The City of Colwood: Streamlining Internal Processes

Last year, the City of Colwood, a long-time Upanup client, asked us to develop a tool that would allow businesses to renew their business licenses online. The City was planning to eliminate business license fees and they wanted to create an efficient renewal process to coincide with the change and replace the antiquated systems of the past.  

After 10 months in operation, the City has found much success with their new process. Below is a small case study outlining the challenge, solution and impact of integrating the new business renewal tool onto

The Challenge

The City was using a paper system for their business license renewals and had no database for local businesses.

Interactive User Experiences Lead to Award-Winning Solutions

At Upanup we’re all about the user. Every website we design and develop focuses on optimizing the user experience and enhancing usability through intuitive, user-friendly solutions. We pride ourselves in the online experiences we create and when we’re recognized for our efforts, we can’t help but get a little excited.

This week we were pleasantly surprised to learn that the recently launched—a site designed exclusively around enhancing the user experience—has won a Platinum dotCOMM award. Not only is this the first dotCOMM award for Upanup, but it is also the first time we’ve been recognized for our work in the tourism industry.

Custom Directories: Accessible for Every User

User-friendly. User-focused. User-centric.

Whichever term is used, enhancing a user’s experience is a top priority for clients when developing a new website. But often when describing user experience, it’s with the end-user, or site visitor, in mind. And while that is the ultimate goal, having a site that also provides a user-friendly experience to site administrators is extremely advantageous.

Recently we were approached by the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) to incorporate directories into their existing site that would make information on First Nation economic development resources and communities easily accessible to all users.

Creating Customized, Integrated Solutions for

We’re happy to announce has officially set sail! is the primary host of the cruise ship schedule for Victoria B.C.'s Ogden Point Terminal, the busiest cruise ship port-of-call in Canada. As the first digital point of contact for visitors arriving by ship, it was essential keep information up-to-date and be as user-friendly as possible.

By creating custom integration with MailChimp and the Western Stevedoring schedule database, Ogden Point ship schedules can now be seamlessly updated and added to the Victoria Cruise website, and emailed to the appropriate mailing list members, with the click of a button. Allowing those operating out of the Ogden Point docks to seamlessly coordinate their schedules and provide interested parties with up-to-date information. is just another example of how Upanup combines custom design and development, with intuitive site navigation and functional designs to create effective and engaging experiences for users.

Enhancing User Experience with IBIC

B.C.’s Indigenous Business and Investment Council (IBIC) came to Upanup with high aspirations. They wanted to create the number one website in Canada for Indigenous Peoples’/First Nation’s economic development—and they wanted us to help them do it.

Since we, too, like to set our sights high, we happily accepted the task. And now, after conducting various stakeholder engagement sessions and developing a strategic foundation based on user experience, we are delighted to celebrate the launch of the new IBIC website.

Indigenous Business and Investment Council

IBIC is a community partner of the B.C. government, whose main objective is to promote economic development opportunities for Indigenous communities, and to advance Indigenous peoples’ participation in B.C.’s economy.

Upanup Wins Gold for New Kelowna Airport Site

2017 has got off to a great start. Along with launching two major websites, hiring two new employees, and working on several exciting new projects, we’ve also been recognized for another AVA Digital Award, making it an even eight AVA award total for Upanup.

This year, has been honoured with a gold AVA award for exceeding the high standards of the industry norm in website design. This marks the second award win for the newly launched website, which was honoured with an Arcturus award from the Vega Digital Awards in late 2016.

The AVA Digital Awards honour, “the evolving ways and means that we engage our audiences through the creative convergence of digital arts, technology and information,” and we’re proud to have produced an informational site that does just that. By using effective, clear designs, with intuitive technologies that allow for integration between multiple sites and software, we’ve created a reliable resource for Kelowna airport passengers and tenants alike. 

Upanup wins 11 website design awards in 2016

Upanup is pleased to report another year of growth and production success in 2016, meaning we need to make room on our award wall to highlight more digital masterpieces. For its size, Upanup is a top award-winning digital agency in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

In 2016 we continued our growth, adding some great clients and talent to our team, and we picked up another 11 international awards. The awards come from various competitions through the year - W3 Awards, Davey Awards, Marcom Awards, AVA Awards and Communicator Awards. Since 2012, Upanup’s digital design and development work has now garnered 44 international awards, the most of any digital or marketing agency based in Victoria.

Updating a Website Design While Keeping the Same Backend

In 2012, we reached out to Victoria-based EcoSafe Natural Products with an opportunity for a new website. EcoSafe specializes in formulation chemistry, using natural ingredients to create alternatives to traditional pesticides, fertilizers and cosmetics. Founded and owned by Rod Bradbury, his expertise put EcoSafe on the cutting-edge of chemical formulation, and they needed a new website to match. 

This new site took EcoSafe’s established brand and incorporated it throughout the site, using a lighter shade of green. The navigation and sitemap were enhanced, taking UX best practices into account to create a more user-friendly experience. Calls-to-action with unique landing pages were added to help segment EcoSafe’s audience and provide a detailed explanation of the services offered. Responsive design techniques were incorporated as well, to ensure the new site was optimized for viewing across all devices, including smartphones, tablets and large screens. This new site made an immediate impact, bringing EcoSafe’s online image up-to-speed. Soars to a Gold W3 Award

It’s spread its wings, and we couldn’t be prouder. Viking, launched by Upanup in June, has been awarded a Gold W3 Award.

Released in tandem with Viking’s celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Twin Otter, the website pays homage to both the de Havilland legacy and Viking’s future-forward, global marketplace. Crafted with a mobile-first approach, Viking’s responsive, touch-friendly design speaks to the company’s highly mobile audiences and workforce.

What makes special?

It’s smart.

Integration with the company’s client relationship management systems allows for the capture of user behaviour data that can be used for continual refinements to search engine optimization and marketing along with internal sales processes. Interactive maps make finding your nearest sales contact a no-brainer.


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