Interactive

All Weather Windows (AWW) makes high quality, beautiful, durable doors and windows, and has been for the last 40 years. But this kind of work can seem seasonal, so a key question must be posed: How can you convince Albertans to remove and replace their doors and windows once the weather starts to turn?

AWW and their direct-to-consumer branch in Alberta All Weather Windows Renovations (AWWR) has been a client of FKA for over five years. In 2016 they posed this question to us with the challenge of helping help them boost sales during their fall window and door replacement campaign. Despite their renovation services team rarely needing more than a day to complete the work, Albertans are understandably nervous about removing their doors and/or windows during the chillier fall months. To make the task a little more complicated, AWW also wanted to target Edmonton and Calgary — two places that were hit hard by the economic downturn in 2015.

We realized that a great offer or financing rate likely wouldn’t be enough of a motivator with this combination of factors at play. So we chose a more powerful motivator than money: fear.

Working with Mediactive, we developed an integrated multimedia campaign that leveraged our collective disdain for (and fear of) winter in a fun way to generate leads for All Weather Windows Renovations.

We took an admittedly tongue-in-cheek approach that dramatized Albertans’ natural trepidation about the winter season. We made winter into an over-the-top foreboding force, and we added a limited time offer to spur “frightened” homeowners to action. This played really well on radio!

The radio was accompanied by direct mail that was sent specifically to neighbourhoods in Edmonton and Calgary where the majority of homes were built over 20 years ago, making them more likely to need window and door replacement. The creative featured an ominous path in a wintery wood and aligned visually with our melodramatic approach on radio.

The visual creative was also applied to digital display and paid social ads on Facebook. We used remarketing list targeting to push primed and interested homeowners further down the sales funnel. All of our tactics featured unique phone numbers and web addresses, ensuring that we were able to track results and optimize the campaign in real-time.

And the results? Well, it turns out fear of winter is a powerful motivator!

We recently sat down with Jenelle Bremault, Senior Designer at FKA, and Kevin Newcombe, Developer, to pick their brains on a recent project we did for our clients at The Brick called My Brick Home. This project had a few different moving pieces, as our client’s needs were quite specific.

My Brick Home is a quarterly catalogue that showcases beautiful lifestyle imagery, which is accompanied by an online advertising campaign. A series of videos are also produced for each edition of My Brick Home, which feature DIY home decor ideas. With so much beautiful and engaging content, The Brick needed a website that could digitally showcase it. Each quarter these assets would also need to be updated with photography, videography and any other assets created for that season’s catalogue. So how can a website be both beautiful and functional while constantly subject to updates and changes?

This project was unique, as it required an approach to building a website that focused on format more than content. Building the site required our team to break every section of the site into modular parts to ensure that the client was able to create new web content from scratch on the fly that would seamlessly integrate into the existing site.

A previous iteration of a modular approach to websites for another client gave our team some initial insights into what would be required, but there was still a steep learning curve. They discovered quickly that building a template and building a site are very different experiences. “I had to be strategic on how I approached the design of the modules. They needed to be used on multiple pages without looking too repetitive and had to accommodate content that would change throughout the year depending on the season of the catalogue,” Jenelle recounts. “It was a challenge to pre-plan and make smart decisions that would ensure the site was a success without having all the variables.”

Kevin echoed Jenelle’s sentiment, reiterating that designing the blank modules was more challenging than creating a standard website. “How do we make each module user-friendly? How do we include a taggable image module and allow them to edit it? It was a big technical challenge.”

This new way of building websites forced the team to juggle their roles. Jenelle first noticed her role was shifting when the project entered the development stage. “My role as a designer transformed when the project was in development. I had to test the CMS for content population and what the users would visually see and interact with. As we were adding content I tried to break our modules any way I could think of. Anything that could make the visuals less pleasing than I intended had to be fixed.”

Adopting a quality assurance role was crucial for the project, which needed to be able to handle anything the client could throw at it. “In the past we were able to design around a template, but for this we had to build modules that could accommodate anything and everything,” explains Kevin. “The whole time I was building the site, I was looking at it on phones, tablets, old computers and new computers to make sure it was adapting properly.”

