Intro

Our team recently launched a new website for Alberta Open Farm Days. Alberta Open Farm Days is a collaborative, province-wide, two-day event that gives Albertans a unique opportunity to experience the farm and understand where their food comes from.

Opportunity

We were given the opportunity to rethink the existing Alberta Open Farm Days website to give it an updated look and feel to match the ambition of the event and the organization behind it. The team at Alberta Open Farm Days collaborated with us to lay the foundation for this project and entrusted us to showcase our expertise in creating a website their stakeholders would be proud of.

Some of the key areas of focus for this project included:

  • Creating an interactive mapping component to show host farms
  • Making sure the new site is mobile-friendly
  • Building trip planner functionality into the website
  • Leveraging imagery from previous Alberta Open Farm Days events to capture the true essence of the interaction between Albertans and farms in the province
  • From the client perspective, making the website easier to update in adding, changing or swapping out information and content quickly

Approach

One of the biggest reasons that people visit the Alberta Open Farm Days website is to obtain information about host farms and events in different areas. Primarily, our aim was to create a functional, user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing website.

We segmented the content based on the three main event categories: Host Farms, Farm Tours, and Culinary Tours. By doing this we trimmed down the website navigation to a few items and managed to address another aspect of the overall digital strategy which was to create category-funnelled landing pages for advertising.

With social media a big part of the promotional strategy, we included the Instagram feed on the homepage adding to the visual pull of the site. When we did an audit of the client’s social profiles, we found that Instagram was very active and constantly updated. It made sense to add an Instagram feed on the homepage which enhanced the appeal of the site while offering more insight into what exactly Alberta Open Farm Days is about.

For the mapping component, we decided to incorporate two types of views for different kinds of users: a grid list and an interactive map. To enhance the mapping component, we added filtering capabilities which allow the user to search by activity, day and/or location. In the past, users were unable to filter by day which made it difficult to find information quickly. Users had also previously requested to be able to use the site to get directions from a particular location to a host farm. This was achieved by using the Google Maps API through the mapping component we created, which took into account the host farms the user would have saved using the trip planner function.

To address website speed, we made the mapping component a separate plugin that pulls data directly from the Google Maps API so that a lot of the ‘heavy lifting’ is not using up website resources especially for a website that sees a good amount of traffic. This also makes the mapping component load much faster and easy to use.

We used colour coding to show which days the listed farms were open, either Saturday (orange), Sunday (green) or both (blue). These colours are also used throughout the site as part of the overall brand identity for Alberta Open Farm Days.

Outcome

Open-Farm-Days-2018-website
Please visit the Open Farm Days website here.

And if you like what you see, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are looking for some website help. Get in touch with us here.

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Post Written By:

Rodney Majaya

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Project Manager

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