Case studies

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Planning Institute of British Columbia

Forward Thinking Shaping Communities
Planning Institute of British Columbia

Introduction

The Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC) is the professional association of planners in British Columbia and the Yukon, founded over 60 years ago and features over 1,600 members. Professional members of PIBC are forward-thinking individuals who work in both the public and private sectors and in many different fields of planning, including land-use and development, municipal and regional planning, resource and environmental management, policy planning and law, heritage conservation, transportation planning, economic development, urban design and more.

Services Delivered

  • Custom Website Design
  • Custom Drupal Development
  • UI / UX Refinement
Planning Institute of British Columbia

The Ask

As a well-established branch of a nation-wide organization, PIBC struggled to maintain a web presence that was well equipped for its audience. Promoting events was time-consuming on the back end, and difficult for users to find while browsing the website. Vital information was scattered throughout the site or often missing due to poor information architecture and hasty content changes over time. PIBC had a large wish-list of functionalities that would increase the usefulness of the website as a tool to be used by planners throughout the west coast; the biggest of which was that their Content Management System (CMS), Drupal, was not tied into their heavily used proprietary Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.

The Solution

Since the core audience of the website is well educated and forward-thinking, it was important to craft a website that was organized logically with a well thought out information architecture. All the existing pages within the website were categorized, re-organized and all content was audited for approval, condensing or removal. Menus were simplified and the language used within them was changed to be more representative of the content.

Beyond this, functionality was demonstrably improved with a user management system that allows user from the external CRM software to access tools on the website - such as a user directory that lists and sorts CRM members who are accredited and in good standing, as well as custom responsive calendars that allows staff and organization members to post curated events with accreditation information, relevant job opportunities and resources.

Furthermore, it was important that the visual language PIBC’s brand was conveyed on the website, promoting a sense of efficiency, professionalism and progressiveness that is reflected in their mission and vision. This was done with deliberate use of color, clean design and modern typography that emphasizes readability.

Planning Institute of British Columbia

Results

The resulting website successfully addressed all of PIBC’s core needs: users are able to logically find information, the website successfully integrates with their CRM to best leverage users’ information without needing to duplicate and maintain a second database of records, and finally the functionality and breadth of  available tools and resources has increased to include all of the collateral, events and opportunities afforded by PIBC to its members. The previous website was seeing a declining trend in the number of users, which has been revitalized since the updated website launched. On average, the website sees traffic that equates to one-third of their membership roster per month, with the average number of sessions per user being 1.4 and the average session lasting over seven minutes.

 

Planning Institute of British Columbia

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