St. Catharines Economic Development & Tourism Services Website – www.investinstc.ca
Purpose of Project:
The purpose of the project was to refresh and redesign the City’s Economic Development website. Although the website has been in existence since 2014, the aim of the project was to revamp the site and incorporate the City’s recently approved Economic Development Strategy, with an emphasis on making the website more about the people who own and work at the businesses in St. Catharines and why they chose to invest in St. Catharines.
With the launch of the website in mid August of 2019, the anticipated outcome is to further engage visitors in the City’s strategic vision, keeping them informed on the activities of the department, as well as highlighting the work of existing businesses that are an example of the city’s success.
Challenges and Changes made:
On the basis of the previous website, the challenges that were encountered in the project were mainly focused on the absence of structure and direction in terms of content. Much of the content of the previous iteration of the website were about public investments that were made in the city as well as visuals of infrastructure and new buildings. This changed with the adoption of a new Economic Development Strategy in 2017, which allowed our department to re shape the site and give it further structure on the basis of our sectors of focus, as well as case studies and success stories that focus on the people and the investments of our businesses.
The target audience for the website is predominantly external in nature, with a focus on businesses that wish to locate and grow in St. Catharines. Secondary to that is the internal audience, which includes businesses located in St. Catharines and Niagara that wish to expand their operations and seek the assistance of the department.
Another common element in other websites is the use of stock imagery. In redesigning the website, our aim was to avoid the use of stock images and use photos that reflect the business community in St. Catharines by using photos of actual entrepreneurs, people, and visitors to the city. The website also includes useful statistics on the community as well as informative brochures profiling St. Catharines as well as a press section highlighting the media attention that St. Catharines continues to receive.