It goes without saying that websites have changed from the early days of the internet – not just in terms of design, but also of importance. They have evolved from simple informational companion pieces to an organization’s primary lead generating outlet. But you knew that already – this article is actually about the change in how websites are now being designed with that in mind.
In this article I will explain how you can make design/layout/content changes on your site by knowing how your users are actually using your website, rather than by guesswork.
OK, I’ll confess – this is not really a battle. More of an explanation. Being a company that offers branding services, we get a lot of questions about what branding is and how it differs from logo design. The fact is that logo design is part of branding – a large part of it, but still, just a part. A lot of agencies will offer logo design as a service, on par with web design, graphic design, print design and so on. There is nothing particularly wrong with that, but it’s not our philosophy. We feel in order to create a truly great logo that works for a company, you first need to establish the promise and the expectations that will reside in the target audiences. You can’t do that by jumping headfirst into logo design and offering up three designs for your client to pick from. That’s like fighting the competition with a blindfold on.
Who: The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI) is the place for agri-food leaders to come together, share insights and advance ideas on emerging issues facing this important sector. Established as an independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit corporation in 2004 with an initial grant from the federal government, CAPI is guided by a diverse Board of Directors and an Advisory Committee and works extensively with partners to fulfill its mandate.
How: CAPI came to Baytek with a simple requirement – please take our website into the next century! We took CAPI through our entire process of messaging, planning, design and development – the theme of becoming a hub for the agri-food industry started to emerge, so we set about creating an engaging website that would produce repeat visits with fresh content and interesting ideas. The result is a clean, sharp looking site that is in constant flux with new articles and topical posts.
Who: BIG JUMP Entertainment is a privately owned, independent, 2D hybrid animation production facility that specializes in the seamless combination of traditional and digital techniques. High fives all around!
How: A long time in development, we are happy to launch the brand new website for BIG JUMP Entertainment – our mantra for the website was to let the content do the talking, and we believe we have achieved that. The site is quick and optimized, allowing the user to delve head-first into the world of BIG JUMP – checking out the latest news and projects, and getting a feel for the crazy work-place atmosphere with the studio tour. Click the link below to hop on the ride!
Who: Ottawa Baffin Nunavut Health Services (OBNHS) is a not-for-profit organization that coordinates specialist and tertiary health care for residents of the Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin) Region of Nunavut referred to Ottawa for treatment. Utilizing a broad network of healthcare providers, OBNHS offers nursing case management, appointment scheduling and interpretation services, while also coordinating specialized medical clinics in Iqaluit. OBNHS’s goal is to continue to offer the region equal access to health care, while providing a seamless experience for patients from arrival for diagnosis to their return home.
How: OBNHS required a complete refresh of their web presence – something that effectively spoke to not only their patients but also to healthcare providers. After key messaging and web planning sessions, Baytek took the lead to create a modern and responsive website design – simple lines and fresh, clean photography choices have helped push OBNHS into the modern web era.
Who: OrKidstra is a charitable social development program that empowers children and builds community by teaching life-skills (such as teamwork, commitment, respect and pride in achievement) to kids from underserved communities of Ottawa through learning and making music together. With the passionate belief in the transformative power of music, OrKidstra started with 27 children in 2007. OrKidstra now has more than 500 children ages 5 to 18 from 42 linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
How: When Seb met with Jane and Rebecca in May last year to discuss the project, we immediately felt how important and heartfelt to the cause of helping children in need was to OrKidstra and its members. Being in the same neighbourhood, Baytek also have it at our heart to help children to become better adults, having recently joined a not-for-profit organization (Browning Reid Institute) to help children learn the importance of coding early on and to influence the school curriculum. We are very proud of the new website and feel that it represents well the love and passion we all have for our children, their future and success!
