There’s nothing better than a long lasting relationship, and ours with Culture Days remains extra special. We’ve partnered up with the pan-Canadian volunteer movement since its official launch in 2010. Together, we’ve created a portal to help raise the awareness, accessibility, and participation of all Canadians in their respective arts and cultural communities.

Every year Culture Days puts on 3-days of festivities across the country. With tons of events simultaneously occurring they’ve needed a platform that can easily digest and sort all of this information, while providing users with an easy-to-use and well-organized interface.

Throughout the years we’ve realized that the volunteers becoming involved and organizers registering their activities are a crucial aspect of the events overall success. That’s why this year a major objective for us was to help empower organizers to step up to the plate and showcase their talents.

To do so, we targeted the approachability of the site. We wanted to make sure all kinds of individuals, from tech savvy to first time users, felt comfortable and at ease when accessing the website and finding the information they needed. Hence, we focussed our efforts on improving the user friendliness of the site. More explicitly, we improved the UX for the end users and allowed greater controllability of the UI for the Culture Days team.

We decided to develop a more convenient way for organizations and volunteers to learn how they can get involved, and re-organize the resources available to them. We replaced the overwhelming and confusing listed format of  important links, with a more user-friendly representation of a tips and tools toolbar to better facilitate the engagement process. By converting pdf documents to HTML and only keeping them when necessary, we’ve decreased the load time of pages and reduced the frustration this can cause.

We’ve given the Culture Days team increased control over their CMS by allowing quick and easy updates that they can comfortably edit themselves. We pre-set some HTML code blocks specifically within the Featured Resources section, so the team can edit the structure, the content and the text pages it links to. Now with more volunteers pouring in, and new workshops flourishing, they can continue to update what they feel is most necessary for their organizers and add helpful media- such as videos, freely.

This year also marks the relaunch of Culture Days’ Contest where contestants are encouraged to submit a video or photo of themselves, engaging in an activity that express their creative side. Plank developed a completely new contest platform, focussing upon a cleaner and more simplified contest entry layout and featuring selected entries. The redesign not only facilitates an easier application process but allows Culture Days to adjust and update the featured contest entry thumbnails as they desire.

Over the years, Plank has increased site traffic to almost 700 000 page views annually, facilitated over 3000 events and connected over 150 000 community members every year. We love what we do, and can’t wait to do it again!

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the annual 3-day celebration taking place September 26, 27 and 28. What will you be attending?