Intelligent Transportation Systems Society of Canada
Intelligent Transportation Systems Canada (ITS Canada) is a national, bilingual association that leads the promotion and advancement of intelligent transportation systems and services to benefit Canadians.
As a national association focused on innovative technologies, brand was naturally important. Yet more so was the ability to fully integrate and manage memberships and the association's website.
The ITS Canada website, which is integrated with their member database, use the bilingual (French-English) capabilities built into Association DNA and WebPortal One. This enabled ITS Canada to develop a bilingual website and database for a fraction of the cost of other solutions.
ITS Canada came to Biz-Zone with a strong brand, so the visual aspect of their design project flowed smoothly to the website design.
The most important aspect of their identify development online was to probe beyond simple visuals to understand why the association was important to its members.
Using a precursor of our website canvas, we worked with the association's leadership to understand their value proposition and how they mattered most to their membership. From this we uncovered a fascinating story of members who were literally transforming the world of transportation, leaping ahead of current standards to discover new ways of doing things.
One example of this was a member that had opted to use signal mapping, i.e. concentrations of anonymous cell phone users to predict traffic snarl-ups, leaping ahead of the video technology that was common at the time.
The process also identified news, events and conferences as key activities. Instead of simply saying ITS Canada was focused on innovation, we chose to show it in the design by highlighting case studies, events, conferences and news in the homepage concept.
At the same time, the site was simplified substantially, cutting hundreds of pages of onerous, unviewed webpages to focus on the information visitors actually cared about.
The bilingual version of WebPortal One, our content management system, was used to develop most pages on the redesigned ITS Canada website, with DataAnyway modules implemented to provide the customizations needed to right-size the key messages on the homepage and specific sections of the website.
Using bilingual DataAnyway micro-databases, it was easy to generate dynamic sections for case studies, news and events, with the case studies automatically connected to the homepage slider. This approach also made it easy for ITS Canada to add content to both the French and English sides of its website, in just a few minutes.
Because communication with the association executive is critical for many associations, we also used the specialized Virtual Boardroom module of DataAnyway to provide advanced communication tools to the association's boards and committees.
Members, in their DNA.
Like many associations, members are essential to ITS Canada. Managing those member and ensuring that their data can flow smoothly between the website and back-office database was essential.
When Biz-Zone took on the ITS Canada website redesign project, the association's database was built on an outdated Filemaker Pro database. An analysis showed that updating the existing database would cost almost twice as much as switching to our association management system, Association DNA, and would provide less than half of the flexibility and features.
Association DNA would not only enable members to join and renew their memberships, but as an Engineered version we were able to adapt to ITS Canada's complex membership logic.
Using Association DNA we created a layered membership application that would allow:
- Different numbers of contacts for each member depending on the membership category and status of the contact (e.g. unlimited students vs. limited regular contacts);
- Prorating of fees using logic that changed as time passed during the membership year;
- Different levels of information that could be edited for the member director based on the membership category; and
- Significantly different information displayed on the public and members-only facing member directories.
By matching the complex rules of ITS Canada's membership requirements, we were able to reduce the amount of manual entry from a process that could take over 20 minutes per member to one that was automated and as such was reduced to a matter of seconds at most.
At Biz-Zone our main goal is to help our clients' front-line staff do their jobs faster and with less frustration and we were very pleased to make this a reality for ITS Canada.
Association DNA Custom Design DataAnyway WebPortal One