Ottawa Web Site Design

Posted on August 30, 2009 by

If you’ve Googled “Ottawa Web Design”, “Ottawa Web Design Companies” or “Ottawa Web Site Development”, we’re glad you found us. Standard Media has a full team of web site professionals that can provide the array of essential services for any small businesses’ web site needs. You can view samples of work in our web portfolio or Request A Quote.

We wanted to talk about something that it seems like we’ve been discussing regularly. In our opinion, small business has historically been an under serviced and relatively over looked segment of the market, and we’ve been focusing specifically on assisting Ottawa based companies with a desire to increase their presence on the web, with organic natural search, as well as with a web experience for their customers that is fluid and yields results. At the end of the day, it’s not only about a nice looking design. This is an important misconception. It’s about engaging your customers and facilitating their experience when they come across your web site. The age of thinking that an organization’s web presence as a secondary necessity is over, but surprisingly, it is still thought of as that, especially with established businesses. Web sites now act as credibility badges with most consumers and deserve to be at the forefront of any and all marketing and communications initiatives. A company or organization that doesn’t seem to have made a significant investment in their web presence can be inadvertently hurting their business, without even realizing, sometimes even after they’ve gone through and paid for a redesign.

There are 2 main questions that usually kick off an assessment when we deal with new clients with existing web sites:

  • Is your current site working? An assessment on content and architecture – is the copy SEO friendly? Is the menu architecture of the site simple to pass through? Is your web site facilitating the finding of key information related to your services or your products, and is it driving business? Is the overall site architecture easy to move through? Can users find what they’re looking for quickly and effectively? Is it retaining visitors?
  • Is the current design working? An assessment on design – is the site visually engaging, pertinent to the industry theme, and does the design embrace the content effectively? The design affects the first question greatly.

We wanted to direct some attention to a recent web site deployment that we completed for Terrachoice Environmental Marketing back in April of this year that illustrates the points well. The organization publishes a report called “The Seven Sins of Greenwashing“, which puts the spotlight on companies who “greenwash” their products in an effort to pass them as environmentally conscious with consumers. We live in an age where consumers are increasingly making buying decisions based on how sensitive a product is to the earth it ultimately either came from, or will end up back in. Unfortunately we also live in an age where companies will sometimes attempt to fool those same consumers. In this case, we were hired to simply design the web site, using client supplied copy and assets, however we made a few suggestions on the presentation of the information that we worked into the design and were involved in another very cool aspect of the project which we go into greater detail about later on this post. Clean and elegant was ideal for this site considering the content, and we were looking at ensuring that the access to the report and it’s associated info was clear and engaging through the look and feel, with a casual and light feel to it. You can check out the web site at

Name That Sin by Terrachoice Environmental Marketing

Another aspect to this project was creating a unique element to the site that was engaging, highly retentive, and most importantly, effective in relaying the Seven Sins of Greenwashing to users and consumers – it’s most important content. This was the purpose of the report and ultimately the site itself. Terrachoice wanted visitors to peruse the site and read the report, but they also wanted illustrated practical examples of what to look out for on consumer products and to truly leave users with an educated and informed visit. This is where we developed the idea of Name That Sin with the client. The game is an application that is available on the web site, but that has also been released as a Facebook application for play as well.  Itemized questions presented as a flash game that randomly choose from a database of client developed content, presented in a fun and engaging way. We decided to tap into the power of Facebook’s social network to present the game in association with the client’s Facebook group – Sins of Greenwashing.

Play the game here: Name That Sin!

Read The Report Here: Greenwashing Report 2009

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