Challenges aside, Kevin believes this template will give FKA a strong tool to offer new and existing clients. “It was kind of a breakthrough for us because it is so simple to update. It’s cost effective and it doesn’t lock clients in to a particular design.” This new template offers clients the ability to have more control over their content and site functionality after our team hands over the keys. Each module included in the site is designed for a different purpose, which gives the client the freedom to build unique pages whenever it’s needed based on whatever content they have at that time.

The innovation and creative problem-solving that led to building a website focused on modules was born out of a need from a client, but has taught our team about a new tool to use for clients who want more flexibility with their website pages. The goal of FKA is to be able to meet the needs and expectations of all clients and this is one more way to provide the best possible service.

The site, which launched at the end of March 2018, can be seen at mybrickhome.ca.

 

In the fall of 2014, we launched a new website for All Weather Windows, a company whose products are sold in nearly 700 dealers across Canada. A prominent feature of the website is a dealer locator map; however, the attempt to load that amount of data into a standard interactive map created a few technical and usability hurdles that we had to overcome.

When we originally added the locations to the map, we were overwhelmed by the sheer number of dealers—the map showed a giant cluster of markers overlapping each other.

 

To counter this, we added marker clustering to the map—at higher levels, you would see one single marker with a number indicating how many locations were close by. As you zoom in to more detail, the individual dealers’ markers broke off from the cluster to show their actual location.

Clicking each marker brings up the dealer’s contact information. However, with approximately 700 dealers, load times could lag, which was especially problematic since the map would live on the homepage. We realized that the average user might only look up information for a few locations, so we trimmed as much from the map as possible: for each location, only the map coordinates and a unique ID associated with it would be loaded. All the contact information for each location is loaded on demand when the user clicks a marker. This made a significant improvement on the load times and reduced any lagging when users would search for dealer-specific information.

 

We’re also implementing another technique for increasing page speed. Traditionally, the page would run a script that goes to the database, retrieves a list of dealers and writes that into JavaScript, which loads the map. Since this could take a long time and the dealer list is updated infrequently, caching was adding to the site so that every time a change was made to the dealer list in the database, our CMS regenerated a static JavaScript file to reduce overall load times.

Read our blog post about the process behind the design and overall development of the All Weather Windows website.

It was the fall of 2013, and Field Law’s student recruitment materials had grown outdated. As the Firm’s first impression for many university students, these pieces needed to better reflect the dynamic nature of the company’s culture, staff and student employment opportunities.

Upon learning how intimidating the process of applying for articling student positions can be, Starburst set out to create a website that would serve as an interactive, approachable and informative portal. Through this portal, students could learn more about the application process, while familiarizing themselves with the dynamic personality and professional values that are central to the success of Field Law and their people.

A narrative theme was woven throughout the piece, incorporating fun, approachable language and modern designs. Additionally, a fun and interactive quiz was created for the site, assigning would-be applicants identities such as “Law Aficionado,” “Community Buff” or “Wonderer,” which spoke to the well-rounded nature and diversified skill set of Field’s team of lawyers and the students they employ.

Starburst created a site with a bright design incorporating a youthful take on Field Law’s brand. It was built responsively, ensuring a seamless user experience regardless of device. Featuring informative resources on application to-dos, former student testimonials, an interactive FAQ section, news and upcoming events, the site became a hub containing everything a student may need when applying for an articling position.

The website was well received among internal and external audiences and received thousands of visits from a niche target audience. It remains an essential resource in Field Law’ student recruitment toolkit.

Andrea Mondor Management Consulting Ltd. wanted something different: a website that was thoughtful, engaging and unique. So, when Andrea Mondor approached Starburst with her vision, we were pleased to have the opportunity to help her bring it to life.

This website has thoughtfulness and discovery at its very core. At first glance, the homepage may only appear to have a series of orbiting circles. However, users who choose to engage with the site are rewarded with a sense of perpetual discovery. Each click generates another orbit and each orbit is artfully calculated according to the circumference of its nearest centre point.

Orbits are an subtle metaphor for business—what may appear complicated or random at first is in fact closely connected and imbued with logic.