waterFrontTrail

Client:     The Waterfront Regeneration Trust
Project:     logo and website redesign
Website:     www.waterfronttrail.org

When the Waterfront Regeneration Trust wanted a new design for their Waterfront Trail website, the Toronto-based Trust didn't choose a big city design firm from the tenders received, they chose Akira Studio.

The Waterfront Trail stretches over 1400kms along the shores of the Great Lakes, connecting 68 communities and over 400 parks and natural areas. The Trust works with those communities and other corporations, foundations and organisations to promote the Waterfront Trail, so there were multiple stakeholders involved in the website design project.

The website design needed to be attractive and encouraging for visitors, incorporating four key elements:

1. Easy access to trail maps for visitors
2. Fully mobile-friendly design for users on the move
3. Social media for visitor interaction
4. A big donate button!

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  • Home page layout for Waterfront Trail
  • An example of the feature design
  • Google Map with KML mapping technology

Interactive trail maps for visitors

With the Trail running along paths, roads and neighbuorhood streets, clear maps for visitors are essential for navigating the trail either by bike, or on foot.  The website includes a range of downloadable PDF maps for users to print out at home and bring with them. It also features an interactive map that visitors can access for their mobile phones or other mobile devices on the move, with detailed information on each section of the trail available at the touch of a screen.

Full mobile-device capability

With over 40% of all mobile phone users in Canada living in Ontario, and 25% of all website visitors using mobile devices such as smart phones, wifi e-readers and tablet computers (iPads and the like), the ability to look at a Waterfront Trail map and information on the move is crucial. The new website is fully responsive; it detects what kind of mobile device is being used, and re-structures itself to work on all touch screen devices regardless of screen size.  

Engaging visitors with social media

A strong social media presence is an ideal way to build awareness and attract visitors, especially since the Trust wanted to promote the family-friendly Waterfront Trail Adventures and Trail Holidays sections.

With an Akira-designed Facebook page, visitors and regulars alike can post pictures, ask questions and discuss aspects of their Trail experience, a great way for the Trust to encourage and receive feedback on a regular basis, and build a relationship with their users.

AODA compliance for websites - a legal requirement

With so many government and municipal partners involved, the website also needed to be fully compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, which requires the website to be built to a technical standard known as WCAG 2.0 Level AA.

For this website, special attention was paid to WCAG 2.0 AA to ensure accessibility standards were met for disabled and visually impaired users, including keyboard controls.

Donate and Regenerate

As a no-for-profit organization, the Trust wanted to make it easy for those who wanted to help out to make a donation. By teaming up wit CanadaHelps, and a big green Donate Now button, the Trust can receive much-needed donations 24/7/365.

Project features:

  • New logo design
  • Full website redesign
  • Responsive web design for mobile phones and tablets
  • Fully compliant Level AA website to legal requirements of the AODA
  • Engaging social media links through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
  • Interactive maps with detailed information on key Trail sections
  • Full back-end CMS so client can add and update information anytime

Testimonial

"Tony started from the ground up in re-designing an exciting new website for the Waterfront Trail, and we couldn't be happier with the result. Tony was responsive to our needs, creating flexible solutions to our unique challenges. Our new website is responsive, mobile friendly and fully accessible. I would wholeheartedly recommend Tony and Akira Studios for all your website and design needs."
The Waterfont Regeneration Trust