For more than a year, Adviso has been working with the Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec (CMEQ) on the development of a new website, launched October 2, that provides more services to electricians and future electricians. As well as having established a solid relationship with the CMEQ, Adviso was responsible for the strategic planning and design of the new site, and assisted with the selection of a development supplier, designed an improved user experience, and made the site mobile-friendly. The success of the redesign was further reinforced by improved access to documents and reference tools, and better categorization of information. The development of the site, done in partnership with Libéo, was a resounding success, and Adviso is proud to count the CMEQ as one of its website redesign clients!
Over the years we have developed expertise in providing services to professional orders, working on projects with the Autorité des marchés financiers, the Barreau du Québec, the Collège des médecins du Québec, the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec and the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, just to name a few.
For redesign projects, Adviso always recommends doing a strategic planning exercise prior to starting web design or development work, to ensure that the project meets the client’s business needs, as well as the needs of users. In the case of professional orders, establishing strategic goals can be a challenge in and of itself, since these are generally not-for-profit organizations and don’t always have well-defined business objectives. This means that developing revenue-oriented web strategies doesn’t necessarily work for them. In addition, these sites need to target two distinct audiences, professionals and the public, with very different interests, and very different understandings of the industry. Consequently, creating and presenting content that speaks to both groups and addresses their disparate objectives is very important.
Professional orders all aim to target the public at large. They exist to serve the public, and their principal mission is to protect the public by regulating and controlling their profession. However, they don’t always know how to attract the interest of their audience personas, or how to speak to non-professionals in their industry.
The content found on their websites is often very technical, barely adapted to the web, and not terribly useful in meeting the needs of the public at large. The needs of users – in this case consumers – are too often misunderstood. Given this, how can we define success indicators for their strategic and user experience goals?
Apart from their mission to protect the public, professional orders have another major reason for being, which is to encourage members to engage in professional development, give them resources to do their job, and ensure the survival and sustainability of the profession in the long term.
In analyzing performance results, it’s clear that the websites of professional orders tend to be heavily used, even though the user experience is far from perfect.
User testing and interviews with members indicate that their level of satisfaction depends on two key elements:
Consequently, the more services are offered online, and the more relevant they are, the more likely it is that members will be satisfied with their order.
If we push our qualitative research even further, we can put ourselves in our users’ shoes in order and gain a better understanding of their reality, their online profile, and their needs. The results allow us to automate processes, reorganize navigational structures, create new content, and rework the overall user experience. By making the site responsive, we can also improve access for members who want to use the site’s services, tools, and information regardless of the device they are using to access it.
Administrative users (employees of the order) also experience increased satisfaction after a redesign, since this often means going from an archaic CMS to a more user-friendly solution that improves operational processes and allows them to manage the site independently.
Since they don’t have any real competition, professional orders are not highly motivated to have a very mature web presence. Often their main metric for success is simply the level of satisfaction of their members – more of a qualitative goal than a quantitative one. Since we love numbers here at Adviso, translating this was a real challenge. With ROIs (return on investment) that are often poorly-defined and a certain amount of reticence about the perceived profitability of the web, we are often faced with limited budgets that make it difficult to justify the financial expense. Moreover, the human resources available for the project are often limited.
In spite of a real interest in the opportunities afforded by new technologies, the web presence of professional orders are often less mature than those of brands with transactional platforms. When you are selling products on the web, it’s easier to calculate a precise ROI, and you are more likely to have a larger budget and more resources to invest.
Adviso has successfully supported its clients in the professional orders despite the fact that they generally do not have performance-based cultures, or well-developed instincts when it comes time to define key performance indicators. We have been able to equip them with measurable objectives that allow them to monitor their success, while at the same time increasing their confidence in the value of their investment in the digital world. Where we’ve made the most headway though, is in education. Teaching best practices in writing for web to optimize content, for example, or how to make the best choices when presenting a service to key user groups, represents an enormous value-added for all the members of the team.