VanDusen Botanical Gardens is a Vancouver icon. Leading up to the opening of a stunning, LEED-Living Building visitor centre designed by notable architecture firm Perkins + Will, VanDusen undertook a rebranding effort to give a fresh, updated look to the logo, collateral, and signage around the garden. A key part of the new experience would have to include a completely re-imagined website to match the changes happening in the gardens and within the organization.
The existing website was, unfortunately, a legacy of old technologies combined with a maze of overlapping and disorganized content that was as difficult to keep up-to-date as it was to navigate. Our first task was to map this content and devise a strategy to deal with the various pieces and ongoing needs of the staff for updating. Beyond the technological upgrades that would allow the site to function across modern browsers and devices, the site needed to reflect the beauty, excitement, and splendour of the gardens — something that changes seasonally.
Simultaneously, we could not lose sight of basic information requirements the website of an extremely popular tourist destination requires; including quick access to hours and admissions, events and bloom calendars, and rentals information. For this we used a content management system (CMS), giving the many different staff members the ability to make updates quickly and simply. The new site also provided the opportunity to better reflect the organization’s business goals and revenue streams by ensuring visitors could find information about weddings and special occasion rentals and highlighting the benefits of membership and donation opportunities.
The result is a website that cohesively integrates with the new brand and the exciting new additions to the gardens. The response from staff and visitors has been a positive one. Updates are easier to manage and maintain and content is understandable and organized.
Launch website: vandusengarden.org
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