that notes if you want to request the space for more than one day in a single week (like a Monday and Tuesday) – you have to complete more than one form. The form does let you stipulate reccurring reservations, but not continuous reservations. This was a little too inefficient to overlook.

And the reservation is not complete with merely filling out this form. The City needs to verify that the space is indeed available, etc.

Design: 3 of 3

The pages in the Recreation and Parks site are clean and the information is presented clearly, and while the actual reservation form breaks with the style of the previous pages, it does not impair the comprehension of the process.

The Guide: 2 out of 3

On the “Recreation Centers and Clubhouses – Room Rentals” page, just above the “Online Application” link, it notes: “If you have questions, call 831-5510.” There is also a “Contact Us” link within the “Permits and Reservations” page which takes you to a page with a mailing address and phone numbers, but no email or online form for queries. Not particularly Gov 2.0.

If they had an online query form, I’d be tempted to shoot them a note asking why it is important they know what percentage attending my party might be male and female.

User Feedback: 2 out of 3

So there is a feedback mechanism for the parks, which presumably you could use to review their online service, but it is obviously not intended for that — it’s clearly for the parks and park programming, such as summer camps, more than the online Recreation and Parks presence.

This feedback mechanism isn’t clearly presented (it is hidden within the Rec & Parks About Us page, under the “Comments & Feedback” link).

Even if this feedback mechanism isn’t necessarily for the online services, Rec & Parks almost got it right: they aggregate feedback and publicly display it, but it appears to be only praise, not criticism, which seems unlikely…

Finding it…

You don’t have to start here, but in case you’re curious: From the website, select “Residents” from the top navigation bar. Under “Spotlight” on the “Residents” page, choose the “Recreation and Learning” link, and on the “Recreation and Learning” page, select the “Recreation and Parks” link under “Key Services: General.”

On the San Francisco Recreation and Parks homepage, select “Reserve a Space” from the top navigation bar. Once on the “Permits and Reservations” page, scroll down and click on “Indoor Facilities,” and on the “Indoor Facilities” page, choose the “Clubhouses and Recreation Centers – Room Rentals” hyperlink. Then click the “Online Application” link on the “Recreation Centers and Clubhouses – Room Rentals” page, and…done.