Developing a Downtown Hub

Background

The Downtown Halifax Business Commission (DHBC) is the collective voice and resource for the businesses in the central business district of Halifax. All 1,600 hundred of them. As an information hub serving two distinct groups—its members and the public—DHBC needed a sleek, but powerful new website.

Challenge

With a design prioritizing user experience, an interactive platform for members, and a custom-built database, DHBC wanted to increase engagement between the organization, their members, and the public. Custom web development and user interface design are some of our greatest strengths, and like an 8-year-old running up the wave, we were excited to rise to the challenge.

One of DHBC’s main objectives was to engage the public and turn their website into the go-to tourism source for Downtown Halifax. DHBC also wanted a fully interactive platform for their members—informing them as well as allowing businesses to easily update and control their respective pages and data. Lastly, we needed to create a highly integrated member database. With this mandate, we knew they needed a modern and intuitive site with powerful back-end functionality.

From 2014-2017, traffic increased by

25% each year

Approach

Making this site easy to use—for the public, DHBC’s members, and the DHBC team—was our number one priority. Using Drupal 7 to build the site, we created a streamlined database, custom built a robust search function, and made it easy for DHBC to manage the look and feel of the interface. For example, the landing page is composed of dynamic blocks, so content can be dragged, dropped, and changed with ease. We also integrated MailChimp into the site, allowing the DHBC team to automate and customize emails and collect detailed analytics from their members and the public.

Weekly News & Events RSS Newsletter

  • Open rate of 40%, 200% above the industry average
  • Click through email rate of 10%, exceeding industry standards by 500%

Result

The interactive and engaging nature of this website aims to mirror the tight-knit community that is Downtown Halifax. With their new interface, dedicated member platform, and powerful database, DHBC now has a vital tool in their quest to make Downtown Halifax a better place to live, work, and play.

The team at Bits worked with us to turn our vision -- a hodgepodge of our industry-specific requirements -- into an elegant, powerful, and useful website. Our new website not only looks and works great, but it has also become an integral productivity tool for our operations. The Bits team understands design and function, and they’re a pleasure to work with. Brenden Sommerhalder, Director of Communications & Marketing

Creative Agency

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