Website Design & Development

Websites are a necessity nowadays, and staying current is key. We can make your website an online extension of your brand and provide support long after the launch to ensure your content is up to date.

SMOHIT Website Redesign

Imagine Communications had been working with the Sheet Metal Occupational Health Institute Trust Inc. (SMOHIT) for nearly a dozen years by the time Aldo Zambetti was named as administrator. As he took over, he asked Imagine, as a long-trusted partner who knew the industry and needs of a unionized trade, what could be done to update SMOHIT’s website. With the ever-expanding services and benefits provided to members, there had also been an avalanche of information piling atop outdated content, all of which was cluttering the older site and getting in the way of usability. In September 2021, Imagine took on the project to create a new website.

Organizing the new site was complex and required careful thought, so every department at Imagine had a hand in producing the final result. The Accounts Services team helmed planning meetings, and six levels of priority were assigned to the Public Relations and Design and Development teams so that each element could be worked through in an agreed-upon timeline. Progress was tracked with a project management system denoting aspects in work concurrently as well as revisions.

First, the old, nested content had to be examined to sift out information that was still viable or simply in need of an update. In addition to this material, moving parts needed for the new website included a member element, a password-protected section specifically for registered users. This member side also included a learning management system with online training elements such as videos and quizzes or assignments that could be scored and marked complete. These additional member pages had to be developed and the content had to be kept secure. From a design and development standpoint, this was similar to creating two websites in one.

Director of Account Services Nadia Zerka and Senior Designer Julie Varley worked closely with SMOHIT leadership, meeting weekly to ensure needs were being met and rolling out the new website in stages. With a ground-up reboot to the site, functionality could be built in, so users could quickly and reliably find what they wanted. This was more than aesthetics, though the look of the site would play a big part in how users navigated the platform.

The new site also provided a means to modernize SMOHIT’s branding. With Imagine designing SMOHIT’s newsletters, social media content and promotional material, we were able to carry the same aesthetic through to the entire website, bringing in warmer tones of orange and dark backdrops with high-contrast, readable sans serif font.

The priority communicated to Imagine was that whatever information members were seeking — the Helpline, health and safety, SMART MAP (the Members Assistance Program of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation workers), training news or seasonal events like the Steps Challenge — was right there, “in their face,” as Zambetti put it. The priorities on what information was featured would also change with time. For instance, guidelines to avoid heat exhaustion would be posted in the summer or registration information would remind members before classes.

SMOHIT’s new website launched in June 2022, with the first round of key components in place. In subsequent updates, the rest of SMOHIT’s wish list was added, including member login and learning management systems. The functionality, aesthetics and streamlining of the site have been met with rave reviews from both leadership and members, and continued the long and enduring partnership between Imagine and SMOHIT.