- “I love the new website.” – Amar, OrKidstra student (via Instagram)
- “Congratulations to @orkidstra on their new interactive website: https://Orkidstra.ca. Music has the power to change lives”– Shawn Menard, Ottawa Public School Board Trustee, Capital/Rideau Vanier wards(via Twitter)
- ”We’re big fans of what you do! Great informative site on what you do and your events. ‘100% of OrKidstra graduates complete high school and pursue post-secondary education’”– ARTSFILE (via Twitter)
- “You gotta check out @orkidstra’s new sleek website https://orkidstra.cahighlighting their work changing lives through the music. Over 600 students and counting, and 100% graduates complete high school AND pursue post-secondary education. Let me know if you’d like to support.”– Adam Moscoe, Advanced Policy Analyst Program, Government of Canada and Curator, Global Shapers Community (via Twitter)
- “Congratulations for the new OrKidstra website! It is stunning and energizing. Bravo to everyone involved!”– Salim Charabati, Development Planning and Management and OrKidstra Board Member (via email)
- “AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”– Roxanne Goodman (via email)
- “Wow! It looks fabulous!! So clean and easy to read. Congratulations!!!”– Cheryl Casey (via email)
- “This is fabulous –The photos are wonderful. Bravo!!!!”– Sylvia Gazsi-Gill(via email)
- “The website looks really great and leads you on to seek more. Bravo! Pictures are just as good!”– Robin Higham (via email)
- “Wow. It [orkidstra.ca] is amazing. Very clean. Bravo!”– Derek William (via Facebook)
Who: Regional Group is a Canadian real estate industry leader. The company has created opportunity and value, and demonstrated superior returns on investment in all real estate classes for clients and partners since 1958. The company has been family owned for three generations and its extensive relationships, visionary leadership, integrity, excellence and collaborative style are hallmarks of the business.
How: As a successful and renowned real estate group in Ottawa, Regional Group can be forgiven for letting their website fall behind. However, as an innovative and forward-thinking company they were also waiting for the right partnership to come into focus – this is where Baytek came in. With fresh ideas and an approach that worked with their philosophy, we started about building the foundations of an online presence that should see them well into the future.
“Baytek took an aged brand identity and website and transformed them into a beautiful and elegant user experience that really shows off our company and sets us up for the future. They listened to our thoughts (all of them), provided guidance where needed, and responded quickly and with thought. The entire team, Seb, Jim, etc., were easy to work with, calm, and were really able to grasp our ultimate vision. Thank you so much for bringing us into the current century and beyond!”
Who: Established in 1994, Boomerang Kids is a Canadian owned and operated franchise chain of resale stores based in Ottawa, Ontario. Most of the stores’ inventory is consigned by families in the local communities the stores serve. About 25% of Boomerang Kids stores’ merchandise is new product, or “factory fresh” items.
How: As a long time staple in Ottawa and beyond, Boomerang Kids had outgrown their existing site. With new owners and fresh impetus, Boomerang Kids came to Baytek to create a fresh new website that represented their approach. Fun, exciting and community-driven – these words were used as inspiration to create the new, responsive and mobile-friendly website that you see today.
“Our company website was old and outdated. Baytek helped us freshen it up with a new, clean & modern design, easier navigation for our users and made it mobile friendly. The project was delivered on budget and Sebastien and his team were always responsive and pleasant to interact with. An overall positive experience and the feedback on our new site has been overwhelmingly positive – we would absolutely consider working with Baytek again in the future and have no reservations recommending them.”
Director of Marketing
Who: Carefirst Solutions is a new social enterprise management consulting firm that was established as a subsidiary of Carefirst Foundation. Their mandate is to promote excellence and innovation in the non-profit-health sector through the spread of integrated health solutions, sound strategy and business operations, and methods of continuous improvement.
How: As an organization operating in the health space, Carefirst Solutions’ philosophy is to promote excellence and innovation in the industry through the spread of integrated health solutions, sound strategy and business operations, and methods of continuous improvement. We wanted to reflect this in the brand and the website. The idea of connections and systems are seen in the logo mark, and the website itself pushes the boundaries of design in the health sector. The colour palette was chosen to represent the compassion and understanding that Carefirst Solutions brings to the table.