Customizing the User Experience for North Vancouver Recreation & Culture, Complete with CLASS Integration
We've been working alongside the North Vancouver Recreation & Culture Commission (NVRC) for the past year, and we are pleased to announce the launch of the new NVRC website, complete with a refreshed visual brand. We’re proud to have been the strategists, designers and developers for this rewarding project.
A User-Centric Approach
Creating a more user-centric experience was core to the creation of their new website. Where the old site had a top menu with a dropdown for every program, we've simplified and streamlined the program searching process. Our "find a program" menu allows users to select the programs they want and the facilities they're interested in and receive a customized program list. And it was here we saw another opportunity to turn a good user experience into a great user experience.
My Program Guide Feature
We implemented a program bookmarking feature that allows users to pick and save their programs for later, rather than needing to search for them again. We also created the “My Program Guide”, which allows users to pick the programs they're interested in and create their own custom PDF. We wanted to emphasize the "custom user experience" that NVRC offers residents, and this program bookmarking and customized program guide are excellent examples of how we've managed to do that.
Integrating Recreation Registration Software
NVRC's registration system is run through CLASS, a registration management software by ACTIVE Network that's been in use around the world for over 30 years. Creating a new, modernized website that could integrate with this third party software was essential to a successful NVRC site. This technical integration is a testament to the flexibility and creativity needed when working with third party software. Not only were we successful, we've improved efficiency across the site. Updates to programs and facilities (time changes, closures, cancellations) are now reflected automatically across both the NVRC site and the CLASS registration pages, saving both time and potential headaches.
Adding Culture to the Visual Brand
Originally known as the North Vancouver Recreation Commission (the original NVRC), in 2014 it was consolidated with the Arts Office to form the North Vancouver Recreation & Culture Commission (the new NVRC). Emphasizing this new arts & culture aspect was essential to this project, and we realized early on there was a great opportunity to leverage the existing brand recognition to promote North Vancouver arts.
In order to strike that balance between maintaining NVRC's brand recognition while integrating the arts & culture aspect into it, Upanup engaged with North Vancouver residents to get a better sense of how the commission's audience interacted with and understood the existing brand. After testing and feedback sessions with residents, we gained a deep understanding of their recognition, their feelings and their understanding of what NVRC means. With this feedback, we approached the new branding project as an attempt to bridge the 30 years of North Vancouver Recreation Commission history with its new mandate of promoting both recreation and arts & culture.
The new brand promotes both recreation & culture in equal standing, prominently displayed together in the logo. The new website also blends the commission's dual duties of promoting both recreation and arts & culture. Program Registrations, Facilities & Fields and the Centennial Theatre all get equal billing on the homepage, and the further down you scroll the more recreation and culture blend together as you find program guides, events, newsletters and blogs.
It's safe to say we're proud of the new NVRC site, and proud to have worked with the Commission on this project over the last year, helping their vision come to life.