Website Makeover is Key Element of New Brand


The first facelift of APEGGA's website since the Association created a major online presence six years ago will greet members in a launch later this month. The Communications and Internal Affairs departments — with input from members and staff, and with contracted services from an outside design team — put more than a year and thousands of hours into the redesign and makeover.

“We wanted a more attractive site, definitely, but this is really about making the website more approachable and useable,” said Len Shrimpton, P.Eng., Director of Internal Affairs. “The size and role of the site have grown in leaps and bounds, and so has the amount that members use it. But the original design was becoming a limitation. Sometimes, it was just too difficult for members to find the information they need.”

Members and other users will be impressed, Mr. Shrimpton believes. “I think the new site is a great example of design meets function. We've received nothing but positive comments from staff and members who've tested it.”

Philip Mulder, APR, Manager of Communications, said the new site is key component in APEGGA's new brand strategy, which comes out of opinion surveys and an internal communications audit several years ago. “One of the misconceptions about branding is that it's simply a new look. But it's so much more than that,” said Mr. Mulder.

“Branding is about sharpening the focus of how we serve members and our mission. APEGGA's new look will be represented by improved communication and service, which is what will make it truly meaningful. The new website is very much an example and a symbol of a renewed APEGGA.”

By 2003, website use had grown to more than 25 million hits from 6.6 million in 1999. The number of online pages has also exploded — from a mere 125 in 1998 to more than 6,000 at the time of the redesign. All PEGG stories now appear online. Members update their personal information online, read practice standards and learn about the registration process. There are sections for Outreach, career searches, coming events, mentoring and much, much more.

The simple logistics of moving all that material from the old site to the new one have been huge, said George Lee, Manager of Editorial Services. “Barbara Jensen, our website developer, went way beyond the call of duty on this one,” he said.

All departments, in fact, helped out by updating, editing and refocusing material on their areas of the site. The Communications and Editorial Services departments will continue sharpening content over time, with the help of members and other staff.

“As with any site, ours will be a work in progress. However, the platform is now in place to keep the site dynamic, interesting and usable for many years to come,” said Mr. Shrimpton.

Some members may be faced with browser upgrading to best view the new site. The good news is that the downloads are free, and APEGGA has gathered the links you'll need to complete them.

“It's not really possible to improve the design and still have it work with all versions of all browsers. That's just the nature of the technology. Upgrading browsers is, however, a fairly simple procedure,” said Mr. Mulder.

Some users of the new site will need to upgrade their browsers. We highly recommend you download the latest version of your browser, before the site launch later this month.

We're sorry about this inconvenience, but we're confident the new site will more than make up for it.

Downloads of updated browsers cost nothing, and the appropriate website addresses are listed here.