Purpose of the Project
Québec International (QI)—in constant evolution and with numerous mandates and an expanding team—deemed it necessary to completely redesign its website. Growing needs—both in terms of its clients and the information to be shared—drove QI to opt for a new, ergonomic, highperformance platform. With its clients at the heart of the discussion, the website has been reworked in the aim of simplifying and facilitating navigation. In contrast to the former site, which was designed in 2009–2010 and became cumbersome to access and manage over the years, the site redesign aimed to transform this immense information portal into a sleek, client-oriented site. The work was accomplished in collaboration with the Mirego firm and an external content writer.
Initially, the new site had three objectives: qualify the leads, inform, and sell. This first objective was the one that was most lacking on the former site, and—with QI’s many mandates and target communities—it constituted the main challenge to be addressed. The initial data obtained confirmed that the site redesign met the expectations well. Between March and June 2019, the site received a little under 90,000 visits—nearly 20,000 more than the same period in the previous year. Around 100 emails were sent to the appropriate teams from the site’s message form. With over 10,000 links, the new site now includes a little over 50 with information that is presented better.
Challenges and Changes Made
With its numerous services and communities, the website had to contain plenty of content with little text—a complex balance to achieve given that the attention of internet users tends to fade quickly. To solve this problem, the research and identification of needs and expectations were essential and strategic.
The construction of this new site therefore relied on several studies and discussions. A large-scale discussion about QI’s image and its various brands (Québec en tête and the key clusters, for example) had already taken place, which greatly influenced the visuals and structures used. Meetings with internal and external communities were also held throughout the development to validate whether the proposed solutions met their needs. These steps were taken over several months in order to build the new site on a solid foundation, and several adjustments to the homepage and navigational aspects were made along the way to better integrate these new elements.
Québec International’s target audiences are numerous, in conjunction with the variety of its mandates. Local businesses, investors, workers, international students, and entrepreneurs are examples of the communities whose needs were taken into account throughout the development. The QI team itself is a target community that was consulted on many occasions. Furthermore, the site is also accessed by journalists for media purposes (data and economic publications).
Specifics of the Category
One of the most important innovations of the new site is its homepage. In a few questions, users see the series of QI’s services and choose the one that is most relevant to them for the moment. According to their choices, they are directed to the other sections of the site, discover upcoming activities, or can get in touch with the QI team.
The site as a whole also underwent a true modernization. Beyond being responsive, its content was refined and restructured to facilitate reading, understanding of the services offered, and navigation. The colours are also lighter, and the tone—particularly in the French version of this bilingual site—speaks directly to visitors, making this presentation even more unique and friendly for an economic development agency.
Likewise, new analysis tools were implemented—including Hotjar—to follow users’ behaviour and identify the difficulties that they encounter in order to eliminate them. Everything is managed by the QI team from a personalized content management system (CMS) to allow it to evolve over time and integrate data on new key industries and new tools, for example.