Family-friendly and responsive web design: a perfect fit for Ottawa Museum Network

For an organization devoted to history, the Ottawa Museum Network is remarkably with the times.

With the goal of driving both foot and online traffic to the 10 local museums that comprise the Network, the OMN wanted to update their brand as well as their website to better reflect their primary target audiences — families with children under 16 years, and the grandparents of these children. And they chose Banfield-Seguin to help.

To be more approachable, we developed a web strategy using an open source CMS that would allow for ongoing updates to be made to the site in-house – with limited design and technical support required. We also designed the new website with more images, more personality and more fun. To cater to busy Ottawa families, we made the information clear, super easy to find, and organized to fit the way families plan their social and cultural calendars. And, since families are increasingly on the move, we also designed it with a responsive layout to better fit their lives.

What’s responsive about it?

Basically, when we built the site, it was coded so that it automatically reformats for the device you are browsing with. In effect, it is optimized for viewing on your desktop, laptop or smartphone — all at the same time. The site was also built to allow the client to control the content the user views from each type of device.

The results have been pretty impressive. From April to June, 2012, year-over-year web visits have nearly tripled. And, assisted by a marketing campaign embedded with QR codes, the increase in mobile user activity is even more dramatic, with a 726% increase over the same period last year.

So if you’re looking for family-friendly fun this summer, look no further. And look on any device you want.


Organization 101 - Lesson 3: Orderly Workspace = Productivity

In this article we tackle… the cluttered workstation.

A lot of productivity has to do with being in the right “space”, both physically and mentally. For me, a clean, organized workstation is a must – I can't work if mine is messy.

But being neat and tidy is also not for everyone (some people like it, some people don't). What is truly important to increasing your productivity is to create the right environment and atmosphere to accomplish the tasks at hand.

You should consider these four elements: 

1. Work area
Ideally, you should have a different location for each of your activities. For instance, you could choose to answer emails while having breakfast, to take care of your main responsibilities while sitting down at your desk, and to do strategic planning when stopping by the nearest coffee shop.

Even if you have to complete all of your daily tasks within a few square feet of space, you can still train your mind to make connections with physical cues, such as sliding your chair over to a different part of your desk. 

2. Tools
Preferably, you should always have access to all the tools you need to do your job – all within arm's reach.  Doing this makes you more efficient and reduces your resistance to doing a certain tasks because they require getting up to go look for something.

For example, you could keep a note pad for capturing ideas or a “to do” list on the fly, or a few spare file folders and labels for quickly creating new project folders. 

3. Distractions
Some people are more productive in silence while others prefer working to the beat of their favourite music. Neither is right or wrong. The important thing is that you're aware of what types of distractions (or lack thereof) work best for you.

Try to take notice of how you respond to various environmental factors:
  • How do I function when I'm connected or disconnected to the Internet? 
  • Does having certain mobile devices turned on affect my productivity? 
  • How does my mind respond when I'm completely alone? 
  • Can background music help me focus? 
  • Does working some days from home lead to higher or lower productivity?

4. Surroundings

For your most important work, having an environment that you like spending time in is definitely a plus. If you have the ability to design your workspace, consider the type of lighting, colors and materials that make you feel good and inspire you. 

If a custom workspace isn't feasible, you can still make small improvements to your existing area, such as: 
  • Bringing in a small lamp with a soft white light bulb for a warmer glow 
  • Keeping fresh flowers or plants around you 
  • Putting up some favourite pieces of art or inspiring quotes 
  • Requesting additional storage drawers so that your surface is less cluttered 

By setting the backdrop for your day, you can reduce friction in the flow of your life and create better, more creative work in less time. 

What are some of your tricks to get the most of out of your workspace?


Enabling the best possible online shopping experience with Canada Post

As eCommerce continues to grow rapidly, so do shopper expectations. Recently, Banfield-Seguin and Canada Post worked together on a campaign for Canada Post Web Services, a solution that will enable the best possible online experience for shoppers. 

Banfield-Seguin developed an integrated campaign - including video, DM, print and online advertising - to communicate the benefits of Web Services through simple, clear creative concepts. The national campaign was targeted at both online merchants and eCommerce solution providers. 

Web Services is an important opportunity for Canada Post. The suite of eCommerce solutions integrates Canada Post shipping data and enhanced capabilities easily, seamlessly and affordably in a merchant’s ecommerce solution. 

Banfield-Seguin and Canada Post collaborated closely in determining the marketing plan, messaging strategy, and mix of tactics. Together we also developed a creative testing strategy to ensure we could continuously refine the campaign while in market.